Constrained Life in a Multifarious Environment - A Closer Look at the Lives of Autistic College Students

Shameem Ahmed, Md Monsur Hossain, Cody Pragner, Mitch Kimball, Ashima Shrivastava, Joseph Gildner, Sean McCulloch, Moushumi Sharmin
2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems  
For many students, attending college is a dramatic but necessary change. To gain a better understanding of experiences that are unique to autistic college students, we conducted a mixed-method study with 20 students (10 autistic and 10 neurotypical). We collected physiological, contextual, experience, and environmental data from their natural environment using Fitbit and smartphones. We found that stress patterns, emotional states, and physical states are similar for both groups. Our autistic
more » ... rticipants prioritized academic success over everything else, often intentionally confining their movements among academic, resident, and work locations to engage themselves with academic work as much as possible. They had a small number of friends, always preferring quality over quantity and sometimes regarding friends as close as family members. To maintain a better social life, they extensively used social media. They slept more than neurotypical participants per day; however, they experienced lower sleep quality. CCS CONCEPTS • Human-centered computing → Accessibility; Empirical studies in accessibility.
doi:10.1145/3491102.3517788 fatcat:4sssxtquqvfmrh7fjh2dbx4ehm