Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2 - 42

The number of students with ASD will continue
to increase, and they and their families will continue to
hold high expectations for higher education and
university student housing.
	
A quick online search reveals more than
five million results for designing sensoryappropriate residence hall rooms or spaces
for people with ASD. With so much community-generated guidance from parents,
guardians, and former college students,
there is an opportunity for higher education
and housing professionals to take note and
step forward. During new constructions or
renovations, colleges and universities can
work with architects and designers to incorporate sensory-minded spaces. Additionally,
as a recent article posited, " Sensory integration-or how each person organizes themselves from a neurological standpoint-plays
a role in everyone's life, even impacting their
success " (Eichler & Statton-Brooks, 2020,
p. 32). Just as accommodations are needed
within the classroom environment, so too
are they needed for students with ASD in
the residential environment. These considerations for practice may help meet expectations related to space and noise within campus residential facilities.
	
A final recommendation for practice and
future research is to expand and evaluate the
training and education efforts of housing
and higher education professionals. This
area of scholarship continues to be a struggle in the profession, as recent critiques have
cited limited data collection or small sample sizes. For instance, the communication
coaching program (Weiss & Rohland, 2015)
and the transition program (Shmulsky et al.,
2015) are difficult to justify because of limited data. For practitioners, it would be easy
to incorporate education and training for

working with students with ASD alongside
LGBTQ ally, QPR suicide, and undocumented student ally trainings. The College Autism
Network offers free downloadable training
resources for RAs.
	
Finally, it is important to reemphasize
that these recommendations are made on
the basis of the responses of seven participants who initially rated themselves as
either satisfied or very satisfied with their
on-campus housing experience. Future research ought to be conducted with students
whose on-campus housing experience is
less than satisfactory in order to determine
if other unmet expectations are revealed.

CONCLUSION
As Kuder and Accardo (2018) reminded us,
" The increase in the number of students
with ASD in higher education is no longer
a new phenomenon " (p. 9). The number of
students with ASD will continue to increase,
and they and their families will continue to
hold high expectations for higher education
and university student housing. Applying
the findings from our participants' expectations related to academics, campus housing,
community, roommates, and the student
experience can help improve the overall college experience of these students. After all,
if satisfaction remains a key performance
indicator for housing professionals, as evident from its focus on major international
housing-related benchmark assessments, we
must consider and center residents from diverse social identities in order to improve the
residence life experiences we offer.

*

Volume 47, No. 2 * 2021

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