An Autistic Student’s Positive College Transition in STEM

Autistic students can have positive college transitions. Graduate student Laura Gilmour shares how she became a Ph.D. candidate in psychology at the University of Alberta, where she is currently conducting research connected to autism. Laura talks about many of the important steps she took to find this path, including switching majors in order to find a passion that fit with her scholarly strengths.

Her self-assessment skills allowed her to see that some early goals would be particularly tough to achieve. Her persistence and confidence allowed Laura to keep seeking an academic fit where she could excel. She also found supportive mentors who would guide and challenge her. Overall, Laura’s self-advocacy allowed her to be flexible and creative in advocating for herself and overcoming obstacles. 

Are you interested in hearing more from contributors who are currently conducting STEM research or taking STEM classes? More about positive college transitions for autistic students Try these posts:

The Asperger / Autism Network can be another good resource for autistic STEM students getting ready for the college transition.

And let us know in the comments if you have any questions for Laura!

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Laura Gilmour is a PhD candidate in educational psychology at the University of Alberta and an autistic self-advocate. Her research has centred around issues surrounding autism across the life span ranging from sexuality, online gaming, employment, and autism culture. She is actively involved in guest lectures in the Edmonton community which share both her personal and research experience.

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