Neurodiversity Education Research Center
Neurodiversity Education Research Center


A study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that students with autism choose majors in science, technology, engineering, and math at higher rates than students in the general population.

The Need For A STEM Program

  • Students on the autism spectrum are more likely to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects than other college students. (Wei, 2012)
  • Only 58% of youth with autism had a transition plan by the required age (per federal law) according to their special education teachers. (NAIR, 2015)
  • Those from lower-income households or who have lower conversational abilities are far more likely to experience disconnections from work and education following the transition from high school. (NAIR, 2015)
  • Data suggests participating in extracurricular activities during high school improves the likelihood of a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood for autistic students.
  • Nearly one in three young adults had no community participation in the past year – no volunteer or community service activities, no lessons or classes, or other community activities outside of school. (NAIR, 2015)
  • Young adults with autism had the highest rate of social isolation within the past year than their peers with other types of disabilities. (NAIR, 2015)
  • Young adults on the autism spectrum have the lowest rate of employment compared to their peers with other disability types. (NAIR, 2015)