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AAPC Publishing

Improving Your College Experience: A Workbook for Students on the Autism Spectrum PLUS Instructor's Supplemental Materials by AAPC Publishing

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The perfect resource for college support group leaders and young autistic adults intending to enter college!



Success in college life and beyond starts with preparation and practice. Dr. Linda Murdock’s book, “Improving Your College Experience: A Workbook for Students on the Autism Spectrum”, provides both, thereby empowering young autistic adults to take control, improve self-esteem and make the transition to independence.  Students will find that independence does not mean doing everything alone, but includes the ability to use all the resources and supports around you. 

 This book is designed as a workbook-style curriculum that serves as the basis for a weekly support group, social skills group, or life skills group. The book is set up in small chapters that can be read rapidly so that it does not interfere with coursework. Because each chapter is a stand-alone reference on a particular topic, students and group leaders can choose to read the entire book or only select chapters. The chapters all begin with a set of quick rules and end with comprehension checks or application-based worksheets.

Full of quick tips and rules, the chapters cover topics such as: using campus resources, buying or renting textbooks, choosing a major, meeting with your academic advisor, making a schedule, budgeting, car maintenance and responsibilities, classroom protocols, using the library, gym, and cafeteria, dorm and apartment living, conflicts with roommates, health and hygiene practices, time management, study tips, making friends, staying out of trouble, safety, and dating advice.

Beyond its intended use, this workbook could be adapted for other student populations, parent use, and even for young adults who are not college-bound but are preparing for increased independence via other paths.




1 paperback of the student workbook 


1 paperback copy of the Instructor's Supplemental Materials



I am excited about this resource! It unlocks the mysteries of college success, teaching skills and hidden information that students can extrapolate to life beyond graduation. I love the organized and easy-to-read format, accompanied by invaluable appendices. Incorporating supportive guidance, self-analysis, and practical application, it is a brilliant and adaptable guide which is comprehensive but also customized. This resource will surely lead to personal growth, increased confidence, and improved functioning. 

Sandy Petrovic, RN, BSN, Instructional Advisor, Notre Dame College, THRIVE, (co-author of Expect a Miracle: Understanding and Living with Autism)

Young adults with ASD often suffer from mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, due to the stresses of school and work. Linda Murdock’s book provides straightforward information that can help these individuals succeed in college. The guidelines succinctly laid out provide the foundation and structure needed to reduce the stress and related issues of young adults with ASD in college, and give instructors and other professionals a useful tool for leading groups and supporting these individuals.

-Stephen Prystash, LMFT

As an autistic adult and occupational therapy assistant, I found this book to be a straightforward and objective manual in navigating college life. The structured visual supports are beneficial for anyone with executive functioning difficulties and can be a game changer for many on the spectrum.

- Kelly Londenberg, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA/L)

Improving Your College Experience: A Workbook for Students on the Autism Spectrum is a terrific resource filled with very clear and helpful information. So many young adults with ASD struggle without the resources available in K-12 education. College—and by extension, the work that hopefully follows—can be challenging on many levels for individuals with ASD. Linda Murdock’s student workbook and companion guide for instructors provide a bridge for these students. I am excited to share this with our teen and young adult clients, their families, and their college staff as they make the exciting transition toward independence and adulthood.

-Amanda Backer, MA, Director of California Autism Network

Teens and young adults with ASD often graduate high school with good academic and cognitive skills, but lack the social awareness and practical skills necessary to achieve independence in adult life. They arrive at college with unique strengths and abilities, but face hurdles in everyday college life for which they are woefully unprepared. Linda Murdock’s detailed book, filled with clearly designed activities, supports college students with ASD through every step of campus life—finding the necessary campus supports, dealing with the everyday issues of independent living, and providing in-depth information about social issues such as friendship, dating, and interacting with staff and peers. Improving Your College Experience provides both information and practice, so that students are able to move forward to a successful college and adult life. This book is an excellent resource for both students and instructors.

-Rebecca Silva, PhD, author of FLIPP 2.0

In the student workbook, Dr. Murdock provides 10 life skills essential to student's success and fulfillment both at the college level and in life. As a high school teacher who works with students with autism who are college bound, I know first hand how imperative this resource is for young adults.  I have students and parents ask for resources and I will certainly be passing on this title in the future. This workbook creates a straightforward, but comprehensive way for students on the spectrum to navigate their next chapter and intentionally work on potential barriers to success. 
-Jennifer M. Schmidt, high school teacher



Dr. Murdock is a Speech-Language Pathologist, Professor, and Chair of the Communication Science and Disorders department at the University of Montevallo. She teaches courses in research methodology, clinical methodology, literacy, special education, language disorders, and autism. Dr. Murdock joined the faculty at the University of Montevallo in 2002. She has extensive experience as a pediatric speech-language pathologist serving
children with autism, language and speech disorders. At Montevallo, she has coordinated and led support groups for college students on the autism spectrum. These experiences served as the inspiration for this book. She currently serves on the editorial board of Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities and has published her research in this journal and in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. She has presented extensively at state and national conferences over the last 15 years. Her
research and clinical practice centers on play and language interventions for
children with autism spectrum disorders and language and literacy disorders in 
school-age children. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-
Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 
and a license to practice from the Alabama Board of Examiners for Speech-
Language Pathology and Audiology.