The experiences of autistic school leavers in Aotearoa

There is strong international research evidence that autistic school leavers consistently face big challenges in:

  • securing employment
  • getting qualifications
  • making social contacts
  • taking part in leisure activities
  • living independently
  • experiencing a good quality of life

Is this acceptable?

David Hogg

David Hogg is a registered educational psychologist in New Zealand with substantial experience of work in this role in the UK and more recently with the Ministry of Education in Auckland.

He is doing a PhD research project on the transition experiences of young autistic people after leaving secondary school.

A summary of his project is:


  • The focus is on the experiences of autistic school leavers. The aim is to understand better how transition processes impact on their own self-determination about their transition support arrangements, their pathway after school and their life choices.
  • This is a qualitative case-study project aiming to have conversations with up to 10 young people (in the 15-25 age range) and including discussions with them, with their parents/caregivers and with support professionals who work with them.
  • The project is towards his PhD with Massey University in Auckland and is currently at the stage of beginning to collect data through semi-structured interviews.
  • He would expect to be responsible for contacting, explaining of the project and confirming consent. This would all be done in line with the university ethics approval that is in place and that has set out agreed processes to support informed consent, privacy, voluntary participation, and care for participants’ well-being. – 6 October 2020.

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