Date Completed

Winter 3-7-2021

Document Type

Masters Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Research findings show Autistic students struggle with communication and social interaction and are at risk of failing and/or dropping out of school. Additionally, the social construct of disability and ableism negatively affect the inclusion of Autistic students. While conducting research that included interviewing UW Tacoma students and staff, I learned there are zero Autistic-specific services, support groups, or Registered Student Organizations (RSOs), and there are more than 29 Autistic students attending UW Tacoma. Disability Resources for Students (DRS) reported there are 29 professionally diagnosed Autistic students receiving academic accommodations based on their official autism diagnosis. Not all Autistic students have received an official diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, which is a UW Tacoma DRS requirement to receive accommodations based on autism, so not all Autistic students are receiving supportive services at UW Tacoma. Due to the lack of an official autism diagnosis, self-diagnosed Autistic students may experience even less inclusion and success than professionally diagnosed Autistic students who qualify for academic accommodations. The proposed intervention, Square Pegs On Campus: Autistic Peer Social Support Group, will be available for self-diagnosed and professionally diagnosed students who are Autistic, on the autism spectrum, and neurodiverse.


As part of this Autism and Inclusion at University of Washington MSW Capstone Project, Square Pegs On Campus - University of Washington Tacoma, was launched, via Zoom, on December 9, 2020. Square Pegs On Campus peer social support groups are scheduled to occur monthly, on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 6:00pm until 7:30pm, via Zoom. For now, Square Pegs On Campus is a NAMI On Campus event because autism spectrum disorder is listed in the DSM-5 and there are multiple obstacles and barriers for Square Pegs On Campus to be an independent RSO. My vision for the future of Square Pegs On Campus is to become part of Disability Resources for Students (DRS) and be solely organized and facilitated by self- and/or professionally diagnosed students who are Autistic, on the autism spectrum, and neurodiverse, with DRS providing support and a designated community space in the Mattress (MAT) building at UW Tacoma.

Square Pegs On Campus Information Flyer.pdf (515 kB)
Square Pegs On Campus Information Flyer

Included in

Social Work Commons