Living and Studying with Autism

Fri, 11 Mar 2016 12:00:00 GMT

Autism There are a growing number of students with Autism or Asperger Syndrome attending University which is a great testament to those students who find strategies to deal with the challenges of university life. Many people with Autism who attend university have high functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome, known as Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). There are many ways in which this can impact on them, yet it is vital to remember that the impact can be different for each individual.  For example, those with ASC may find it hard to predict other people’s behaviour, or to imagine situations that are outside their own experience.  Other characteristics of ASC can be a need for routine (or a dislike of change) and it is not uncommon for someone with ASC to have an absorbing or intense interest in a particular subject or object.  

Having the background information about a student can enable University staff to empathise and have a better understanding about what might be behind a problem.  Being logical and clear in all communication and aiming to anticipate some of the issues that may cause difficulties is a great starting point. 

Guidelines for staff

To coincide with Autism Awareness Week Wellbeing and Disability Services have produced new guidelines: Living and Studying with Autism – Guidelines for Staff Working with Students with Autistic Spectrum Conditions which are now available on the Wellbeing and Disability Services website as a quick guide and a full guide and you can also request a printed copy directly from them.  There is support available within the University which is co-ordinated through Wellbeing and Disability Services.

They will be organising a stand to be in Student Central during Autism Awareness week from Monday 14 March to Thursday 17 March, where literature will be on display. In the meantime if you would like to explore practical support further, the Wellbeing and Disability Services team offer training sessions through Staff Development and they would also be happy to discuss bespoke training for specific groups of staff.  

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