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Autism and Asperger Syndrome

Autism and Asperger Syndrome are conditions on the autism spectrum. The autism spectrum is very diverse and no two individuals with autism are the same. However, people with autism spectrum conditions are characterised by cognitive processes, or ways of thinking, which are different to people who are not on the autism spectrum. These differences may affect areas such as

  • ways of communicating, both verbal and non-verbal
  • interacting with others and making friends
  • dealing with choice and change
  • approach to studying
  • levels of interest in particular topics
  • sensitivity to their environment

What support is available?

We can provide practical support with your course through a learning contract. Our focus is on your as a learner and your individual needs to access your studies. Support can be provided for lectures and seminars, assignments and exams.

You may be eligible for Disabled Students' Allowances. If so, you may receive additional support through a Study Needs Assessment. This can include

  • support from a mentor
  • support from a study skills support tutor
  • specialist equipment and software
  • arrangements put into place for exams
  • extra time to complete assignments

Support is offered according to your individual needs and will be discussed with you in your guidance appointment or Study Needs Assessment.

Some students with autism spectrum conditions do not class themselves as disabled and therefore are not aware they can access, or choose not to access support. In general, the earlier support is put in place the better as it often leads ti greater independence in the long run. However, you can opt into support at a later stage if you wish to.

Personal support

daily living-related support such as help with shopping, cooking and personal care is funded through social service departments and needs to be organised well in advance of your arrival at university.

What evidence do I need to get support?

In order to access support, you need to have a clear and definitive diagnosis of autism, Asperger Syndrome or another condition on the autism spectrum. This could be in the form of

  • a diagnostic assessment completed at any age by a relevant professional. If your diagnostic assessment was completed a number of years ago - for example whilst you were in primary school - it is less likely to include information relevant to studying at university. In this case you may need to send your funding body additional medical evidence completed more recently, which confirms the potential impact of your diagnosis on your studies
  • a letter written and signed by your GP (on headed notepaper or stamped with the surgery details) confirming that you have had a diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition, and giving details of the potential impact of this diagnosis on your studies
  • a statement of special educational needs completed by a relevantly qualified professional, which states clearly that you have autism, Asperger syndrome or another condition on the autistic spectrum

How do I send you my medical evidence?

Click here for more information.

The Autism Centre

The Autism Centre is based within the College of Social Sciences and Arts. It aims to develop and share knowledge about autism spectrum conditions, for example by undertaking research and running courses.

The centre supplements our knowledge about autism. Staff from the centre do not provide direct support for students, but they occasionally provide us with advice about specific issues.

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