The thread on Oxbridge applications started me thinking and as I couldn't find the answer on the either uni website, I though I would ask here. This is just out of curiosity mind.
Two of my DC are ASD, and whilst they are really good at maths/sciences they would be highly unlikely to be able to convey this in an interview. They struggle with new places/new people and they take a long time to feel confident with answering direct questions and giving opinions with new teachers (weeks rather than hours). Neither are in sixth form yet, so not old enough to make clear plans about university attendance, but for DC like them, what is or isn't done?
Whilst clearly all universities have to make reasonable adjustments, and both of them mention doing so within the interviewing process, does anyone know if they have/will ever offer alternatives to the interview itself?
OP, I did maths at Cambridge. I would say that a non-trivial proportion of my fellow mathmos were 'on the spectrum' - at a time when this was less well understood than it is now. Similarly with the lecturers, tbh. I think every allowance would be made for your DCs to give them the opportunity to demonstrate that they would benefit from being at Cambridge. I don't have any experience of Oxford but I bet it's similar in this respect.
A girls I know found the interview so stressful she was in tears for most of it (not ASD). She still got in, because she struggled on and they were impressed by her courage and the fact that her answers were good despite her distress.
I'm an admissions tutor at Oxbridge and I'd say declare the disability and perhaps contact the college/Faculty.
Interviews are given special training so that they are aware of ASD and similar issues (because we get a high number of applicants like this) and how to manage it. eg for some they can come and see the interview room beforehand I think if it will help them.
Also as I think people said, ASD is relatively common here (relative to everywhere else anyway) so it is something people are fairly aware of.