Best university for student with aspergers?

(94 Posts)
Gertygypsey Sat 16-Mar-19 15:22:15

I have a 17 year old dd who needs to make a choice about university shortly. We are in a geographically isolated part of the UK so any open days / visits would have to be carefully planned. Dd has high functioning autism, is extremely intelligent and driven but suffers badly with anxiety. She can be quite social (to a point) , and most people don't actually realise she has asd (she does not like anyone knowing this). She is capable of getting the top grades in all her a levels and living independently. A smaller university / campus with good pastoral care / inclusive ethos but with a great reputation for psychology would be perfect. Could anyone recommend a university that might be a good fit?

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HowManyFlatCaps Sat 16-Mar-19 15:39:12

Cambridge, one of the smaller colleges.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Sat 16-Mar-19 15:55:58

It depends on how she wants to balance reputation vs comfort levels but...
Queen Margaret University has such a brilliant campus. It's like a largeish modern high school. The lecturers I've come across (more social sciences although I studied with some Psychology students) have been compassionate and very knowledgable. The support services are good. They have equipment they lend out like sound recorders.

If you want a great reputation and 4th in the league tables, Joshua Muggleton went to St Andrews. I find it's full of irritating people being wrong too loudly for my liking, but your dd's triggers might be different. It can be hard to get away from people unless you can drive, although there are buses to tentsmuir woods via Tayport.

Glasgow does well too, and is maybe easier to find quiet spaces in, as there are lots of parks. Lots of people who might share niche interests too.

Coronapop Sat 16-Mar-19 15:59:12

I would look at unis that are within relatively easy travelling distance of your home to begin with eg 2 hours train journey, so she can get home often or you can visit easily.

Gertygypsey Sat 16-Mar-19 16:23:15

Thanks everyone. Cambridge was her top choice but she has swayed to St Andrews after speaking to them at a recent ucas fair. I am just worried St Andrews is not the place for her. I had read a few things about Durham and thought that might be worth a visit? Unfortunately, we are in Northern Ireland and she is refusing to stay here so any University is going to be a flight away.

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ThatFalseEquivalenceTho Sat 16-Mar-19 16:27:37

I have Aspergers. I’m at the University of Nottingham. They’ve been amazing.

There’s a weekly support group for us, weekly one to one support, I have a taxi allowance to get to and from University on days when I can’t handle buses, 25% extra time in exams plus rest breaks and the ability to walk around, allowances have been made in labs as I struggle to talk to people so I’m mostly allowed to work alone.

I should add I’m a mature student (30) so that adds an extra level of anxiety for me in terms of social interaction.

Tunnockswafer Sat 16-Mar-19 16:32:12

St Andrews is a bugger to get to from NI if that’s an issue - plane/train/bus - bit easier if you can fly straight to the city where the uni is.


Tomtontom Sat 16-Mar-19 16:35:43

I was coming on to post how bad Nottingham is! I was contacted before the course began by the course leader's secretary to suggest part time study might be more appropriate "due to my condition". I'd not even had a conversation with the course leader! Plus this was for a post grad course, so study was not new to me.

In hindsight I should have taken it further, but that level of ignorance from the CL it was never going to go well.

Decormad38 Sat 16-Mar-19 16:39:25

Campus uni - york?

Gertygypsey Sat 16-Mar-19 16:40:24

The support from Nottingham sounds great! I'll mention it to her. I hope she decides against St Andrews. I really don't think it is the right fit for her.

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chemenger Sat 16-Mar-19 16:40:31

Personally, from talking to students I know there, I think pastoral care at St Andrews is patchy at best. On the other hand, the students seem happy, but mainly because of friendship circles.

ThatFalseEquivalenceTho Sat 16-Mar-19 16:41:50

@Tomtontom shock Wtf?! I’m an Undergrad. I have other MH issues too (I’m also a single a parent with 3DC) and they’ve been bloody brilliant with me. What Department was it? <nosey>

Gertygypsey Sat 16-Mar-19 16:42:29

Cross Post. Oh dear, Nottingham! Will research York as I think a less busy town / city would be best.

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LIZS Sat 16-Mar-19 16:51:51

Royal Holloway is a small campus and has offered good support to ds and others. It is also possible to live very locally if living off campus is an option for your dd. Well established Psychology department. Close to Heathrow.

EcclesThePeacock Sat 16-Mar-19 17:09:19

* a less busy town / city would be best.*

If she applies to Cambridge, one of the less central colleges would maybe suit her.

captainoftheshipwreck Sat 16-Mar-19 17:16:35

interesting info on ASD on Keele website

AChickenCalledKorma Sat 16-Mar-19 17:26:16

Watching with interest as my Y12 daughter has similar issues. She has herself articulated that she will not consider a busy city centre university; she just about coped with a subject taster day at Kings College London, but has now categorically ruled out central London or anywhere else busy and noisy.

She likes the idea of somewhere with a college structure - preferably one that offers accommodation all three years so that you can stay in a familiar environment. I guess a campus with plenty of on-campus accommodation would be similarly beneficial.

She had a very successful day at an Oxford year 12s event, which she had been very anxious about but found OK when she got there. It was very structured and the building felt calm. This made me realise that we may need to do lots of visiting, so she can suss out the atmosphere of the buildings she would be working in. And we're trying to identify subject-specific open days, rather than big all-comers open days, on the grounds that they will hopefully be less overwhelming.

Bowchicawowow Sat 16-Mar-19 17:29:58

I have heard that Leeds University is great for people with this type of disability.

Gertygypsey Sat 16-Mar-19 17:39:11

AChickencalledKorma there is no way she could do Central London. We visited a couple of years ago and getting on the tube with her was an absolute nightmare. She carried three bags so she could place them around herself to stop people touching her and shrieked if anyone accidentally bumped into her - it was so stressful! Leeds is interesting as we have close family ties to there and her being there would certainly ease my worries at least.

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TheFirstOHN Sat 16-Mar-19 17:40:18

DS2 has Asperger's and will be applying this autumn to start in 2020. He doesn't need any extra support with his learning or self-organisation, but he is a very quiet, studious type and is not looking forward to living in a noisy, partying, alcohol-fuelled environment.

He would like to go to somewhere within two hours of home (but not London), where lectures and labs are fairly close to accommodation (preferably walking distance). If quiet accommodation is available that would be a bonus.

He has visited and liked Cambridge, Birmingham and Southampton. He is going to visit Warwick and Nottingham this June.

beeRB Sat 16-Mar-19 17:45:59

Lancaster is a lovely campus university with a great Psychology department

FindPrimeLorca Sat 16-Mar-19 17:49:31

Bath do an ASD summer school. Doesn’t mean they’re the best place to study, but might be useful.

Happydove Sat 16-Mar-19 17:53:12

Cambridge! Lots of students on the spectrum.
Honestly DH went there and I would place bets on most of his friends being along those lines if tested! ( we are old so they are just seen as very clever and a bit different)
Small colleges and town.

reefedsail Sat 16-Mar-19 17:53:36

I think Christ Church at Oxford would be good. It has 3 years of accommodation and three meals a day in halls, which takes some of the guess work out of day to day life. Accommodation is divided into staircases (and little flats at Iffley) so you always live in very small social units. Nice, quiet library open long hours and opens onto the Meadow for some space. It offers quite a structured lifestyle if you want it.

Oxford in general I would say is well set up for those on the spectrum- perhaps because it has ALWAYS been packed with them (even if it wasn't recognised) so it has naturally evolved that way.

I went there and I am now a specialist teacher for autism, so insight on both sides.

Gertygypsey Sat 16-Mar-19 17:53:45

Findprime thanks so much for that as Bath was on the list. Bee I went to Lancaster and I think she wouldn't consider it for that reason! Thanks everyone, this has been a great help x

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