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Do students with ASD get help at Uni?

(5 Posts)
FastForward2 Tue 12-Apr-16 21:25:34

Is it worth getting my son a diagnosis so that he can get help at University? What sort of practical help is available? He is good at maths but poor language and social skills.

Kleinzeit Fri 15-Apr-16 15:03:53

I work in a university, and my DS is applying to university this year; he already has an ASC diagnosis which he has mentioned on the UCAS form, and DH and I are encouraging him to be in contact with the university disability services.

What students get and how it is organised varies for different universities. Most universities have a disabilities office or service, with advisors who support students with various disabilities or additional needs. Many seem to have advisors who are trained in ASCs these days. The advisors may write individual “learning profiles” with the student, which are shared with the teaching staff; for example the learning profile for some students with ASCs might say if the student needs extra support with groupwork. The advisor might also help to arrange some mentoring or social support, and would try to help if the student runs into problems. Some students might get some preference in accommodation to support social needs, or extra help with organising themselves.

A few universities arrange introductory events or offer residential summer schools before term starts for access by students with ASCs.

Some universities have quite good information on their websites, though some are pretty vague. This link from Reading university disability service might give you some ideas. (I have no connection with Reading, it just seemed better than most uni websites smile)

Wishing your DS good luck with his applications and success in future flowers

Kleinzeit Fri 15-Apr-16 15:10:27

PS I should add - if your DS is showing signs of an ASC and has social or communication difficulties, then it's better to go to university with a diagnosis than without. Students who have issues but no diagnosis tend to struggle, they can get diagnosed at university but it takes time and it's easier for the university to help after diagnosis. It's clearer what kind of help will be needed, and having the formal diagnosis qualifies the student for extra help. flowers

Indantherene Fri 15-Apr-16 17:45:28

My DS has ADHD rather than ASD but got a lot of help at university. He went straight to the student disabilities service and they assessed him. He got a grant for a laptop; someone to help him take notes and help in organising himself, as well as access to study support. They also paid for a dyslexia test. (we hadn't realised he was dyslexic as well).

The only downside is the student has to make the approach. DS1 has dyspraxia and probable ASD and although he was told about the disability service and we encouraged him to go he never got round to going to see them, so got no help, and ended up dropping out. I wish we'd got him to email them while he was still at home so that they were aware of him.

FastForward2 Sat 16-Apr-16 08:49:20

Thank-you for your messages. I will ask about getting diagnosis in this area, but I am almost sure if we left it to him he would do nothing. Help to organise would be invaluable.

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