Autism is a life-long, developmental disability which affects how a person communicates with and relates to others as well as how they experience the world around them. Around 700,000 people are considered to be on the Autistic Spectrum in the UK alone. Autism is a spectrum disorder which means it affects different people to varying degrees and in different ways and therefore some people with Autism can live independent lives while others require a great deal of care and support.
The three main areas affected by autism are social communication, social interaction and social imagination. This means that many autistic people find it difficult to relate to and communicate with other people in the ways that come naturally to most of us. Things as simple as reading facial expressions can be difficult, while over- or under-sensitivity to external stimuli such as sounds, touch, tastes, smells, lights and colours can be experienced. Not every person with Autism faces the same difficulties, it affects everyone slightly differently.
The different ways in which a person with autism sees and experiences the world and the people around them can be very confusing and may cause a great deal of anxiety.
Support at University
We support students with Autism in largely the same ways as those without; we can create a Learning Support Plan and help students to apply for Disabled Students Allowance. As with all students accessing the Disability Service, we assign an individual advisor to act as a point of contact for each student throughout their time at University.
We can help students with ASD access more appropriate types of accommodation (eg. on campus) during their first year, providing we are given appropriate medical evidence and suitable notice before the student enrols. For more information on this or other ways we can support students with ASD please contact us.
Seeing Your GP
Autism is often difficult to diagnose and therefore it involves an on-going process of evaluation by a psychiatrist. If you have not been diagnosed with Autism but think that you may benefit from speak to a medical professional about this, please see your GP.