Autism Support Overview
We can support autistic students in various ways.
- Support for transition into University, including Autism Orientation programme.
- One to one support with Advisers who can help with issues around academic work and exams, accommodation, socialising and other aspects of university life. (See the Disability Advisers)
- Regular peer support groups
- Weekly mentoring meetings (See the Mentors)
Please read below for further information and if you have queries please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll respond as soon as we can.
- Provide written evidence to confirm your diagnosis (a clinical report or doctor’s letter) if you have it.
- Make an appointment to meet a Disability Adviser – either by emailing KentSSW@kent.ac.uk, calling 01227 823158 or coming into the Student Support reception in Keynes college H block.
- If your course is based at Medway, email MedwaySSW@kent.ac.uk, call 01634 888474 or come into the Student Support and Wellbeing reception in the Gillingham Building, G0-05.
Your Disability Adviser can:
- Create an Inclusive Learning Plan (ILP) to inform and advise your academic school of your support requirements.
- Help you apply for Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA).
- Help with accommodation requests - students with autistic spectrum conditions have the opportunity to remain in campus accommodation for the duration of their course.
- Assess your support needs and possibly refer you for other services such as Mentoring, Study Skills, Educational Support Assistance, or to colleagues in the Wellbeing Team for mental health support, the Careers Service, or various tailored peer support groups.
- Specialist Autism Mentors: A weekly opportunity to discuss any academic or social issues with a trained mentor who is experienced in supporting higher education students with autism. Concerns such as anxiety about relationships, independent living, social interaction when living on campus, or prioritising study and coursework can be talked over in confidence.
- Educational Support Assistance (ESA): ESAs can provide note taking in lectures and seminars, and one to one Library Support / Study support, including help with planning and prioritisation, timetabling and structuring their work
For autism diagnosis, please contact the GP you are registered with.
I asked for support quite early on as I found joining university quite a stressful experience
Social Support Groups for autistic and neurodiverse students
The neurodivergent community in the University of Kent is pro-active and we welcome new ideas and activities. Look at our Student Support and Wellbeing Events Calendar for peer support group meetings coming up.
Kent Autistics group (UoKA) is a student-led group who meet for two hours a week (online during distancing practices). If you would like to find out more, and when and where UoKA are meeting this term please email: email@example.com or add the closed Facebook group.
'So You're Autistic?' (SYA) is an eight week support programme teaching those with a diagnosis, awaiting a diagnosis, or who think they might be Autistic, how to be their authentic Autistic self, and to understand what being Autistic means for you. If you would like to be invited to participate in the next cycle, please email Helen Childs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Advocacy For All have autism support groups across many areas of east and west Kent. They support people to gain confidence, meet others, and join in social events. Advocacy For All are currently running a 1:1 peer support project, so if you're interested in finding out more, or becoming a mentor or mentee, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Aucademy: education for all by Autistic educators:
- Autism&Uni is a European-funded research project that works with young people on the autism spectrum to help them navigate the transition from school into Higher Education (HE). They have published a set of Best Practice Guides on supporting students on the autism spectrum in Higher Education.
- For tips for looking after your mental health for autistic students, have a look at Give Us A Shout
- The National Autistic Society web pages contain lots of useful further information.
- Watch George Watts's (a University of Kent Postgraduate student) 'Talking in Pictures' film challenging stereotypes of autism.
- PRO Autism is an organisation that works to improve prospects, recruitment and opportunities for young autistic adults. They have developed a free online course designed for autistic university students and graduates to help plan your career path, build your confidence in asking for reasonable adjustments, and prepare you for interviews.
- SEE Autistic Women are a group for self- diagnosed and diagnosed autistic women. They hold informal meet ups in the South East, ranging from cafes, creative meet ups like pottery cafes, soap making workshops, forest walks, picnics, panic/escape rooms, and dinners out.
- Dr Chloe Farahar gave a talk on 'Understanding, Accepting, & Embracing Neurodivergent Ways of Experiencing the World' on Tuesday 30 March 2021 which also explained the support currently available to Kent students. A Recording of this Neurodiversity Workshop is available on KentPlayer for staff and students with Kent logins.
- 'Ways I've Stopped Autistic Masking' poster (pdf, 92 KB): created by Stef Lake and Holly Smale, this is a poster of rules that Holly Smale created for herself to stop Autistic masking. There is also an alternative text format.