Overview

Assistance with transition into university life, peer support & 1:1 guidance on managing academic work, accommodation & socialising. Diagnosis and post diagnosis support can also be offered.

Autism Support Overview

We can support autistic students, or students who think they might be on the autistic spectrum but have no formal diagnosis, in various ways. Please view this visual guide to Autism Assessment and Diagnosis.

  • Support for transition into University, including residential Orientation Programme.
  • One to one support with an Adviser who can help with issues around academic work and exams, accommodation, socialising and other aspects of university life.
  • Weekly mentoring meetings.
  • Regular peer support groups.
  • Facilitate and part fund autism diagnosis in some cases.

Please read below for further information and if you have queries please email us on autismsupport@kent.ac.uk and we'll respond as soon as we can.

Arranging Support

  • 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 accessibility@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 medwaystudentservices@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 

I asked for support quite early on as I found joining university quite a stressful experience

1st year student

Social Support Groups for autistic and neurodiverse students

The neuro-diverse 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 generally meet on Wednesdays 3-5pm. If you would like to find out more please email: soyoureautistic@outlook.com.

So You're Autistic? is a six week support programme teaching those with a diagnosis, awaiting a diagnosis, or who think they might be autistic, how to be autistic, and to understand what being autistic means for you. If you would like to be invited to participate in the next cycle, please email Tom Sharp at autismsupport@kent.ac.uk

Watch this short video on UoKA & SYA

Resources

  • 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 
  • Watch George Watts's (a University of Kent Postgraduate student) 'Talking in Pictures' film challenging stereotypes of autism.
  • 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.  
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