Autism Support Overview
We can support autistic students, or students who think they might be on the autistic spectrum but have never received a formal diagnosis, in various ways:
- Support for transition into University, including residential Orientation Programme
- One to one support with an Adviser who can help discuss issues surrounding classwork and assignments, and managing accommodation, socialising and other aspects of university life;
- Liaison with staff in your academic school about issues such as exam arrangements;
- 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 would like to send us a message using this form we will respond by email as soon as we can.
Autism Orientation Programme
If you are thinking of studying at Kent, you can register your interest in attending our Orientation programme for autistic students: a 2 day residential which runs two weeks before the start of term. This is an opportunity to come onto campus, meet some support staff and familiarise yourself with the environment and some facilities before it gets busy. We can also provide additional induction support through the first few weeks of term.
For more information and a sample itinerary please open the Invitation. If you are interested in attending, please complete this online form.
Due to the lower numbers we don’t currently offer the residential programme at the Medway campus. However, if you would like to meet the Student Support & Wellbeing team and have a tour of the campus, facilities and accommodation, please contact the Medway team via email@example.com to arrange an appointment with the Disability Adviser
Support for Autistic Students
- Please register with Student Support and Wellbeing,
- Provide written evidence to confirm your diagnosis (a clinical report or doctor’s letter) if you have it.
- Make an appointment to meet your Disability Adviser (these are allocated according to what subject you are studying) – either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 01227 823158 or coming into the Student Support reception in Keynes college H block.
- 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, 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
Social Support Groups for students on the autistic spectrum
- Weekly term-time group at K-Bar on Wednesdays 4-6pm: open to all and focussed around lively supportive conversation, discussion and making friends
- Kent Autistics group (UoKA) is a student-led group who also meet on Wednesdays 3-5pm in Woodys social space
- The neuro-diverse community in the University of Kent is pro-active and we welcome new ideas and activities.
Facebook support community and information group
- ‘UoKA’ Facebook group and ‘KASCAfb’ Facebook group are two closed groups which students can find and ask to join if they have an autistic spectrum condition or suffer from social communication challenges. Student Support and Wellbeing invite new students who have declared an autism spectrum condition to join once the academic year is underway.
- So, You’re Autistic (SYA) is a support programme teaching those with a diagnosis, awaiting a diagnosis, or self-diagnosed HOW to be autistic – to understand what being autistic means for YOU.
- 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.
- 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.
- SEE Autistic Women We are a group for self diagnosed and diagnosed autistic women. We 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, dinners out.