This toolkit contains information and context for autistic students attending university, including student stories and more first-hand advice.
Support for students with autism spectrum conditions
Autism spectrum conditions
We provide a range of support for autistic students.
We know support needs vary considerably for autistic students and we advise contacting us as early as possible prior to arrival at Exeter, so that individual needs can be discussed.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01392 723880.
Autism Spectrum Community (ASC) Social Group
We run an ASC social group through the academic year, and transition days for students prior to the beginning of each academic year.
Transition Days for prospective students
Transition days provide students with an opportunity to become familiar with the University during a quieter period, and prepares them to successfully manage their transition to university.
Dates and times for Transition Days are confirmed here at the earliest opportunity - please see more information in the orange drop-down below.
If you have not already done so, we strongly recommend that you fill out our Prospective Student Online Form as soon as possible to give us further information about the support adjustments you may require at Exeter. This can include accommodation needs and academic adjustments:
We also recommend you apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) as soon as you can, as this can give you access to support including assistive technology and software, and regular specialist mentoring sessions. DSA can take up to 14 weeks to be agreed, so it is best to start the application process as soon as possible:
If you have any questions, please get in touch with AccessAbility@exeter.ac.uk.
The University of Exeter AccessAbility team offers both an online and an in-person transition day for autistic students (including students awaiting diagnostic assessment).
Please note that the dates for the 2024 events are yet to be confirmed.
These events will give you an opportunity to:
- Find out what to expect when you arrive at the beginning of term
- Meet current students and find out about their experiences
- Discover more about the support that will be available to you at Exeter
- Meet those who will be involved in supporting you e.g. specialist mentors and advisors
AccessAbility Advisors are the initial point of contact for students. During a meeting, the Advisor will set up an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) explaining reasonable adjustments that might be required, including specific recommendations for teaching and exams. We also liaise closely with academic colleges, the Accommodation Office and other University services, as necessary.
If you are a student with ASC you might benefit from:
- Regular 1:1 meetings with a specialist mentor
- Specific arrangements for exams and teaching
- Support for your specific accommodation requirements, such as an ensuite room
- 1:1 study skills support from a specialist tutor
- A support worker to help you access the library or familiarise yourself with your campus
- Access to assistive technology, including apps that help with organisation and managing the transition to University
Some students may not have a diagnosis of ASC, but suspect that they may have the condition. Those students can make an appointment to see an AccessAbility Adviser to discuss this in confidence. We can explore whether an assessment would be appropriate and can advise of the options for referral and assessment.
- Your Life is Not a Label: A Guide to Living Fully with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome for Parents, Professionals and You! by Jerry Newport.
- Solutions for Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome: Maximising the Benefits, Minimising the Drawbacks to Achieve Success by Juanita Lovett.
- Top tips for Asperger students: how to get the most out of university and college by Rosemary Martin