Overview of autism
Around one in 100 people have autism. It is often found alongside SpLDs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD. Autism typically involves challenges with:
- social interaction and communication
- restricted and repetitive interests
- sensory overload
There are also many positives associated with autism, including:
- deep focus and attention to detail
- good analytical skills and ability to spot patterns
- creative, innovative thinking
- integrity, determination and tolerance.
Common challenges faced by students with autism
- Learning information which is not explicitly taught.
- Transferring skills and knowledge from one situation to another.
- Picking up unwritten social rules when interacting with tutors and peers.
- Difficulty interpreting ambiguous and open assignment briefs correctly.
- Uncertainty about how to plan studies or how long to spend on a given task.
- The social skills necessary for group work, such as turn taking and negotiation.
- Last minute changes to schedules or plans.
- Difficulty tolerating background noise, lighting, crowding and other sensory elements.
Find out more
- The positives of autism - University of Leeds (pdf infographic).
- Falmouth Exeter Plus Autism & Uni toolkit (webpages).
- Coping - a Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome (webpages).
- Autism 101 - Spectrum (webpages).
'The Social Connection' is a student-led Instagram community for neuro-diverse, shy or just socially-anxious Falmouth and Exeter students who want to connect with others.
Diagnostic information and online screener
Autism can only be diagnosed by a medical professional.
See the NHS page on ‘Signs of autism in adults’ and the National Autistic Society’s ‘Diagnostic assessment – a guide for adults who think they might be autistic.’
Clinical Partners offer a free quick 30-question online screening test with automatic scoring.