Learning & Information | Rukuhia Te Puna Mātauranga

Supporting students on the autism spectrum at university

There are a number of challenges to university study for people with autism; difficulties with social interaction, functioning and sensory issues can create barriers to achievement.

In addition the very nature of the university setting can exacerbate these issues. Universities lack the structure and routine of other educational settings and they also lack clear instructions as to what students should do and when they should do it.

Surrey Jackson, a registered psychologist for Explore Specialist Advice NZ, writes about some of the supports available to university students with autism. These include internal supports, such as student services that can be accessed through universities, as well as external support models. (You can find a list of student services on our Tertiary education and training page).

Katy Sinton, Inclusive Education co-ordinator at Lincoln University, talks about the support framework at Lincoln University in Canterbury to support students on the autism spectrum.

These articles first appeared in Altogether Autism Journal Issue 1, 2018.

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