The University of Bolton Student Services

Disability Services

Autistic Spectrum Condition




What is Autistic Spectrum Condition?

Autistic spectrum Condition is a lifelong condition that affects around one in 100 people in the UK. In order to be diagnosed with Autism someone has to be assessed as having persistent difficulties in the following areas affecting day to day functioning.

·         Social communication: You may find it hard to interpret social cues such as facial expressions and tone of voice that convey meaning about social context such as in jokes and humour or taking turns in conversation.

·         Social interaction: You may have difficulties making friends and understanding how others are feeling.

·         Restricted pattern of interests you might have a very specific interest or hobby that others might perceive as slightly obsessive.  

·         Repetitive pattern of behaviours routine: you may prefer a routine and find change or unpredictable events more stressful than others might.  

·         Sensory issues: you might be over sensitive (hypersensitive) or under sensitive to sounds, light, textures and smells at times finding them overwhelming or causing a feeling of overload.

How might Autism affect me and my studies?  

Autism can affect students in a range of ways at university. It can impact upon organisation and time management with completing assignments. It can affect understanding of less specific instructions and you may benefit from clarification of assignment briefs from tutors. Students with autism can also experience social isolation and increased levels of stress including mental health difficulties that they may benefit from seeking support with at the University.

How to Seek an Autism Diagnosis:

Private practices who conduct diagnoses for Autism do exist but the most common way to seek an Autism diagnosis is to speak with your GP doctor and ask them to refer to for testing. Waiting time for testing vary but it can at times take up to a year for an NHS autism referral for testing. You may be tested by a clinical psychologist. More information can be found here. https://www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis/adults.aspx 

How to Disclose:

If you have been given a diagnosis of Autistic spectrum Condition it can be helpful to disclose this to the Disability service in order to look into accessing support through the Disability Service.

There are a range of ways to disclose Autistic Spectrum condition at the university.

·         You can fill in a disclosure form and provide this to student services. The link can be found here: https://www.bolton.ac.uk/assets/Uploads/Disclosure-Form.pdf

·         You can call the Disability service on 01204 903478 to make an appointment to discuss possible support available. You do not need to disclose your condition outside the Disability team if you prefer.

·         You can attend a Disability drop in at the student centre. Drop in times are usually Tuesday and Wednesday 2.30-4pm though these can vary according to staffing.

Disability Service: Support Available

At the Disability service we can provide a range of support. Depending on your eligibility and individual needs, this can include:

·         Disabled Students Allowance: This is an individualised support package which students may be able to apply for and can result in recommendations for assistive software and equipment, study skills tutors, mentors and support with recording lectures. More information can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas/overview

·         Exam Support: Disability service can arrange exam support which can include 25% extra time and/or separate room depending on the individual needs of the student.

·         Notification: An individual notification can be sent to your academic department to advise tutors of inclusive teaching adjustments.

·         Equipment Loan: Disability service has limited numbers of Dictaphones and laptops which can be loaned out to students on a short term basis.

·         Marking guidelines for Specific learning difficulties: at university of Bolton we apply the SpLD marking guidelines with students with a diagnosis of autistic for more sensitive marking.

·         Extended library loans: Longer time to read your library books.

Anything else you want to know?

Contact the Disability Service on 01204 903478 / disabilityinfo@bolton.ac.uk