What adjustments do universities make for people with autism

Page 1 of 1 [ 15 posts ] 


User avatar

Joined: 30 Aug 2020
Gender: Male
Posts: 251

15 Nov 2020, 5:34 am

I'm currently filling out my UCAS application to go to uni next year. I am a bit unsure what type of adjustments would be justified or even what I could put on there in the first place. Did any of you have anything put in place for when you went to uni?


Joined: 4 Mar 2017
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,036

15 Nov 2020, 4:43 pm

Ucsd, 2001 to 2007

Asperger's diagnosed 2004

Tried to go through office of students with disability

She had the nerve to refuse testing accommodation

Short of winning a civil lawsuit, nothing I could do

Different schools give different adjustments to different students in different years

Mountain Goat

User avatar

Joined: 13 May 2019
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,020
Location: Wales,UK Relationship: Single Interests: Railways AgeGroup: 40's FavouriteColor: Green Music: CyndiLauper Feet: Left and Right Pets: Cats and Ducks BodyType: 2Legs,2Arms,1Head

15 Nov 2020, 5:06 pm

I have not been assessed yet, and my collage years were a bit of a disaster! I do know a few reccomendations that had I known (Assuming I am on the spectrum) that I could be autistic, would have made a huge difference to me, but I am not sure if these changes to accomodate my needs would be practical as one aspect I just did not get on with in collage and in school was the constant changing from classroom to classroom and having different teachers for each subject. If I could have done just one subject at a time with one teacher until I passed, and then moved onto the next subject with the next teacher, instead of all the swapping back and fore which only stressed me out, I would have done a whole LOT better in any given subject except languages where I never was very good at.
Also, if maths teachers (Or teachers of subjects involving maths) would know HOW i think and adapted their teaching methods, I would get a lot more out of the subjects, as my issue is that I think in picture form when I go into deep thought, so I end up counting dots in my mind and assemble these dots into patterns. (I always thought this was normal but have since found out it is not). But I can do maths by skimming on the surface of my brain without delving into my picture brain if I can keep everything I do in a simple logic. So as long as it is logical and broken down into simple forms and I learn these forms I will be ok. But if I am stressed, no way can I retain the simple logic formulas. Hence why maths and the constant classroom and teacher changing gave my maths such varied results.
When I resat maths lessons after I left collage, I found with only the one subject being studied for one lesson a week, so there was no swapping back and fore with multiple lessons, and when I tried the exam I had 100% which was unheard of back then. Shame they could not do the higher paper but my county did not do the higher paper. I would have had to move to England or elsewhere in Wales to have had a higher result.

But anyway... What I actually needed was not practical in the way secondary schools, collages and universities are set up, and so my results varied accordingly.

Awaiting asessment. Neurodiverse 173/200. Neurotypical 21/200. Empathy 11/80. AQ 39.
Shutdown link: --》 Music I love: --》
Shutdown Experience similar to mine: --》


Joined: 20 Nov 2016
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,678
Location: Jersey UK

15 Nov 2020, 5:07 pm

I went to uni between 2001 and 2004 (second time around)
and at the time i was un-diagnosed.

I did get diagnosed as having dyslexia while at uni, which did change some of the ways that the uni dealt with me.
After the diagnosis of dyslexia, they were a little more forgiving with regards to making deadlines, and gave me a helper who helped me with grammar and spelling (who incidentally was an older woman, who i believe made a pass at me, but turned on me a bit when i didn't go along with her idea of having an affair).

But that's another story.

I think that the ways that uni's deal with people with ASD is a great deal different now.
In particular, i imagine that the bigger ones will have specialist housing that you will be eligible for.

I know that there was some "disabled" housing when i was at uni, which was bigger in space and quality than the equal normal housing.

At the time i didn't qualify for this housing, as i was un-diagnosed and ended up getting housed about an hour a way from the college, as i could not be housed in a normal halls of residence, as the general noise and inconsiderate nature of most 18 year olds would have drove me nuts to the extent that i would have become dangerous to them and myself.

So... i spent 3 years having to commute into Liverpool city centre, from a really crappy flat on the outskirts of liverpool and well away from college and the bars / clubs etc.

Pretty crap deal, but hey, what can you do when you suffer from an unrecognised undiagnosed disability that no one really gives a flying shiiiiiit about at the time. I guess it was lucky that i got through.

Hopefully now that people know more about ASD and disabilities, and there are more laws in place to protect those who are disabled, you wont have as bad a time.

I hope so. As it was unfair (if not criminal) what happened to me. And i have told only a tiny bit of my story.

Please don't be put off however, i do advise you however to pick very carefully which uni you go to,
as not all are equal in terms of academia or in terms of quality of life.

Quality of life for 3 years I value more than the academic institution.
Different academic institutions give out grades differently for degrees.

What is a 2:2 at some uni's is a 1st at other uni's and most people outside of the uni world
only see the grade they don't put into context what institution that you go to

unless you are going for a really specific narrow area of study where there are only a few institutions
that specialise in the area.

I realise looking back, i could have chosen a crap uni with crap equipment and i would have been their star student
rather than a disabled student finding life hard at a institution of sychophant self serving bigots

I would also consider what the are is like, do you like the place, do you like cities or small towns?
Are you hyper sensory? I am, and living in liverpool was a real nightmare, with danger and volatile thugs around every corner...

Could have done without that, perhaps living in a nice small town surrounded by natural beauty with a few nice pubs and one or two clubs in walking distance! hooray! much nicer than criminals and thugs and poverty.

Double Retired

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2020
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,341
Location: U.S.A.

15 Nov 2020, 6:00 pm

I was in college in the 70's & 80's. I did not have a diagnosis then...and, in the U.S., there was no appropriate diagnosis for me, yet. But, there was some noteworthy good news and bad news for me in college:

Good news: At that time the college was on a quarter system, not a semester system. A school year was typically Fall Quarter, Winter Quarter, and Spring Quarter--with Summer Quarter off. The annual credit requirement was therefore sliced into three quarters rather than two semesters. This meant having fewer courses going simultaneously but more hours per week for each of those courses. I liked that.

Bad news: I don't know if the dormitories were exactly in Hades but they were certainly very near it. The NOISE was HORRIBLE! (As in: for four quarters I had a roommate who was completely deaf and they once made enough noise to wake him up in the middle of the night! He couldn't hear the noise but the noise was so loud it shook the building enough to shake his bed enough to shake him awake!! :help: )

When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


Joined: 21 Jul 2020
Age: 57
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,507

15 Nov 2020, 6:12 pm

holymackerel wrote:
I'm currently filling out my UCAS application to go to uni next year. I am a bit unsure what type of adjustments would be justified or even what I could put on there in the first place. Did any of you have anything put in place for when you went to uni?

Unfortunately, there was no diagnosis for ASD when I went.

If you are unsure, get in touch with the universities admission office and ask them what types of accommodations they offer for students with ASD. I would put you have ASD on the application. But you might wait until you enter to ask for accommodations. You might not need any. But if you start having some problems because of your ASD, you will then know what the university can do.


User avatar

Joined: 5 Jun 2020
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,337
Location: Derby, UK

15 Nov 2020, 7:00 pm

I'm not sure we're looking at this the right way round...

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 28 Feb 2021
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Posts: 4
Location: UK

28 Feb 2021, 7:50 pm

I am not sure how it is within other provinces and unis, as I'm sure it varies based on where you are, but here are a few examples of what I was given in terms of adjustments:

  1. Extended time on exams, with restroom breaks
  2. Extended deadlines for assignments if I submit an appeal
  3. Allowed to step out of class when I need to
  4. Consideration of speech difficulties when I am giving oral presentations
  5. Ability to book quiet spaces in the library commons
  6. More absences permitted

Now, the reality is that many of the adjustments I am *supposed* to be getting aren't really happening or being enforced. But if your department and lecturers are worth their salt, and you have someone to advocate for you, I see no reason why your ILP would be ignored.


User avatar

Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Posts: 622
Location: North East USA

01 Mar 2021, 7:49 pm

It really depends on each person's unique needs. I've been working towards getting a degree for the past 7 years or so, and I've been to several colleges and so I've worked with different disability services. This has all been in the United States, and I don't know how much things vary in different regions. But I've found that different places require different amounts of advocacy on my part to get what I need. I've also found that some of the accommodations depends on the culture of each college/university and even the particular class or professor. But here's a list of the accommodations I've had at various places over the years:

-extended time on tests and exams: I have a slow processing speed that's been documented by testing. I'm given time and a half, so if the professor has given an hour for students to complete the exam, I'm allowed an hour and a half. This generally involves taking my exams at the disability services office, but for one class the professor gave pop quizzes and I was allowed to take the quiz out into the hallway if I needed more time to finish it.

-reduced distraction during test: I have ADHD and get distracted easily so I'm allowed to wear earplugs or earmuffs and take my exam in a separate room or a room with cubbies at the disability services office

- separate room for exams: my tourettes gets worse under stress. My tics can be distracting to other people so taking it in a separate room allows me to focus on the exam and not on trying to suppress my tics

-allowed to wear hat and sunglasses in class: I have a lot of light sensitivity. Some professors don't care if people wear a hat or sunglasses in class, but some do which is why I get it as an official accommodation

-allowed to leave the room during class if I have a panic attack, sensory overload, or bad tics

- use of a sensory item (fidget) in class and during tests. I would always use it quietly under the desk but it was useful to have it as an accommodation in case I ran into any issues

-use of colored overlays: I have Irlen Syndrome which is a reading disability and use colored plastic overlays to help me read. I needed to have it as an official accommodation so I could use them during tests

-alternative format books: I struggle reading long passages and some books I can barely read at all because of the page color or font. So I get some sort of digital copy of the book and then use software that reads it aloud.

-notetaking assistance or permission to record lecture: I struggle figuring out the relevant information, extracting and organizing important points, and writing while paying attention to the lecture. Different colleges have handled it differently for me. Sometimes I'd have a notetaker which was another student who would volunteer to takes notes and either give me a carbon copy or upload the notes to a secure database where I could access them. More often though I recorded the lecture with my phone and write down the time in my notes for places where I've missed detail and would like to re listen to, though now I have a livescribe smartpen.

-single room accommodation: the one university where I lived on campus didn't offer single rooms, but I needed to be able to decompress in my own space where I had some control of the environment for sensory issues. Living in a dorm still came with a lot of sensory and social challenges, but having my own room did cut down a lot of it.

I think that's all the accommodations I've had. I haven't necessarily needed every one of these for every class I've ever taken because it depends on the professor and my particular needs at the time, but I try to have all of them in place with disability services so I can use them if I need to.

"Curiosity killed the cat." Well, I'm still alive, so I guess that means I'm not a cat.


User avatar

Joined: 7 Aug 2016
Gender: Male
Posts: 844
Location: New Zealand

01 Mar 2021, 9:54 pm

When I studied my Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English at the University of Canterbury, from 2010 to 2014, I had the following adjustments made for my midterm and end of year exams -

1. Allowance for a personal computer (on the stipulation that it was not my own, due to having course notes on it)

2. Extended time on tests and exams (it was around 10-15 minutes per hour for each test/exam)

3. Separate room for my university exams (so I did not get distracted by other students)

4. Reader/writer (I could ask the reader to tell me the questions as many times as I wanted, so I could comprehend what was being asked - with a writer, I verbally told them my answer to questions and they wrote it on the exam sheet)


User avatar

Joined: 1 Sep 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 848
Location: Pennsylvania

23 Apr 2021, 10:11 am

Not Enough.

ADHD-I(diagnosed) ASD-HF(undiagnosed - maybe)
RDOS scores - Aspie score 131/200 - neurotypical score 69/200 - very likely Aspie

Mona Pereth

Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,962
Location: New York City (Queens)

27 Apr 2021, 4:41 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Ucsd, 2001 to 2007

Asperger's diagnosed 2004

Tried to go through office of students with disability

She had the nerve to refuse testing accommodation

No surprise here. I don't see why an Asperger's/ASD diagnosis by itself would justify a testing accommodation. There would have to be some other, more specific reason(s) why you need the testing accommodation.

- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
- Longterm visions for the autistic community


User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 76,319
Location: Queens, NYC

28 Apr 2021, 8:08 am

I was offered accommodations within my speech-pathology practicum---but I refused them.

Otherwise, no accommodations, ever.


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 60,150
Location: Portland, Oregon

01 May 2021, 6:41 pm

My school has a Disability Resource Center that helps students with disabilities overcome challenges in college life including resources for people on the spectrum.

Silly NTs, I have Aspergers, and having Aspergers is gr-r-reat!


Joined: 25 Feb 2021
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 371
Location: Texas

31 May 2021, 3:22 am

Did not really have them.professors would not go by them even after we went to disability resources.