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Hey, So, I've always struggled with education environments. Like, school, for example. My brother and I both had 'school refusal' down on our records because the both of us only just got diagnosed ASD (i mean, c'mon. I get that I may've been missed because it's rare that girls get diagnosed in an instant, but my brother is 24!). Anyway, I'm in my second year at college now, which is a struggle but i do love it regardless. I'm staying for a third year because I want to achieve the same A-level grades as everyone else - (i did only 2 igcses and was homeschooled for 2 years before college so im a bit behind) After that, I'd really love to go to University, but im really worried about the issues i might face with it all - work load, responsibility, independence, and mostly - being away from home. of course, I can go to a (fairly) local (kind of) college, but its still a case of being sure I dont have an episode - that i dont waste my money because I have a meltdown and end up having crappy attendance! So, I guess, what im wondering is, Any Aspies been to Uni? What are/were your experiences? or, alternatively, are there any Universities speciffically for people on the spectrum? I know there's a school near where I live that is specially for girls with autism (the school from itv's 'Girls with Autism' Documentary - I went to a 'hospital school' with a girl who goes/went to it) - but i'd already finished school and become out of the age range by the time I knew about it - and by the time i knew i was autistic, even.
Warning this is a LONG POST In the past I have posted posts and started treads where I have spoken all about my views on people with various forms of Autism who 'show' their condition more than myself or some of my friends. This may have made me seem a little judgmental and unfair, but the truth is that I am far from those kind of things indeed. For example, I have a VERY close friend (we aren't together in case you were wondering, long story) who is not only a member of the transgender community but is also OS (Objectum Sexual, or at least I think that what it stands for) as he (for he was once a 'she' and a VERY macho one at that) is into robots, such as the Transformers and RoboCop and so will often use his toys (which he will often play with like a big kid) for sex for he has told me that OS people believe that objects have soul (an interesting concept in any case) and so thus he feels that when have he uses his toy of say Megatron, he is having sex with him. Otherwise my friend is perfectly verbal, can go out on his own, is streetwise, is VERY clean and tidy (more so than me), can fix computers and do repair work on robots (he once worked behind the scenes on 'Robot Wars' as a volunteer for his uncle worked on the house robots for the show) knows a number of kinds of marshal arts, among other things... I am not judgmental towards him one bit as I feel that he has 'proven' himself to be a good friend. Granted I (and my friend) find it difficult to cope with those who have much lower functioning ability than I have or those who engage in far more 'challenging behaviors' than myself (I used to hit people, but I have stopped now, I only bellow when I have a meltdown now) as I tend to 'judge' people by their actions or behaviors and thus I expect people to act 'good' all of the time, even when they don't feel like it. However my friend also knows his limits and so has long ago given up the idea of going to work or leaving the care company he is in, for he has a short fuse, is very strong, has no qualms about beating someone to a pulp, see's himself as something of a superhero and would most likely find himself in prison if he went to work and go involved in office politics. Anyway I digress so now onto the point of my discussion. My friend, although having a number of robot partners also has a boyfriend called Luke. Luke is in his 30s, has a number of degrees and works full time. However he still lives with his mum and dad, who have kept him at home as he has a lot of 'immature' or 'Autistic' behaviors, suchs as drinking out of coke bottles like a baby would, sticking his fingers in his ears when talking and also closing his eyes. On top of that he doesn't change his underwear and hangs around with a man called Tim, who he likes to go bus and train trips together. This would be fine save for the fact that when the bus is late Tim kicks off and calls the bus drivers (as in all of them not just the one driving the bus at the time) 'pedos' and runs away yelling 'bus drivers are pedos!' and sticking his fingers at them. Luke is in the habit of following Tim when he does this, in some of the roughest parts of Liverpool.... For a while me and my friend thought that it would be a good idea that Luke be allowed to leave home and live on his own. But when we last met him we also discovered that as well as being unwilling to change his ways he also is totally unable to defend himself as he does not know what to do if someone tried to attack him. Granted I'm not the greatest fighter in the world (I come from a middle class background) but even I know how to push a thug to the floor and then run away! Like on the other hand just let my friend take his phone when we tested him. Now we feel that he should not be allowed to go out on his own or go to work, as he is THAT vulnerable. This reminds me of a girl I once knew who was VERY naive, would over spend on her credit card and get herself into all kinds of situations where she'd have problems with her co-workers. If I had my way I'd have had her kept on the premises of the group home she was living in and only allowed out with staff, banned from contact with certain members of her family (she did not get on with them) and forbidden to go to work. This is not me being sexist or saying that people with ASDs should be forbidden from following their dreams, but rather in cases where the person is vulnerable enough more measures (than those which exist already) should be put in place to keep them safe.
does anyone have experience of or know of any UK universities that have particularly good (or any) autism friendly support. I realise they all should be making 'reasonable adjusstments' but in reality, they vary a great deal, ranging from dont know anything about it, to welcoming. thanks very much. may be necessary to make a change (unfortunately) - so heres another question, how does one change to a new uni that you migth prefer, first year, and what evidence might be expected to support the request, if at all possible:)