This page is primarily for staff at the University of Birmingham.
* If there are certain elements outside the usual structure such as years abroad, trips, vivas, presentation or placements and you think the student needs further support – please recommend that the student consults with their mentor or Student Services.
ASKING THE STUDENT
Ask the student, they will often know what they need.
The student may feel more comfortable sharing something with you in writing or having a meeting with their specialist (autism) mentor present. This can be reassuring for a student so they feel they can cover what they need to say more easily, have a written element to reduce miscommunication, and someone to talk through the meeting with to make sure they are fully heard and understood.
Reasonable Adjustments Plan (RAP)
Alongside other supported students, students on the autistic spectrum should have a Reasonable Adjustments Plan (RAP).
- is developed by the student and their Mental Health Advisor/ key worker at the University.
- circulated as needs-to-know via departments.
- includes expectations about the adjustments the university can reasonably make to ensure the student’s needs whilst studying are met.
- may be developed throughout the course as the student learns more about what they do or do not need during their time at the University of Birmingham.
- will be shared with key members of teaching staff by the Mental Health Advisor/ key worker.
As the RAP contains sensitive information, the student’s consent should be sought before sharing this with anyone else.
Students’ needs can also change from day to day and over time, and it can help to expect this.
Student Support Services
If a student is registered with Student Services they will have an allocated key worker. Key workers for students on the autism spectrum work for the Mental Health Advisory Service and you can contact them using the details below.
Tel: 0121 414 5130
www.studenthelp.bham.ac.uk You can browse FAQs and make contact online
Student Services provide a diverse set of supports for all students, it may be useful to familiarise yourself with their provision.
Specialist (Autism) Mentors
Some students have a university mentor funded by SfE’s DSA. Mentors have a thorough knowledge of autism, but more importantly of the individual student.
Sometimes students would like communication about their needs and support to go via the mentor to help with organisation and communication. This can also lessen some of the additional pressures students experience from having to explain their needs and ask for support whilst attending to their studies.
The mentor is not responsible for teaching the student. Their role is to “remove barriers to learning”.
Communication with the mentor should be with the student’s consent.
Many departments have a welfare tutor who may be in contact with your student. Do consult the Welfare tutor list for your department.