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RESOURCES For students, PARENTS & CARERS

TRANSITION TO UNIVERSITY

This information pertains to supporting autistic students in academic settings and comes from a variety of sources including local and international information, peer reviewed research and research conducted at OTARC, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia (funded by DHS, Victoria).  

Please note, while this information is designed to support autistic students, a lot of the information and resources also apply to students with other neurodiverse variations.  There are separate sections for students and parents/carers. In the “Resources for Universities” there is material for university staff.  The sections have been tailored to best meet the needs of each group.

We use ‘university’ as a generic term referring to tertiary providers including universities, colleges and vocational training providers (and, for Australia: TAFEs).

Click the group you best identify with to access the relevant materials.

=> or download the pamphlet version


TRANSITION TO UNIVERSITY - RESOURCES FROM ‘STAIRWAY TO STEM’

Stairway to STEM is an organization, based in the United States, that provides resources to autistic students, their families, and tertiary instructors.  The goal of Stairway to STEM is to improve awareness of academic STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs and careers.  Stairway to STEM supports students as they transition to university and then to the world of work.

 

MONEYBASICS COURSE

Learn the basics to managing your money.

WHY DO THIS COURSE?

  • Learn about budgeting and managing everyday expenses

  • Grow more confident in your money matters

  • Gain knowledge through additional resources


GUIDE TO EMPLOYER EXPOS

Employer Expos or Career Fairs can be daunting events for many students and job seekers. This guide aims to provide you with the information and tools necessary for success before, during and after the event. 

Contents include: 

  • What to expect at the event, and how to best prepare for it

  • Tips to ensure your personal well-being during the event and a tool to use when interacting with an employer

  • Best strategies for following-up with employer representatives / companies  

This guide is provided in LANDSCAPE format for viewing on desktops or laptops and in PORTRAIT format for viewing on smartphones, tablets or for printing. 


NEURODIVERSE SELF-CARE: MANAGING ANXIETY THROUGH CONNECTION

This piece has been written by neurodiverse individuals for neurodiverse individuals. It will discuss several strategies to enact self-care through 'connection'. We explore grounding, meditation, creative therapies, and more.


“GROUNDING EXERCISE” BOOKLET

This booklet provides a simple exercise that may help calm you when you’re feeling overwhelmed or if you are going to panic.

The PDF can be printed and folded into an 8-page booklet. Firstly, it needs to be printed out in “landscape" and “full size” / “actual size”. The instructions on how to fold it can be found in this YouTube video:  https://youtu.be/21qi9ZcQVto or view folding instructions below.


“DISCLOSURE” AT UNIVERSITY:
THE ART OF SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DISABILITY

This thought piece is for neurodiverse students who are considering going to university, or those who are already attending.  It has been written in collaboration with autistic people.  This piece will discuss the aspects of disclosing your diagnosis at university. 


ASPIES@WORK - “Helpful tips for an easier life at work, from one autistic to another“

Check out the Blog on the Aspies@Work website for some really excellent resources on getting a job. Includes guidance on resumes, preparing for interviews and other useful tips.


INCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY REVIEWS AND GUIDES

Diversity and Ability (DnA) is an award-winning UK based disabled-led social enterprise, that has put together a page of accessibility resources including:

  • Reviews of useful inclusive technologies to support learning and working

  • Study skills handouts for students

  • Various guides such as 'Getting Support in the Workplace'.

The resources have been collated by DnA's diverse team of end-users with their own lived experiences of disability and neurodiversity. DnA supports disabled and neurodiverse people in higher education and the workplace to overcome any barriers they may be facing. DnA also supports organisations to be more inclusive and harness the value of diversity. With a commitment to social justice issues, DnA is also tackling issues surrounding recurring homelessness linked to neurodiversity and the disability employment gap. DnA is convinced that the celebration of diversity coupled with authentic strategies enables people not just to survive, but truly thrive.


 
 

RESOURCES for employers

NEURODIVERSITY: DEFINITION AND INFORMATION

Neurodiversity is an approach to learning and disability that argues diverse neurological conditions are a result of normal variations in the human genome. This portmanteau of neurological and diversity originated in the late 1990s as a challenge to prevailing views of neurological diversity as inherently pathological, instead asserting that neurological differences should be recognized and respected as a social category on a par with gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability status.


More information on Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia.


SOME TIPS FROM TEMPLE GRANDIN FOR NDH EMPLOYER PARTNERS

“To help students with autism be successful, they need to learn job skills before they graduate.  Below are tips for employers:

  1. Never give vague instructions.

  2. Mentor employees with autism. When they make social mistakes, explain to them in private what they did wrong. Be direct.

  3. Provide a pilot's checklist for tasks that have many steps. This helps with working memory problems.

My books The Autistic Brain and Different, Not Less may be helpful.”

TEMPLE GRANDIN


TIPS FOR EMPLOYER EXPOS

Employer Expos or Career Fairs can be daunting events for many students and job seekers. The following guide aims to make exhibitors more aware of neurodiversity, dispel some misconceptions, and provide tips & strategies to make the interactions more inclusive.


NEURODIVERSE EMPLOYMENT

FIVE BENEFITS OF HIRING NEURODIVERSE STAFF. Neurodiverse people bring many valuable and unique strengths to the workforce.

HOW TO BE INCLUSIVE OF AUTISM IN RECRUITMENT PRACTICES. Traditional recruitment processes can make it difficult for neurodiverse people to bring their best selves to the table. Learn how to recruit with greater inclusivity - in four steps.

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY ONBOARD YOUR NEW AUTISTIC EMPLOYEE. When hiring autistic people, transitioning them into your organisation through a great onboarding experience is critical to both their success and yours.  Keep your autistic talent happy, in six easy steps.

COMPANIES THAT HIRE NEURODIVERSE. In today’s workforce, many companies and organisations are learning the value of neurodiversity at work.


NEURODIVERSITY AT WORK

(CIPD - Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (UK) / Uptimize)

This guide is for HR professionals and leaders across functions who want to learn more about neurodiversity, the benefits for their organisation, and how they can support neurodivergent people to be comfortable and successful at work.


EMPLOYER TRAINING PRESENTATIONS

(Landmark College)

Two useful presentation decks for employers from Landmark College, Putney, Vermont USA: “Managing a neurodiverse workforce” & “Hiring and working with individuals that learn differently”.


EMPLOYER GUIDE TO SUPERVISING INDIVIDUALS WITH ASD

(Rochester Institute of Technology - Spectrum Support Program)

Many employers are interested in hiring a group of capable yet under-utilized individuals: those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). You may encounter students on the Spectrum when recruiting and hiring RIT students for your organization. This guide will help you work effectively with these students as candidates and employees.

Objectives include:

  • Understanding the characteristics of ASD

  • Understanding the benefits of hiring individuals with ASD

  • What can you do as a manager, interviewer, co-worker, or recruiter


AN EMPLOYER’S GUIDE TO MANAGING PROFESSIONALS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM

(Marcia Scheiner (Integrate Autism Employment Advisors) with Joan Bogden)

This is a comprehensive reference guide for managers and colleagues of people with Asperger's Syndrome. The book outlines the day-to-day workplace challenges faced by those with AS and then provides practical strategies to solve them in a respectful way. This book will help anyone engage with and support co-workers with AS to ensure mutual success.


 
 

RESOURCES for universities

TRANSITION TO UNIVERSITY

This information pertains to supporting autistic students in academic settings and comes from a variety of sources including local and international information, peer reviewed research and research conducted at OTARC (Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre), La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia (funded by DHS, Victoria).  

Please note, while this information is designed to support autistic students, a lot of the information and resources also apply to students with other neurodiverse variations.  In the “Resources for Students, Parents & Carers”, there is material for students, parents/carers and staff.  Each section has been tailored to best meet the needs of each group.

We use ‘university’ as a generic term referring to tertiary providers including universities, colleges and vocational training providers (and, for Australia: TAFEs). 

=> or download the pamphlet version

STAFF TRAINING SESSION: “Workshop on supporting autistic students in tertiary education settings”

As an additional resource, there is a downloadable PowerPoint presentation for a staff training session. This is a generic presentation that can be adapted for use in your institution. It includes speaker notes and handout exercises to be worked through during the session.


SUPPORTING AUTISTIC STUDENTS - RESOURCES FROM ‘STAIRWAY TO STEM’

Stairway to Stem is an organization, based in the United States, that provides resources to autistic students, their families, and tertiary instructors.  The goal of Stairway to STEM is to improve awareness of academic STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs and careers.  Stairway to STEM supports students as they transition to university and then to the world of work.

Autism 101: Autism Cultural Responsiveness for Improved Interactions

Are you a staff member at a tertiary institution (University, College, TAFE, Community College)?  If so, read the following about how you can best support autistic students.  It is important to know how to cater to different learning and processing styles, so students can benefit the most from their education.  

Autistic students often struggle with communication.  It is important not to use metaphors, jargon language, etc. when communicating with autistic students.  Autistic people often take what someone says very literally and have trouble picking up on non-verbal ques.  It is important you adjust your communication style to be more conducive to your autistic student’s needs.  Unfortunately, the media often portrays autistic people as savants, violent, or having extreme meltdowns, which is unfair and untrue.  There are many myths and unjust stereotypes about autistic people that can be very damaging to autistic people.

Click the link below to learn about autism – including what it is, how to best communicate with autistic students, and disability myths. https://www.stairwaytostem.org/educators/autism-101-autism-cultural-responsiveness-for-improved-interactions/


STUDENT COACHING PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE

Coaching can help neurodiverse students thrive in the university setting.  This program is designed to assist students with the transition from secondary to tertiary education.  

Navigating university life is challenging for all students. This is especially so for neurodiverse students, as they may lack certain social and life skills. Coaches can support and advise students to help them improve their academic and life skills.  The purpose of this program is to help students achieve their goals and reach their full potential.  A successful program will build the self-esteem of the students and give them the tools and resources to succeed in the university setting and set them up for future success. 

The attached implementation guide refers to materials from Curtin University’s mentoring program - the generic version of which is available on the Autism CRC website.


EMPLOYER EXPOS - MAKING THEM MORE INCLUSIVE

Employer Expos or Career Fairs can be daunting events for many students and job seekers. Given their current structure, they are also not accessible to some neurodiverse or sensory sensitive people. The following guide gives the host organisation some strategies to ensure the event is more inclusive.


A GUIDE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS

(Rochester Institute of Technology - Spectrum Support Program)

This guide incorporates the ideas and successful practices of higher education professionals at postsecondary institutions who have worked with their universities to establish effective supports for students with ASD. (Published 2014)


NEURODIVERSITY HUB MODEL

Operating model for the Neurodiversity Hub initiative and Proposed Charter for NDH Advisory Group.

Developed by Mitch Butler and Chris Rogers, two interns from Cornell University ILR School - K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability (Jan-May 2018) - in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology.

Neurodiversity Hub model

Neurodiversity Hub Advisory Group Charter


Still have questions?