Broadcast Media student Kathleen McDermott from the University of Brighton has put together three videos intended to help other autistic students cope at University. She draws from her own experience of studying for three years and uses the vlogs to teach others how to be organised, how to cope when getting confused and what to do when writing a dissertation.
About Kathleen McDermott
At the time of writing this article, Kathleen was in her final year for a top-up Broadcast Media degree at Brighton University at Hastings. She described herself as being very organised and reliable, and interested in gaining further experience in all areas of television and film production. Kathleen is very organised when it comes to sorting out the paperwork during production projects. During her time at University she gained experience at becoming a producer, director and a first assistant director. Kathleen enjoys the experience of working behind the scenes as well as being in front of the camera.
Top tips from vlog 1: How to keep yourself organised
- Be on time for your lesson.
- Lay out your work stuff – do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable. For example I like to keep things straight and placed where I can see it all.
- Type up or write up everything that your lecturer tells you to do – a notebook is something good to have on you, writing tasks as bullet points is very handy.
Top tips from vlog 2: How to cope when you are getting confused in a lesson
- Don’t be afraid to put your hand up – your tutor can then come and help you.
- Clearly explain the problem you have in that moment so they can understand and help you.
- Try to get someone from the Student Services team to sit with you during sessions (they are called non-medical helpers). This is really helpful when you first start uni – until you have the confidence to be in a lesson without extra support. During my first year I had learning support in my lesson to help me when I got stuck, and it really made a difference.
Top tips from vlog 3: How to overcome your struggles when writing your dissertation
Get some one-to-one support with a mentor who knows about writing up a dissertation. My comprehension and my grammar and punctuation is something that I struggle with the most, and having had support in that area really helped me a lot.
This toolkit is an adaptation of the Autism&Uni project led by Marc Fabri from Leeds Beckett University, under license CC BY 4.0. The original Autism&Uni project was funded with support from the European Commission with partners in the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. For more information about this project please visit the Autism&Uni website.