GCU recognises that coping with student life, finding your way around such a large institution, and managing your studies independently, is a daunting prospect for many students. We also recognise the additional challenges and anxieties that may be experienced by students on the autism spectrum.
The Disability Team offers to match a Disability Mentor to all new students to GCU, who have disclosed a diagnosis of autism or Asperger syndrome.
Disability Mentors work alongside Disability Team colleagues, assisting in the ongoing support of students. All of our Disability Mentors are trained in autism, and in effective strategies for supporting students with autism/Asperger syndrome.
What do Disability Mentors help with?
Disability Mentors deliver an individually tailored blend of support with both study skills and social skills e.g.
- effective strategies for time management,
- overcoming procrastination,
- orientation and settling in to university life,
- accessing extra-curricular opportunities,
- confidence building
Disability Mentors assist students to develop independent sustainable strategies which help overcome barriers arising from aspects of their autism profile.
Students usually meet with their Disability Mentor once or twice a week. Disability Mentors keep a record of work completed in each session, which may be shared with the Disability Adviser and used for planning and monitoring progress.
Whilst some students may require the support of a Disability Mentor only in the early stages of their course, most find it helpful to continue to meet a Disability Mentor throughout their degree, although the frequency of meetings may decrease over time.
What other students have said about having a Mentor:
“I can do the academic work without any problem. It’s all the other stuff that you have to deal with at university that I don’t deal with so well. And that’s what my Mentor helps me with.”
“Having a Mentor really helped my confidence... Just someone to talk to on a regular basis... My Mentor helped me organise and plan for the week ahead, and I can’t imagine how I would have got through Uni without that help.”
All queries regarding Disability Mentors for students with a diagnosis on the autism syndrome should be directed to the Disability Team.