I'm about to start my last year of uni (for the third time) and thanks to the wellbeing department, I'm being referred for ASC diagnosis. Even being taken seriously enough that I'm being referred is great and it now makes a lot more sense as to why I've struggled so much with my final year in the past.
What I wanted to ask of anyone who is doing/has completed a degree or similar, particularly for an essay-style subject, is what sorts of things help(ed) you with the reading and research for your assignments? I really struggle to understand what academics are getting at, and filtering out the extra information that, while interesting, is not really relevant to what I'm doing, just adjacent. When taking notes, I so often end up noting pretty much everything, which defeats the point of taking notes. This has made my dissertation a huge struggle and I so want to finish it!
Any tips and tricks? (And as an aside, what other things do/have you found difficult about studying and getting assignments in? How have you overcome those?)
If your ASC diagnosis comes back and it turns out you have it, they will probably encourage you to apply for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) where you will be able to get a personal autism mentor that you can go see to help you with studying, and a voice recorder so that you can record lectures.
If you're only going through the assessment process for autism now it's highly unlikely you'll get DSA support until after Christmas as its peak time for applying. That is unless you have suffered MH issues due to being undiagnosed. In that case, I'd apply now for 'depression' or any other MH labels you've been given then ring up your funding body to update the diagnosis as your working your way through the system.
If you apply for DSA the stages are:
1. Fill in application
2. Attend a needs assessment to discuss what support you need
3. Government looks over the needs assessment report and decides what they'll fund
4. You contact the suppliers of any support that has been agreed to arrange delivery of your equipment and the start of any one-to-one help, such as an autism mentor or study skills coach
I'm autistic, dyslexic and am awaiting an assessment for ADHD. I'm studying for a PhD. I break assignments into 250 word sections and only focus on one section at a time - inc looking up the quotes when I need them. That helps me to stay on track and avoids me wasting time looking up info that is irrelevant.
Oh yeah I guess you're right, if they are only just getting their ASC diagnosis now it would take ages to get everything ready for DSA..
My only advice to OP would be to follow mark schemes as closely as they can, and go through all their lectures and just make bullet points of each slide.
What course subject are you studying ? Are the uni being supportive? K
Wow your an inspiration! What subject are you studying?
I am already in the system for MH and have a voice recorder already, which is really really helpful for lectures! Between that, the slides and talking to the lecturers when I need, I'm generally okay with lecture content - it's reading secondary literature and researching for the essays themselves that I most struggle with. I can put together something based on the lecture content without too much issue, but the research for backing up that framework is tricky for me to manage. Since the dissertation is basically all individual research, without lecture content to guide it, I've really struggled with getting through the amount of research successfully. I can read and article or a chapter 4 or 5 times and still not understand the point the scholar is trying to make. Or because the whole article is linked together, it's difficult to find the one link that's important without dragging the whole metaphorical chain too, if any of that makes sense ...
My degree title is Classical Civilisation, which, if you're unfamiliar (I get lots of blank looks at the phrase!), is kind of similar to ancient history. I could have done a lot more Roman stuff over the years but my modules have all been ancient Greek literature or language, with some history as well (:
The uni has been as supportive as they can be, which I'm really grateful for. All of my lecturers have been so understanding with late essays and rearranged tests, or missed exams that I've been able to resit. I just haven't been able to understand why I've had so much trouble with third year until I started doing some research on ASC and realising how much of it fit. Even without an official diagnosis, I'm starting to see where the problems really are and that means I can start to overcome them (: and all of the departments I need are being so helpful and supportive with all of it now as well.
Have you been tested for dyslexia as well? you might have that too and then qualify for dyslexia support. Look up dyslexia, if you identify with it, ask them for a dyslexia test. Some uni's give extended loan time on library books for dyslexics. There are also software devices that are helpful.
Ask about note takers to help you with getting notes in your lectures, you shouldn't be having to go through the tapes afterwards, it's a lot of extra time.
Academics and theorists earn their money and reputation on waffle, it's infuriating, the bane of all students and I am sure they do it just to be a nuisance and major stress to us. Pay attention in the lecture, if the teacher mentions that academic and says things about him/her then note those down because you are being told what they're about. Google that academic and work, there might be hints online on what it's about/what they're getting at.
Go through the structural layout for your assignments and thesis and allocate a word allowance to each of them for focus on the content and help to discipline towards that.
Keep the title or question to hand and keep asking yourself if you are answering the question.
Sketch out a plan for it, stick to it as best as you can. It's so easy to go on tangents, sometimes they are worthwhile and often futile tangents, it's all part of it.
Lots of great tips here, thank you!