What is it like in College in Ireland as a Student with Autism?
Amy Tracey is a young woman who is on the Autism Spectrum and is currently attending college in Dublin. Here, she shares her story and experiences she's faced along the way.
1). Tell us about where you go to college and what you do in college?
I am a second-year student in the National College of Ireland and I am in my fourth semester studying Business. The topics in the course range from Law, Maths, Accounting, Marketing, Economics and many other modules.
2). How have other students interacted with you? Has it been positive or negative?
People are usually open to conversation if I start talking to them which is good and positive. Students tend to be with their friends from secondary school but they do have conversations with me and make an effort. There are times when I’m not talking to anyone but I never feel lonely. I like my space and I have a lot of studying to do. There are also people in the class I still have not gotten the chance to talk to yet at all. But everyone has been positive and people are friendly.
3). What has been the hardest part of attending college?
Sometimes getting into groups for assignments can be difficult. Some people have priorities and other things to do which is understandable. However, that can make it hard to set up times to meet to complete assignments and I can get uncomfortable with schedules. I always assume that that people in my new group will meet up at the same time and same place as the people I have worked with on previous assignments but that’s not what happens which is often hard for people on the spectrum, especially for me. I’m also in four or five different group assignments this semester which is very hard to manage.
New subjects I am learning such as IT and organisational behaviour are hard for me to as it’s another change. Change and adapting to new things can be overwhelming for someone on the spectrum such as myself.
4). What has been the best part of attending college?
Being independent, working really hard and getting good grades in assignments. As I’ve always struggled to pass school before I started attending college and was diagnosed with autism, it’s good now that I am passing everything and doing well in certain areas. I think gaining more qualifications is great and it is something that is needed in life as it adds to me getting an actual career in Business.
A big thank you to Amy for sharing with us and if you'd like to follow her adventures on the Autism Spectrum, you can find them here www.twitter.com/amytracey94