A New Perspective on Support Groups for Social and Communication Difficulties in Universities

Melanie Long

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Initially working with individuals diagnosed with autism twenty-six years ago on a play-scheme, I discovered a mutual understanding with the children with autism, so focussed on working with this group and continuing in this post for the next six years, also supporting some pupils privately at home.Nineteen years ago I moved to Wales and gained employment as a Specialist Support Lecturer at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD). I now also work at Aberystwyth University and privately, supporting students 1:1 for Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) and comorbidity of different SpLD’s and Mental Health Conditions. For some years I have been developing a support group for people with social and communication difficulties and have now completed a year and a half of practical application of the project. I am also a director of a new company, ASPIRATION: living & learning, which is run by a team with expertise in all areas of teaching, training and support for high-functioning individuals with autism and those who work with them. I hope to complete and publish the program of support, plus offer supported training, so that other agencies have the opportunity to offer the program to those that they support.


The significant demands on a neuro-diverse, entry-level, undergraduate, without formal diagnosis or understanding of ASC, are high-risk regarding social isolation. Even with a diagnosis they can struggle to adjust. This... [ view full abstract ]

Ethics and permissions statement and / or disclosure of potential conflict of interest (if relevant)

All group members have been happy to complete consent forms, allowing observations and conversations to be used, on the understanding that confidentiality and anonymity will be respected. [ view full abstract ]


  1. Melanie Long (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)
  2. Clare Scott (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)

Topic Area

Topics: Practice


V15B » Oral Posters: Education II (12:20 - Sunday, 18th September, Moorfoot Room)