Questions and Answers

If you have any specific questions about my experience as a student with Asperger’s, that are not already covered in the other sections, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer.  All answers are just my personal opinion, and will be based on how things were for me – I am not a expert and advice given is not a substitute for consulting a professional!


8 Responses to Questions and Answers

  1. Hayley says:

    Do these apply to people who are still at school or just to people at university?

    • catastraspie says:

      Hi Hayley, thanks very much for your question. I guess the same sorts of issues would apply whilst people are still at school. For me, I didn’t really get into difficulty until I reached university because my school environment was very structured, I knew everybody in my class (and they knew me), everything was on a much smaller and more familiar scale, and there was a lot more directed (spoon-fed) learning with less participation, discussion or open enquiry. The teachers and I were working with very much the same concrete goals in mind (or tree branches for my knowledge ‘balloons’) because the exams (in my subjects) had definite right and wrong answers and right and wrong ways of getting to the answers. At university everything is much more open to interpretation and there is room for originality, which for me is a mentally paralysing prospect. There is also an atmosphere of having to puzzle everything out for yourself as part of the experience, and I felt like much less information was communicated explicitly in terms of expectations, guidelines, boundaries etc. I hope that answers your question, please get back to me if anything is unclear 🙂

  2. Ashley says:

    I’m convinced you should write a book.

  3. Kaz says:

    Can you give me some information on your experience on a PGT course. What were the main differences between being an UG and studying for a Maters?

    • catastraspie says:

      Hiya, thank you for your question. For me, the taught Masters course wasn’t too different to the UG course, whereas the research doctorate was very different. The main differences with the Masters course was a harder/heavier content and coursework load, an expectation of producing higher quality work and using higher quality references (journal articles rather than course text books) and it felt faster paced with more to fit in – no real breaks, and the course ran October to September (no summer holiday). The dissertation was much more in depth and was ‘proper’ research compared to my UG project. We were also treated more like responsible adults. I think the jump from UG to PGT (Post Graduate Taught) was like going from GCSE to A Level, whereas going from PGT to PGR (Post Graduate Research – eg PhD) was much bigger, more like going from A Level to university. I did sciences though, so other subjects might be different, although overall I think taught Masters courses are more guided with more support and structure, and I would definitely recommend that as a first step if you are thinking of doing a research degree later on.

  4. Kaz says:

    Thank you so much for reply. I think the jump from GCSE to A level has still been the biggest so far! Did you ever work part time during your studies for PGT? I’m not sure it would be manageable. Might be the only way to fund it though!

    • catastraspie says:

      I did work part time yes, I already had a part time admin job that I really enjoyed. As well as the financial help, it was really good to get into a different environment and immerse myself in some filing or copy typing as some time out from studying. 🙂

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