World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day

RMIT students share their experience of having autism.

Held on 2 April, World Autism Awareness Day is intended to showcase and raise awareness in the community of what having autism or being autistic is like.

We spoke to students to learn about how they experience autism, both within RMIT and in the broader commmunity.

Kira Hart Kira Hart

Kira Hart  Bachelor of Education and Certificate IV in Design

What does having autism mean to you?

"For me it is a different way of being, experiencing, processing the world. I subscribe to the social model of disability. In that many disabling aspects to being autistic are based in society's rejection of it."

Please share an experience of university life which may be different to someone who is neurotypical.

"It can be difficult to collaborate with others and feel like you belong. I volunteer to do extra things to improve skill deficits. I volunteered with RUSU realfoods when I was first at RMIT in 2016."

Michelle in black and white photo looking directly at camera Michelle McLachlan

Michelle McLachlan – Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts)

What does having autism mean to you? 

"Having a brain that works differently to everyone else's." 

Please share an experience of university life which may be different to someone who is neurotypical.

"I have a hard time with communication and speaking in groups or to people I dont know very well. This means I don't make friends easily and group work is especially hard for me. My ELP (Equitable Learning Plan) allows me to do presentations separately from the class with just the teacher and also not having to talk in front of a lot of people. I find this helpful but also feel alienated when I am not like everyone else. I feel that if people had more awareness off autism they would not judge me so much or think that I am trying to "get out of work", because to them I present as a neurotypical person." 

Jasmine Hamilton – VE Design Student

What does having autism mean to you?

"I feel alien compared to other people with how I think and experience things.  In turn, others feel alien to me because I simply don't know what else there is outside of being Autistic, and neurotypical social conventions or standards are either silly, or outright stupid to me.

Most of my closest friends have been neurodiverse in some way, and I wouldn't have it any other way. We can just be without having to navigate neurotypical social conventions." 

Please share an experience of university life which may be different to someone who is neurotypical.

"Social fatigue is the main thing I can think of. Speaking to people, especially in places that have many different things going on, can be draining and can easily leave me tired after coming on campus."

Upcoming workshops for people on the autism spectrum 

Webinar for Neurodivergent students – 27 April  

Would you like to seek and share strategies and support services that can help to improve your studies, find a job and thrive in the workplace?  

This webinar will help you understand how your Neurodiverse brain may impact employment and how you can empower yourself to support your career journey. 

Register here

Careers - ELA workshop and Community 

Free Batyr "Being Herd" 2-day workshops – EOI  

Batyr@RMIT are currently accepting expressions of interest from RMIT students (aged 18 - 30) to take part in our Being Herd lived-experience storytelling workshops!

You will learn how to build the skills and confidence to share about other young people lived experience of mental ill health, how they reach out for support and how they manage their wellbeing today.

Find out more and submit your EOI

Student Survey

Equitable Learning and Accessibility and the Library Team would love to hear your feedback on your experiences using the Library and its services. Please take a minute to complete the survey about how you navigate all things 'Library'.

Have a question or need help?

01 April 2022


More student news

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.