The Student Room Group

Can I ask my teacher about their experience and advice with Autism?

In November of 2022, I was informed about my Autism diagnosis by my school. It was a big hit as I have been lied previously that I was not Autistic (not school) and been struggling to come to terms with it. I feel like I have regressed and every trait seems to have gotten worse. Like it has been confirming of every fault and I keep getting flashbacks of memories. Everday I worry about how different I stand out against my classmates. Sometimes they have been overwhelming and has caused tearful nights.

I have one teacher, who has always been supportive and encouraging of me in their class. They have helped me with numerous academic related stuff and overall have a very positive vibe where I feel welcomed. They are inspiring to me, and have made me to try to be the best I can be. I feel noticed in their class and that I have some potential in it after graduating high school. If it not for them and their encouraging words, all I know I would be failing at every aspect in life. Overall, I trust this teacher and would willingly take their advice.

At a club that they were running, they told everyone that they were Autistic. That has struck me ever since. My respect for them has grew, and makes me happy that I have a positive role model I can look up to that also has Autism.

Since then, I have been wanting to hear about their experiences, and possibly provide advice or insight into my experiences. They are the only Autistic person I know in real life, that I would be willing to open up to.

The thing is, I dont know how I should start the conversation. I am no longer in their class, but instead I am (hopefully) gaining a qualification through a club during lunch that is being run by them. I also attend their revision classes (where I have ended up a few times the only one there).

I wonder if it would be too offensive or unprofessional to ask them about their experiences of being Autistic in an after school revision class? (When no other student is there). I understand how teachers are not paid to be therapists to students, so I wonder if me asking would be too far?

Apologies for this text being so long. Hopefully it has given the context needed.
Reply 1
Hey, I'm not teacher but I am an autistic person. I would ask. From the context you've given, it doesn't sound inappropriate. Teachers jobs' are to support students, including their emotional welfare and not just learning. They will be able to control what they tell you, and tailor advice, so don't worry about it being too personal. You could say something like "When you said you were autistic, because I'm autistic too, I was wondering if you could give me some advice because I'm struggling to come to terms with it."

Secondly, I'm sorry your diagnosis was knowingly withheld from you, that's awful. School can be traumatising for autistic children and teenagers. Do you have any other support?

Good luck, and I hope things get better for you :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
In November of 2022, I was informed about my Autism diagnosis by my school. It was a big hit as I have been lied previously that I was not Autistic (not school) and been struggling to come to terms with it. I feel like I have regressed and every trait seems to have gotten worse. Like it has been confirming of every fault and I keep getting flashbacks of memories. Everday I worry about how different I stand out against my classmates. Sometimes they have been overwhelming and has caused tearful nights.

I have one teacher, who has always been supportive and encouraging of me in their class. They have helped me with numerous academic related stuff and overall have a very positive vibe where I feel welcomed. They are inspiring to me, and have made me to try to be the best I can be. I feel noticed in their class and that I have some potential in it after graduating high school. If it not for them and their encouraging words, all I know I would be failing at every aspect in life. Overall, I trust this teacher and would willingly take their advice.

At a club that they were running, they told everyone that they were Autistic. That has struck me ever since. My respect for them has grew, and makes me happy that I have a positive role model I can look up to that also has Autism.

Since then, I have been wanting to hear about their experiences, and possibly provide advice or insight into my experiences. They are the only Autistic person I know in real life, that I would be willing to open up to.

The thing is, I dont know how I should start the conversation. I am no longer in their class, but instead I am (hopefully) gaining a qualification through a club during lunch that is being run by them. I also attend their revision classes (where I have ended up a few times the only one there).

I wonder if it would be too offensive or unprofessional to ask them about their experiences of being Autistic in an after school revision class? (When no other student is there). I understand how teachers are not paid to be therapists to students, so I wonder if me asking would be too far?

Apologies for this text being so long. Hopefully it has given the context needed.

I agree with the previous poster :smile: Also, the worst thing your teacher can say is no.
For what its worth I've had some interesting conversations with the head of my department at uni, because they mentioned to me there were quite a few students amongs my cohort (as well as myself) that are currently on waiting lists for various SEN are seeking diagnosis.
Reply 3
Hi,
I'm also autistic and was diagnosied during high school. I had a SENDCo and one of the things that was on my ECHP was to spend time with a teacher that I trusted to talk about school and things they could do to help so if you don't know what to say then could you ask the send department to help or by any chance does your school have an email for teachers that students are allowed to use

Also no it wouldn't be inappropriate as even though they are no longer your teacher they know you
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 4
Original post by rubymacbeth
Hey, I'm not teacher but I am an autistic person. I would ask. From the context you've given, it doesn't sound inappropriate. Teachers jobs' are to support students, including their emotional welfare and not just learning. They will be able to control what they tell you, and tailor advice, so don't worry about it being too personal. You could say something like "When you said you were autistic, because I'm autistic too, I was wondering if you could give me some advice because I'm struggling to come to terms with it."

Secondly, I'm sorry your diagnosis was knowingly withheld from you, that's awful. School can be traumatising for autistic children and teenagers. Do you have any other support?

Good luck, and I hope things get better for you :smile:


Hello, thank you for taking the time to respond to my awfully long message. Thank you for your advice, as I will be definitely use it :smile: I feel more confident to approach them.

In early High School I used my "time out" card quite alot and escape in the library. Also during that time I had a "Confidence building class" that helped me with some social skills. I dont have that class anymore as the teacher moved schools and i am doing highers (i am in Scotland). I am glad to say i dont skip classes like i did back then. But just today i was approached by someone from my school to offer help with uni application and work employment. One of the things they have said to help me with is Mental health and wellbeing. At home, I have tried educating myself by watching videos about Autism.
I am planning to try talk to my parents about this, but currently its not the right time to do so.

Thank you very much for replying. 🙂
Reply 5
Original post by Chronoscope
I agree with the previous poster :smile: Also, the worst thing your teacher can say is no.
For what its worth I've had some interesting conversations with the head of my department at uni, because they mentioned to me there were quite a few students amongs my cohort (as well as myself) that are currently on waiting lists for various SEN are seeking diagnosis.


Hello thank you for taking the time to reply to my awfully long message 😅. I agree about how the worst thing tha can happen is "No". Life still has to continue, and one word is not going to stop it.

I enjoy having conversations with my teachers, like you said, are interesting and genuinely are a pleasure to partake in (I usually talk about funny stuff with my friends). Its interesting hearing different perspectives from people who end up teaching you in a classroom.

I wish you and your cohort the best of luck in getting your diagnoses and support soon.

Best of luck and thank you very much for your message 🙂.
Reply 6
Original post by Jess_Lomas
Hi,
I'm also autistic and was diagnosied during high school. I had a SENDCo and one of the things that was on my ECHP was to spend time with a teacher that I trusted to talk about school and things they could do to help so if you don't know what to say then could you ask the send department to help or by any chance does your school have an email for teachers that students are allowed to use

Also no it wouldn't be inappropriate as even though they are no longer your teacher they know you


Hello, thank you for taking the time to reply to my awfully long message. I am happy to hear about the support that you received. I had something really similar in the first few years of High School, (tho at the time I thought it was because of my social anxiety). There was a really kind teacher who specialised in students wellbeing. I was able to get help with stuff ranging from helping to cope in classes to bullying situations. Sadly she has now left, but there is a safe room I regularly attend during break. I should also be getting Mental health and wellbeing support throught a employment program at school.

Since lockdown, all my classes have used Microsoft outlook, teams, word, ect. I have email addresses to all my teachers. Infact I have emailed my teacher (the one I want to talk to ) a few times related to academic stuff/their class already. Today the teacher said Hi (name) to me at the stairs (so I am not forgotten already as it seems 😅). If I cant bring myself talk in person, I will certainly email.

Thank you very much for your advice and response.
Reply 7
Thank you to everyone who has responded. I wasnt expecting such wonderful and supportive replies. I also feel secure in knowing that others have been in the same boat as me and were able to find solutions. This is my first time on TSR, so thank you for the warm welcome. I will take all of your advices, as they are certaintly valuable. I hope to get the chance to speak to my teacher soon. I wish you all luck in your endeavours.

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