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Neurodiversity, L&T: Student Meetings and Communication

Establishing the Supervisory Relationship

  • When supervising a neurodivergent student, start with an initial meeting to discuss expectations (both the students and your own) for the supervisory relationship and any Reasonable Adjustments the student may need.
  • You may find it useful to also review the guidance on the Inclusive Personal Tutoring page.
  • Points to cover in this meeting include preferred methods of communication, areas of academic work that the student may find difficult or need support with and preferred times of day for meetings.
  • Some students may find it useful to develop an action plan with their supervisor to support with areas they find difficult, such as time management, organisation or communication.

Arranging meetings

  • Before meetings, check with the student about the space the meeting will be held in and whether any adjustments need to be made - see the section on Inclusive Department for more guidance
  • Students may find it helpful to have a clear agenda before meetings, including information about expected meeting preparation.


Following up...

  • After meetings, check in with the student to ensure they know what is expected of them and whether there is anything about the meeting structure that they found challenging
  • Students may find it useful to agree a list of actions at the end of the meeting, which can then be shared between the student, supervisor and/or other members of the team. This can then be revisited at the next meeting.
  • Agree a time line for completion of these activities

Communication methods

Every student may differ in their preferred method of communication - establish what this is early on to reduce discomfort in meetings.

Many students will prefer face to face meetings, while others may prefer online meetings, but may be uncomfortable with having their video on. Others may prefer to communicate via Teams chat. Letting your students know about your flexibility with this can help them to feel more comfortable

Planning and organisation

Some students may struggle with planning and organisation, particularly for large projects. There may also need to be some flexibility with agreed actions as some neurodivergent students may find their energy and attention span fluctuates across different days and weeks.Neurodiverse students may find it useful to get support from a Study Skills Support Worker via the Disability Team, who will be able to support students to priotise and organise their time