On this page:
  • What are the main indicators of specific learning difficulties?
  • Outcomes of an SpLD screening
  • What are the main indicators of autism?
  • Outcomes of an autism screening
You can book an appointment with the Disability Advisory Service to have an online screening (video call) for specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) and autism. At this appointment, we will discuss your difficulties with you. If appropriate, you will be asked to answer questions which will help to identify indicators of a specific learning difficulty or autism.  
*Please note:
  • we pause screenings during the summer and restart in the new academic year;
  • If you are within three months of leaving Imperial, you will not be able to have a screening.

What are the main indicators of specific learning difficulties?

Problems with acquiring:

  • Reading accuracy/speed
  • Spelling accuracy, writing speed and fluency of expression
  • Auditory short term/working memory
  • Time awareness
  • Directional sense
  • Personal organisation
  • Speed of processing (facts, thoughts and ideas)
  • Attention and concentration
  • Motor skills
  • Common strengths

Common strengths:

  • Often highly creative
  • Persistent
  • See patterns, connections and similarities that others don’t see
  • Holistic: they see the big picture, don’t get lost in detail, get to the important aspects
  • Understanding of abstract ideas
  • An inclination to think outside the box

Outcomes of an SpLD screening

Screening doesn't suggest an SpLD

If a screening does not find enough indicators of a specific learning difficulty, you will be guided to appropriate support such as accessing the inclusive technologies in the software hub or attending other study skills sessions run by the College. You are welcome to return to discuss matters further in the future.

What are the main indicators of autism?

Problems may exist in some or all of the following key areas:

  • Spoken communication: making conversation and understanding what other people say and mean
  • Non-verbal communication: body language, eye contact, facial expressions
  • Understanding the complexities of social relationships
  • Coping with change, particularly if sudden or unexpected
  • Heightened sensitivity in one or more senses, for example in relation to certain noises or textures
*Please note that we have had to cease all screenings for autism, effective immediately (from Friday 23rd April 2021). This is because we cannot guarantee when students (who we agree merit a referral) will be able to obtain an autism diagnostic assessment. This in turn is due to the unprecedented strains on NHS and related services due to the pandemic. We will keep this situation under review and will update this information as soon as any changes are made. Please book an appointment with a disability advisor if you have any additional support needs.

Common strengths:

  • An eye for detail
  • Preference for clarity and transparency
  • Plain speaking
  • Embracing routine and planning
  • Following rules and regulations

Outcomes of an autism screening

Screening doesn't suggest autism

If a screening does not find enough indicators of autism, we will investigate other potential causes for the challenges you are experiencing. 
We can also recommend appropriate support elsewhere, and access to the inclusive technologies in the software hub. You are welcome to return to discuss matters further in the future.