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Specialist Mentor ASD – Ref: SMASD001

Job ref: SMASD001

Location: University of Reading, Berkshire / Farnham, Gloucestershire

Optimum Student Support delivers highly specialised, individually tailored academic and mental health support services to students who are in receipt of Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). We are passionate in supporting our students to address any barriers they may face towards their learning which are created by a particular impairment, e.g. mental-health conditions or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

At Optimum Student Support, we pride ourselves on employing only the best mentors to contribute to making a difference to our students. Due to the expansion of our specialist service, we are looking to expand our team of dedicated and experienced specialist mentors at the University of Reading.

About the role

We are looking to recruit a qualified specialist mentor for students on the autistic spectrum to join our team. You will have the ability to support, motivate and encourage students to develop and achieve their full potential, helping them to develop strategies to overcome their barriers to learning. It is imperative that you have experience with students on the autistic spectrum in a further/higher education setting. You will have the ability to be sensitive to students’ needs and should have an understanding of additional support needs.

For some students this support will need to be ongoing while for others it might be gradually phased out or only be required at certain points of their course.

Main duties and responsibilities:

You will be required to provide 1:1 specialist mentoring to students on the autistic spectrum, providing individually tailored sessions for each student according to their individual needs.

You will assist with such things as:

  • managing change and difficult emotions
  • dealing with difficult social situations
  • developing social and communication skills
  • clarifying course expectations
  • having a healthy work/life balance
  • accessing academic support and guidance
  • and any other issues that the student brings to the sessions

Furthermore, you will be required to:

  • deliver mentoring sessions according to Optimum Student Support guidelines and Code of Conduct
  • manage paperwork effectively, i.e. completing time sheets and Individual Learning Plans (ILPs).
  • represent Optimum Student Support in a professional manner, this includes adhering to our policies regarding confidentiality and safeguarding.

Qualifications, Skills & Experience required:

  • You will be educated to degree level (2:1 or above).
  • Hold a Post Graduate Certificate (PGC) in Autism or Asperger’s or hold and MA/MEd in Education (Autism or Special Educational Needs and Disability or Critical Disability Studies focussing on Autism).
  • Have had comprehensive training in adult autism (if you do not hold a PGC or MA/MEd). This includes; one day face to face course delivered by the National Autistic Society in Understanding Autism OR Autism and SPELL in higher education AND other training delivered by an appropriately qualified trainer.
  • Relevant CPD
  • You must be able to assess learner’s needs and devise an appropriate Individual Learning Plan (ILP).
  • It is imperative to understand the needs, objectives and constraints of others.

 What we can offer you:

  • Excellent pay
  • Holiday Pay
  • Flexible hours
  • Various types of contracts available
  • A dedicated team who you can contact at any time to provide you with support
  • Ongoing training and professional development
  • Supervision
  • A personalised support email address
  • A photographic ID card.

Additional Information:

The working hours vary according to the needs of the student and the number of students you will be allocated. All Optimum Student Support employees must be able to receive emails and phone calls when on location.

Optimum Student Support Ltd is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce.Optimum Student Support Ltd is a Disability Committed employer and promotes diversity in employment and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

To apply, please send your CV and cover letter to the email address below, stating the job reference number.

Job reference: SMASD001

  • We have over 20 years experience in helping students and individuals achieve their best

  • All of our staff are highly qualified and trained in their field

  • Individually tailored academic and mental health support

Success stories

  • I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to receive specialist mentoring because of the wonderful personalised support that has helped me get through university

    Some days I’ve been feeling down, but after my session I leave feeling infinitely better because it’s an outlet for whatever’s on my mind and my mentor’s warmth and enthusiasm is really uplifting.

    Cansu T, Zoology Student

  • With the help of my mentor I have done things I didn't think I'd be able to

    like present a poster at a conference, and now, I am a PhD student and the happiest I’ve ever been.

    Oliver B , Phd Student

  • When I first came to university, I was extremely anxious having never been away from home

    My mentor has been instrumental in helping me deal with various concerns by talking through them and coming up with strategies to help manage them.

    Vincent S , Phd Student, Robotics

  • I feel more in control

    With time I let myself slowly face the situations that used to paralyze me. I am now back at work and have reconnected with my friends. I started with meeting out in the open to now being able to have a drink in a bar. I feel happy and back in control.

    Mark R , Tewkesbury

    View more success stories

    Get in touch to discuss your requirements