Student Stories: My Aspergers

31st May 2013

Have you ever thought about what the students here at the University of Nottingham cope with? Our series- Student Stories- gets to know the students who make up the diverse population here on campus and tells how there is no typical student experience.

Current student Thomas Denton and recent graduate Hannah Trenear have Aspergers Syndrome which is part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Typical difficulties are in social communication, interaction and imagination but what was clear from speaking to Hannah and Thomas, is that everyone’s experiences are different and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. The National Autistic Society says that there are over half a million people in the UK with an autism spectrum disorder- that’s around one in a hundred people.

We don’t know how many students here at the University of Nottingham have such disorders as, to an extent, you self-define with your own label and the University doesn’t require you to disclose it. That’s why we asked them to discuss the term ‘disorder’ and how Hannah and Thomas feel about being coined as disabled by some.

As well as these broader questions we focussed on the social side of university life: group projects, love lives and nights out.

Listen to Hannah and Thomas’ story here…

If you want to learn more about mental illnesses, the Science Show recently looked at the science behind mental health for Mental Health Awareness Week. You can find out how the Autism Spectrum Disorder fits into all of this and how the University of Nottingham investigates how these disorders manifest here:
To hear more from Student Stories check out Jess and Mel’s story in ‘My Anorexia’:

Thomas, who shared his story of Aspergers with us works at the University to raise awareness of mental health as well as the Autism Spectrum. You can find out about his project ‘Mental My Take’, a documentary film, here:

Alternatively, if you’re interested in presenting your view and perspective of the challenges and successes of studying with a disability you can get involved with the X and Me project:

Leave any comments or thoughts you may have after listening to the interview below. If you have a student story to share with us, you can get in touch by emailing