Karen Buckle always knew that if she did it at all she would graduate with first class honors at The University of Manchester, despite being autistic and a single mother of three who had also found the time to start up and chair the European self help organization Autscape.
But even she was also surprised and pleased to find she had achieved the highest mark on the Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology course and also won one of only five Wellcome Trust Studentship Bursaries to study a Masters in Health Care Ethics and Law.
“My result wasn’t an alternative to a poorer but okay result, it was actually the only way I could have completed it at all,” Karen, 34, explains. “There is a fine line between first class degree and complete failure for me, and a number of times I have teetered on the edge. Only the support of significant people in my life, including my autistic friends, my Disability Support Officer Bryan Coleman, National Autistic Society advocate Norman Darwen and personal tutor Liz Sheffield at the University, kept me from failing completely.
“If I get it done at all, I do well, but not getting it done or falling apart were significant risks.”
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