Understanding autism
Understanding autism

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Understanding autism

4.3 Wenn Lawson

Donald Triplett’s story is not just about the support of others, but also his own positivity and resilience in the face of difficulties. These attributes feature strongly in the life story of Wenn Lawson.

In an interview recorded for The Open University in 2011, Wenn described his difficult relationship with his parents, misdiagnosis with schizophrenia aged 17, troubled marriage and loss of a child in a car accident. But he also talked of his success as an academic, writer and autism advocate, some of which he attributed to the love and support he found with another partner after divorce. Wenn studied psychology with The Open University, and considered distance study to be ideally suited to people on the autistic spectrum:

[The OU] enables us to not have to mix with lots other people who might actually take away from our ability to learn. The fact that you can be in a classroom where you have got people clicking pens, turning pages, all the sensory overwhelming stuff that comes from just being with lots of people, closes me down. Whereas distance education, like the Open University courses, I can study at home, I can set up my study area, I can organise my studies, all the materials are posted out to me, I’ve got time to process the whole event of distance education in a much better way than I can if I had to go to a typical university.

(Lawson and Roth, 2011)
AUT_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus