Posted on 27th April 2015
A Dutch perspective: Roy Houtkamp, student counsellor and lecturer
At the Autism&Uni Partner Meeting held in Amsterdam in March, we had as guest presenter Roy Houtkamp, a young man who represents the cutting edge of support for autistic university students in the Netherlands. For several years now, Roy has counseled autistic students professionally, and trained other professionals to provide similar support.
As a teenager, Roy initiated a peer support group for middle school students with ASD. Having started his university career in IT, he soon switched to social studies, where he has clearly found his niche. While some may feel that this is unlikely for a person with an ASD diagnosis, Roy thrives in work that presents constant challenges and requires interaction with numerous people in changing situations.
As an undergraduate, Roy ended up doing research involving large numbers of autistic students at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences, developing a self-assessment tool to serve their needs. At the moment, most of his time is taken up by lecturing. Handicap & Studie, a foundation that supports Dutch educational institutions to provide for a variety of disabilities, markets his services to numerous schools and universities. Roy feels that the current high demand for his expertise is part of a process that has unfolded over the past few years; technology has become increasingly central to the country’s economy, and people have become aware of the high proportion of autistic people in schools and businesses that revolve around…