How's he going to manage A-levels?

(8 Posts)
Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 27-Mar-16 14:53:51

Ds2 is v bright but in the last year has become completely disengaged from school - and as he's in Y11 that's not good ...

His target grades were all A*s but his latest predicted grades are a couple of As, few Bs, sprinkling of Cs and a D/E

He has refused to have a tutor, has refused any help with revision, insists that everything's fine and that he has no idea why he's been predicted those grades as he's 'definitely going to do much better in the exams' hmm

Worryingly a couple of the Cs are in subjects he was thinking of taking at A-level, which I suspect will be a huge mistake

How is he going to get through the next couple of years?? I'm hoping that at some point he will be mature enough to realise that his life will be a lot easier with more options open to him if he starts working

He has no other plan than sixth form and university- he thinks maybe he'd like to work with computers in some capacity but has no burning desire to do and apart from play computer games

To complicate matters he's high-functioning ASD and dyspraxic - he has no social life, only sees friends at school and has no extra-curricular interests

noblegiraffe Sun 27-Mar-16 15:30:44

Is he actually doing any revision? How did he explain getting poor grades in his mocks if he doesn't understand why his predicted grades are low?

If he's dyspraxic then he may well need help with organising his revision so it's a shame he's refusing help. Would he be interested in downloading an app to help him?

ASD often goes together with anxiety, is he simply burying his head in the sand because he is anxious about failing his exams? His refusal to engage may be a symptom, so could be worth exploring. There's medication that could help.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 27-Mar-16 23:52:08

Thanks noble - he didn't revise for his mocks as they weren't 'the real thing' - at the time he said he'd revise for the real GCSEs but nothing's happening so far...

Technological help might work - can you suggest anything which could help?

He is definitely burying his head in the sand but he won't hear of going to the doctor <tears hair out>

TeenAndTween Mon 28-Mar-16 16:14:45

I think you at least need to be looking at a plan B (even if your DS isn't interested).

If he doesn't get the grades he needs for A levels then he will need to do a BTEC or Apprenticeship. Better to have looked at the options up front than to make an ill informed decision at the end of August.

Word of warning. If you read the y12 threads, you will see a poster Draylon. Her son didn't work for GCSEs, and continued not really engaging for AS. Current plan is for him to 'restart' y12 in September doing an IT BTEC.

If a DC isn't willing to work for GCSEs, why would anyone think they will work for A levels which requires more self motivation?

My DD1 is dyspraxic, but luckily she let me help her with revision timetable and loads of 1-1 revision together. I'm sorry your DS is not letting you assist.

EllenJanethickerknickers Mon 28-Mar-16 18:12:28

My DS2 has ASD and is predicted similar grades to your DS, but maybe a bit lower. A for maths, B for computing, ICT, Science, C/D for both Englishes, Geog, Catering, RE.

TBF, his Yellis scores were predicting all As but I never took those seriously as the Yellis test played to his strengths, multi choice and done on the computer. (Yellis is a commonly used IQ type test taken in Y10 by lots of state schools to help predict GCSE grades. The fact that it's done at all is not often shared with parents.)

I abandoned the idea of A levels last year, once some of DS1's friends got their AS level results after getting similar GCSE grades to what your DS is predicted and they universally achieved Ds and Es.

DS2 is heading to college next year to take level 3 BTEC course in software development. He could still go on to 'university' to continue on to higher education. Level 3 BTEC is supposed to be equivalent to 3 A levels, but wouldn't be accepted by the traditional universities, but would still get him on to degree level courses via UCAS.

DS2 can't get on with revision. He's doing an hour an evening after school and a little more in the Easter holidays, but doesn't really get how to revise. Bitesize is useful as are workbook type revision guides. A level 3 BTEC has no exams, it's all controlled assessment type work which suits DS much better. He'd find A levels really difficult as the step up from GCSE is big. If you only get a C at GCSE then an A level in that subject will be almost impossible and even with a B it's very tricky.

I want to keep him in education or training for as long as possible as I think he'll find the real world a challenge. He doesn't even have friends at school, so less socially competent than your DS.

There are other routes to higher education, just visit your local colleges, as a fall back option. I've found them supportive and very knowledgeable about ASD, much better than MS schools. Good luck to your DS in the next couple of months.

mary21 Mon 28-Mar-16 18:22:32

Ds1 (asd) found it hard to conceptualise that predicted grade didnt mean the grade he would get!
We found it helped when school said do X hours per night. no" it might be helpful". or" you might like to "or any other vageries.

mary21 Mon 28-Mar-16 18:23:34

that should read target grade not predicted

noblegiraffe Tue 29-Mar-16 00:26:52

There are free revision apps he could download to help organise a timetable (with your help) - I'm afraid I don't know which are any good.

For maths mathswebsite.com is excellent, videos, questions and revision checklists. He should know from his mocks what areas he needs to work on.

Is the problem with revision that he doesn't know how to do it, or that he doesn't know where to start? Past papers are always a good bet, but he needs to do them alongside the mark scheme. Could his teachers help him by pointing him in a specific direction? (I expect they are already doing this but he might need more help in organising himself than other students).

I agree you need to start talking about a plan B. If he didn't revise for his mocks and got poor results and isn't revising for his real exams then he shouldn't expect the outcomes to be very different. He will not be allowed onto A-levels with Cs so needs to investigate alternatives.

The thing is, there are many lazy students out there who can't be arsed to revise, but there are also students (especially with SEN) who flounder because they are overwhelmed. You need to decide if it's the former or latter! It's unfortunate that he won't accept help from you, but often students see parents as nagging. Would it be different if it was a teacher? Perhaps you could talk to the SEN department or pastoral team to see what they suggest.

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