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HFA (ASD) DS and exam stress

(6 Posts)
notagiraffe Tue 19-Apr-16 10:33:55

DS is in Yr 9. They have summer tests at school. Although he is very bright and gets good grades for course work, he always falls apart in exams and gets very low grades, way below pass mark. His autism has always affected him by creating fugue states not tantrums when he is stressed. In exams, he appears to go into fugues and then not have time to finish papers, or just stares at questions he'd know the answer to in class, but they don't make sense to him because he's so stressed/fugued.

Does anyone have any advice on strategies he or I can use to help him manage stress? I really want him to have learned to cope before GCSEs and he takes a long time to process new ideas, so I want to start now, so he'll be OK in two years time.

Any books, websites, anecdotal personal advice really welcome. Thanks.

Runningtokeepstill Tue 19-Apr-16 17:20:46

Can't offer help in reducing anxiety, as ds and I are still looking for something that works for him. But if the location is part of the stress would taking exams in a different room with a smaller number of people or just 1:1 with an invigilator help? Most schools seem to be happy to accommodate this.

My ds was allowed to take his exams at home as by the time of GCSEs he'd not been attending school for some months. School sent a TA out to invigilate and ds was allowed, but decided not to take, breaks if he needed them.

Meloncoley2 Thu 21-Apr-16 20:26:38

Sorry, I don't have any answers as I am in the same boat, so I will watch the thread and learn with you.

gpignname Wed 27-Apr-16 22:15:32

One of my DC gets 50% extra time for exams. You need to get onto this now if you think it is needed - start building a case for it. Is the ASD already officially recognised by the school? Speak to the SENCO about it. The extra time needs to be approved for GCSE exams. Also they can get breaks and sit in another room for the exams. Other than that, the more mocks and tests they do, including maybe some practice papers at home under "exam conditions" might help get more used to it and Build confidence as well.

Meloncoley2 Thu 28-Apr-16 00:34:32

If a child is allowed to take breaks during exams, then are they allowed extra time for these?

gpignname Fri 29-Apr-16 12:38:24

As far as I know it is all set out as an authorised thing - like my DD can have a ten minute break after every hour if she wants to (if she doesn't want the break she can say so and carry on without it but then would have to wait another hour or until the exam is over I think). DD has 50% extra time so for a one hour paper it would be 1.5 hours for example. If she takes a ten minute break it doesn't come out of the 1.5 hours - she does an hour, has the break and then does the extra half hour. But to be honest she hasn't needed it yet - I think it will be more useful if she has exams which are longer - eg 2 hours which with extra time comes to 3 hours so in those longer ones she may choose to use her breaks. But DD does have some specific issues which justify the breaks so it is really a case of speaking to the SENCO person about what might be possible in each case.

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