Ds wants to leave college. No idea what else he can do

(16 Posts)
jellyhead Tue 12-Jan-16 15:24:35

Ds1 is 16 and started college last September.
He has asd . His main issue is social, he just finds it so hard to talk to people.
Many problems at school but he left with 8 GCSEs which we are all delighted about
I've posted before how miserable he is at college and we've limped on with me hoping he will settle in.
Problem is he doesn't want to. He begs me to leave and has started missing lessons.
I've been in a few times and have found the tutors very helpful and trying to support him.
He is just so miserable. I thought this was the best choice for him.
He only has to go 2 and a half days a week but he constantly moans and complains about it.
I don't know what to do.
He didn't want to do sixth form
He hates new places and people so a change of plan will set him back.
He thinks if he leaves everything will be great but he has no idea what else to do.
Any one have a teenager drop out at college and what did they do next.?

Gunting Tue 12-Jan-16 15:31:03

I don't have a teenager who dropped out of college but I was that teen.

I started an apprenticeship and it set me up with a career which I really enjoy. Dropping out of college was the best decision I made at the time, even my mum would agree now. grin

jellyhead Tue 12-Jan-16 16:13:22

That's good to know. Glad it worked out for you.
My reluctance is that's it's the social aspects of college he can't cope with so a change won't help.
Must admit that the fact he is still miserable is really worrying me.
I want him to be happy but don't know what to suggest

Ditsy4 Tue 12-Jan-16 16:27:40

Could the tutors find someone to support him either a classmate or could the college provide a support worker?
I would get the local paper and sit down with him and look for jobs or voluntary work. Perhaps a couple of years out in the workforce will help. He can always go back to college at a later date. M&S Are quite good at supporting young people. Charities for voluntary work where he can gain skills where people are patient and willing to support young people. Ask him to give it until February half term as college is a big change for any 16 year old and if he is still unhappy you could agree to him leaving. This gives you a bit of time where he also has to be pro active to find something else. Good luck. One of my children didn't do well because of bullying and just got a job. I'm just pleased he has a job. He has changed jobs and recently was made up to a supervisor which initially and in his last job refused. It has taken him a long time and some work from his boss for him to realise he can do this. At the end of the day he is reasonably happy. He has a job, a few close friends pays his rent and copes with life which is more than I hoped for when he left at 16.

jellyhead Tue 12-Jan-16 16:40:31

Thank you ditsy. Glad it worked out for your ds.
The college are trying to support him. I will email the support person again though.
I think if he could make a friend it would be so much better but the months are going by and he's as miserable as day one.

kath6144 Wed 13-Jan-16 13:48:11

Op not sure where you are based, but there are different rules in different areas of UK regarding when you can leave education. In England, you must either be in FT education or work/volunteering with some PT education (eg apprenticeship) until 18. The www.Gov.uk site gives more info for different parts of UK.

Runningtokeepstill Wed 13-Jan-16 15:23:49

Realistically, do you think he would cope with an apprenticeship given his current response to social situations? In our area there's not a lot else out there for academically able teenagers.

My ds was taken off his college course due to illness related absences (he has chronic pain, made worse by anxiety and is also on the waiting list to be assessed for asd). We are in England and although everyone told us he had to be in an education, training course or apprenticeship they couldn't find anything suitable.

Funding is available to support young people with poor English and Maths so there are a lot of level one schemes aimed at achieving functional skills that are not suitable for someone who has 5 or more GCSEs at C+ including Maths and English. Other schemes seem to cater for the "disaffected" and/or look mainly at employability which was no good for my ds as he isn't disaffected and isn't currently in a position to attend work regularly.

In the absence of any LA careers support there is a charity in our area that provides support and advice to young people in finding suitable placements/training/jobs. Is there anything like that near you where ds can discuss his options before quitting his current course?

Runningtokeepstill Wed 13-Jan-16 15:27:12

Having looked at all the other options my ds is due to go back to college to take just one A level with a view to adding more next year. It's not his desired outcome, but there is nothing else remotely suitable in our area.

jellyhead Wed 13-Jan-16 16:04:59

Thank you both.
I don't think he'll cope at all with an apprenticeship. He won't cope in a new environment and they won't be in any postion or requirement to support him.
He thinks it will all be wonderful but lacks the social skills and is so shy.
He's also immature for his age. I just don't think he'll manage at all and chose college with him as think he's best in that environment for a couple of years.
He's refusing to go tomorrow and said I'm ruining his life. Teenage joy at its best

Runningtokeepstill Wed 13-Jan-16 16:56:48

Hi jelly, another life ruiner here! We only got to an acceptance of returning to college by systematically investigating all the alternatives and coming to the conclusion that they would not work. Would your son be up for this? It does require a degree of self-knowledge.

We've many times been down the route of making plans that were probably unrealistic because ds was convinced all would be well. It's a fine line between encouraging someone who's reluctant to take risks to try something new and ending up supporting the unachievable. But as a parent I'm scared that my ds could just give up and and never leave the house. Fortunately he is still motivated to get an education.

Would your ds look at voluntary opportunities? Are there any local parent support groups for parents of asd children who might have expertise of 16+ young people dropping out of college and finding alternatives?

jellyhead Wed 13-Jan-16 18:37:31

Hi running.
Dh and I are confident college is his best option.
We did look at other courses but the only other course that appealed to him was in another town and he wouldn't go any where new
He has fixated on apprenticeships as the answer to all his woes. He refuses to look at what this will actually involve as is sure he will be happy.
After a bit of shouting I think things have cone to a head this week as he has to go out with his group tomorrow on a retail exercise .
He simply can't face that.
Can do an apprenticeship but can't go out with the group of teenagers he has been with for 4 months.
I coerced, encouraged, bribed, supported him through his GCSES and stupidly thought things would be better after school.
To add to life ruiner I stand accused of hating him and making his life miserable as I want him to be unhappy because I'm old.
He's a real charmer today.

Ditsy4 Thu 14-Jan-16 00:08:34

Ah yes I've had the "you don't understand because you're old" accusation.
Is there any career office or job centre you could take him to and face up to it with someone else? Was there any staff member at school that he could go back and talk to?
Get him to do the washing up and mop the floor because you're too "old and tired" after making the tea! wink

LaurieFairyCake Thu 14-Jan-16 00:23:25

I would tell him that of course he can leave college.

Once he's applied for an apprenticeship, been for the interview, and has a start date.

Maybe that could take some of the heat out the situation.

Rummikub Thu 14-Jan-16 00:40:13

Encourage him to register on apprenticeships.org. He will be able to see what apprenticeships are available, location, hours and wages. Apprenticeships can be up to 40 hours per week. There are some great apprenticeships out there, some less so. Shop carefully!
He could even apply, go through the process but still keep his college place until he is sure he wants to leave for a 'better' prospect. This way he keeps his options open.
At the moment you're trying to convince him what's best. If he sees the alternatives then may be he can decide the best environment for him.

jellyhead Thu 14-Jan-16 07:14:47

Thank you for the advice.
Applying for an apprenticeship might be the reality check he needs.

Rummikub Thu 14-Jan-16 18:01:27

If he's determined to leave then their are various confidence building team work type courses around. Your local careers service should be able to help. Even the college perhaps.

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