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A thread for asking re DSA / SFE during UCAS applications / starting University etc

(49 Posts)
BasiliskStare Sat 06-May-17 19:27:17

That's all.

Not sure if this is helpful , it will disappear if not. But have seen a few questions related to this. Am happy to give DS's experience (dyslexia) if it helps.

HSMMaCM Sat 06-May-17 20:38:51

Don't be afraid to ask for help with a diagnosis of a mental health disability too.

eatyourveg Sat 06-May-17 20:55:44

Have talked to ds about whether he wants to reconsider and submit an application. He said he wanted to know what the assessment entailed before making a decision. Did your ds have to travel far to be seen?

LIZS Sat 06-May-17 21:01:59

Ds was seen withiin a week or so of arriving at uni. It was via an external company who visited once a fortnight. The assessor had already read the ed psych report and a form about the level of support he had received to date and equipment he already had. They discussed what else might be available and a proposal was sent off and the finances approved quickly. Pretty straightforward really. As a result he has had 20 hours 1-1, extra time and laptop in exams, a flag on his essay submissions (not sure what that gains), recording app for lectures and microphone, text book support and a few other accessories.

voilets Sat 06-May-17 21:23:50

My DS went fairly locally for an assessment. Very pleasant. Uni were also pleasant. My DS has found his mentor very helpful. The uni outsource it despite huge support dept. Was amazed just how many students access support.

My son doesn't have a diagnosed disability but a range of needs and had a statement.

He does really well on a high flying course. Exam extra time/laptop in place. Mentor helped with organisation and adjusting nerves.
So glad we pushed for help when he would have got by albeit with a bit of a struggle without. He now thrives.

HSMMaCM Sat 06-May-17 21:29:27

Our assessment was in a local town. Not started uni yet

BasiliskStare Sat 06-May-17 22:15:21

DS had an Ed Psych assessment ( relatively locally) - then an assessment of needs ( also pretty local) - also the university contacted him and he spoke to them about needs ( met the person at university) and what they could could offer him. So all fairly local to him and just talking through what might help. So eatyour I would say encourage your son to do it , nothing DS did sounded onerous.

gregoriesgirl Sat 06-May-17 22:18:51

thanks...place marking for now.
DS is going to be assessed when we get it booked.

goinggetstough Sat 06-May-17 23:33:29

The first stage is to complete the form with the evidence of issues/diagnosis etc. SFE say yes or no and then you attend an assessment which is the second stage. It is an assessment of what they have that can help you e.g. technology, personal help/study skills etc. It is NOT an assessment of whether you have a need to get to the assessment stage they have already decided the student has a need.

eatyourveg Sun 07-May-17 08:48:00

It is NOT an assessment of whether you have a need to get to the assessment stage they have already decided the student has a need.

So if you apply and the application isn't strong enough presumably they write and tell you no you don't qualify and please use the uni ALS dept? Can you get to the assessment stage and having been seen they then say there is nothing appropriate we can do but the uni can do xyz with you?

Like someone on the other thread, all ds's reports are a few years old as he is on a gap year and hasn't had his statement and any exam concessions since Y11 in school. He deliberatly left school for college to go down the BTEC route and avoid doing exams which were just too stressful and never gave a true reflection of his abilities. He never converted his statement so there is no LDA or EHCP to send in. If the statement and exam concessions date from 3 years ago is it likely then that we would have to pay for an Ed psych report? He hasn't had one of them since secondary transfer.

LIZS Sun 07-May-17 09:06:33

Some Uni Support Services will be able to the do the initial post 16 assessment themselves but get in touch soon or there may be a waiting list by the Autumn term. 1-1 etc provided by uni may still be funded by DSA.

hellsbells99 Sun 07-May-17 10:25:48

If student finance say you are eligible for DSA, then this is the link to find an assessment centre www.dsa-qag.org.uk
I think DD's assessment took a couple of hours.
Be aware though, that just because your DCs may be eligible for equipment and help, doesn't mean your DCs will take up the 'offer'! My DD was lent equipment initially and is supposed to have so many sessions (think it was approx an hour a week) to check she is coping and organised - but she sent the equipment back and never contacted the support team.

NoHaudinMaWheest Sun 07-May-17 21:17:05

eatyourveg for dyslexia you have to have a report from an educational psychologist or approved specialist teacher which was done post-16. For other issues there are no requirements regarding date. Ds has ASD. His dx was done when he was 10 and there had been no input regarding ASD in particular since. We just needed the GP to sign a form confirming that he had it and a couple of sentences on how it affected him as well as the initial dx letter.

eatyourveg Mon 08-May-17 08:22:35

Came across this guide to help fill in the dsa application.

Looks like that seeing ds has asd, the statement he had at school will count. His diagnostic report is dated Nov 2001 and like you, the consutlant didn't do anything specific other than monitor him and write a report for the statement and possibly the initial application for dla - not sure it would help to send that in - it seems a lifetime ago.

He's going to give it a go and see if he gets something from it though he isn't sure what he will need. From my point of view I would feel more reassured knowing he had someone to read through his drafts, help him organise his workload and just quell any anxiety if/when there are unexpected changes. Having a hard copy of his books so he could annotate them rather than use the library all the time would be useful too. (Why are text books so expensive!!) One uni I visited when ds1 was doing the rounds gave all first years a 2nd year mentor/buddy - not sure if they do that where ds3 is going but they do have a fb page for each of the halls and when they apply, they book a specific room so he has been in a fb group chat with the others in his flat which I am glad about.

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 08-May-17 10:04:52

Ds has a mentor twice a week to help him with work load and general anxiety and organisation. He also has a study skills session once a week to deal with specific academic issues. He sees the disability advisor about once a fortnight but more or less depending on how he is. She has been very good about liaising with his department and accommodation when things have been very difficult. She also has spoken to me directly with ds's permission. I have found this very useful and it means that I don't have to think about speaking to his academic tutors or the accommodation services directly which they are understandable reluctant to do and which would embarrass ds.

His university also run a fortnightly social group which is open to all but aimed at students with ASD and similar issues. They also did a two day residential course before the start of term which was helpful. Quite a few of the universities we spoke to did some kind of induction for students with ASD.
He had to have an interview with the exams office to get his additional requirements in place but they were preapproved so to speak by the disability service on the strength of his DSA assessment so it was straightforward.

He is in a quiet flat in halls which he has found easier though it is very quiet and might not suit everyone. His university did offer the FB chat option but ds didn't take it up- he would find that very difficult.

HSMMaCM Mon 08-May-17 13:43:54

Just in case it affects anyone else - DD has been invited to apply for priority halls, so she's more likely to get the halls best for her needs.

bigbluebus Wed 10-May-17 00:17:27

DS (asd) was told to give reasons on his accomodation application as to why he would need a certain type of room so that he would be considered a priority.

DS's DSA assessment lasted about 1 hour. It was just a general chat about his needs. It was done locally (by someone from another Uni) before he went off to his Uni. We had to provide evidence of his diagnosis (from 12 years earlier) although he had a Statement all through school so there was at least some recent evidence of his needs.

BestIsWest Wed 10-May-17 09:51:32

Have just sent DS' application off.
We paid £350 for a post 16 assessment last year (Dyslexia and Dyspraxia). He had it done at the uni he will be going to.

BestIsWest Wed 10-May-17 20:33:51

And had an email saying he qualifies and to book an assessment.

BasiliskStare Wed 10-May-17 21:18:12

I don't know if this is universal , but in case it helps, DS's post GCSE ( i.e. after 16) Ed Psych assessment was refunded by the university once SFE had confirmed he qualified. But I say that from his experience , not from knowing the inner workings of SFE or other universities.

DS did not have a statement - just the Ed Psych reports, and what he needs is extra time in exams and use of a laptop. He was offered other help e.g. ( I think ) sw , but he has found his own way of dealing with things and so has not taken those up.

LIZS Wed 10-May-17 21:31:07

I've asked ds to find out whether the same level of support will be offered for 2nd year or if he needs some sort of review of his Needs Assessment.

BasiliskStare Wed 10-May-17 22:06:26

Just to emphasise I do not know whether all universities will refund the post 16 dyslexia assessment so please don't anyone take it as me saying they will. I just offer it in the spirit of helpfulness in that it might be a question which is worth a phone call.

LIZS - I will check but I think once he had done the SFE / DSA forms and the assessment it ( i.e. his help) rolls over year to year. But worth checking as I do not know how other universities work. (And indeed my knowledge is vicarious as DS has pretty much sorted this out himself now) - But a good thought. What I would say is that any help Ds does not get is more to do with him not seeking it out with the university , rather than them not offering it. (Again, 2nd hand information)

NoHaudinMaWheest Thu 11-May-17 10:26:34

As far as I know the help does roll over. Certainly ds's mentoring and study skills support was documented in his DSA forms as being for all years of his course.
I think he does have to renew his exam access arrangements with the university exams office each year though. That may be specific to his university though.

eatyourveg Sat 13-May-17 23:00:24

Ds has now filled out most of the form - 2 questions have come up

1. His uni has to fill in a section - does he send the whole form to them and they pass it on to sfe or do they do something online or does he post the whole form off to the uni with a stamped addressed envelope so that they can send it back to him to then forward on to sfe? He hasn't registered with the ALS dept at his uni yet as he assumed you did that at enrolment - bit concerned they won't know who he is or what his difficulties are
2. On one section it asks for the date you were last assessed for your disability or spld - in the notes it talks about having a post 16 assessment if you are applying for help based on a spld. DS would be applying by virtue of his autism and the assessments and diagnosis for that, date back to when he was 3 - nothing since apart from his sen statement which was reviewed annually at school by the LA but the reports for that aren't assessments they are more like progress reports - what date should he put? His diagnosis date from when he was 3 or the last annual review back in 2014?

TIA

BasiliskStare Sun 14-May-17 18:04:37

Eatyour ,

Re question 1 as far as Ds can recall, he downloaded the form , printed it , filled it out ( it needs a proper signature) , filled out his bits , posted it it to the university and then they did their bits and sent it on themselves to SFE ( i.e. he did not see it after he had done his sections of the form - it went straight to SFE after he had posted it to the university) I think he rang and checked this with the university admissions at the time as he wasn't sure. Anyway as far as he remembers , hardcopy , sent to University and they send on to SFE.

Re 2. DS was spld and he definitely needed a post 16 assessment, so can't answer that one - slightly different circs here. I would get him to phone and check.

What I would say is that he phoned the university admissions dept when he was unsure and they were hugely helpful in making sure he knew what had to be done and btw very nice. I would encourage your Ds to do that.

Not quite the same situation, but hope it helps.
Basilisk.

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