DS with additional needs - what help is there

(11 Posts)
MargoLovebutter Wed 24-Jan-18 09:57:42

DS has a diagnosis of ASD, high functioning (made when he was 7) and has severe dyslexia. He is bright & got good GCSEs and is hoping to achieve at least 3 Bs at A level.

He has applied to various unis, had some interviews and fingers crossed he will get a place from one of them and head off in September.

It is FOREVER since I went to Uni myself and I didn't have any additional needs, so I have no idea at all if we can expect any support or help. I read bland paragraphs in Uni prospectuses about providing learning environments for everyone and having learning support but it all feels a bit vague.

Is there anything of substance available?

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LIZS Thu 25-Jan-18 08:03:38

Did he include details of his issues on his UCAS form? When he submits Student Finance application there is a box to tick to apply for DSA which will trigger an application for support and funding. If he gets offers he needs to go along to offer holders days and specifically speak to the Disability Support team. They will give you a feel for what they generally offer and how they tailor support to the Needs Assessment and any funding he may receive. It could include mentoring, one to one support, software, equipment etc. Once he has firmed an offer the uni may get in touch to discuss the next step and any evidence he would require.

MargoLovebutter Thu 25-Jan-18 09:54:24

LIZS, yes he did include his issues on the UCAS form. Thank you for hte tip about going to offer days and speaking to the Disability Support team. I knew nothing about that.

Someone has said that he needs a re-diagnosis as an adult? Do you know if that is the case?

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LIZS Thu 25-Jan-18 10:05:57

He will need written reports. For Spld like dyslexia it has to be a Post 16 assessment by a qualified individual such as an Ed Psych although some SENCOs are also permitted (he may already have one for Exam Access Arrangements). For medical conditions it can be a consultant's report. Again the uni's Learning Support team should be able to advise what is relevant in your ds case. The Needs Assessment can then be done over the summer or at the beginning of term to identify what support is required. Ds' was done by someone from an external agency who visited the uni.

MargoLovebutter Thu 25-Jan-18 10:18:08

That is so helpful - thank you LIZS. He has a scribe for exams, which the school arranged with the exam boards. He is at a school which is heavily geared towards those with additional learning needs, so I'll ask the SENCO if they have permission.

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lettuceWrap Thu 25-Jan-18 10:33:57

My DS was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 5, he’s now at university. Nowadays he would have the label ASD (like his much younger sibling), very academically bright and “high functioning” but as you know, that certainly doesn’t mean no problems.

He did declare his diagnosis on his UCAS form, but I know that many others don’t, because when my other 2 DC (neurotypical) accepted their Uni offers, both got standard emails asking them to please declare any issues such as ASD, dyslexia, etc, any other issues so that they could be assessed.

My DC did provide information from his school and Dr, and also was interviewed, had some assessments, I think it was student disability services that did it (not really sure of the name, but it was organised by the Uni and carried out on campus).
He continues to get the extra time in exams (on computer where appropriate), that he got in school.
In 1st year he had a mentor, and he can go and ask for help with organisational stuff. He was also awarded money for a laptop and some other stuff.
I was in the first assessment meeting he had the summer before he started Uni (at his request), and from that, I can tell you he would have also got money for taxis to and from Uni, if he had been incapable of using public transport (mostly because where we live, there’s very little public transport, it’s rural, most people go by car)... in his case, although he was quite anxious about using public transport, we had devised our own plan and over the summer he spent time traveling around on busses and trains (we scenario- planned, “if you miss the bus then...”etc etc).

So yes, there is a lot of help, but the young person has to be quite proactive in asking for it, and discussing their needs... so please prepare your DC for that aspect!

MargoLovebutter Thu 25-Jan-18 11:16:22

Exciting update - he has literally just texted me to tell me that he has receive his first offer through. So happy for him. There have been points when I thought this day would never come. I know he still has A levels to get but what great news!!!!!!

Thanks Lettuce, that is really helpful information too. It is reassuring to hear that there does seem to be real support, if you track it down. Does your DS have a mentor or counselor or anything like that at his Uni, who he could go to if he need to?

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LIZS Thu 25-Jan-18 11:22:44

smilegreat news!

lettuceWrap Thu 25-Jan-18 13:31:59

Margo, yes, he has someone he can talk to (and there’s the whole student support office too.
In first year he had a mentor who came to meet him at uni and gave tailored advice for problem areas (organisational skills etc), but he didn’t feel the need to continue with that after the first few months (he could have applied for more funding for that, if needed).

lettuceWrap Thu 25-Jan-18 13:32:19

Great news about the offer!

MargoLovebutter Thu 25-Jan-18 13:34:34

Thanks lettuce - that's good he had access to a mentor. I would really like DS to have someone he could talk to. He has one at school and it is a huge help.

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