Assessment for additional needs at uni - what to do, how to do it - help please

(20 Posts)
MargoLovebutter Thu 26-Apr-18 15:29:23

DS is hoping to go to uni in the autumn, if he gets the grades. He's got a firm offer and back up.

He has quite severe dyslexia, a diagnosis of ASD, dyspraxia and some other specific learning disorders. He declared his issues on his UCAS application, so everyone knows what his issues were.

His ASD diagnosis was made when he was 7 and the dyslexia, dyspraxia and SLDs about a year later.

I believe he has to be reassessed now he is an adult and to ensure he gets the right support at Uni. Does anyone know how best this should be done? Do we go to the GP, do we go to an assessment centre. If anyone has been through this, I'd really appreciate your input.

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 26-Apr-18 15:38:44

Does he have a Post 16 Assessment (for exam access arrangements for example) or consultant's report, detailing his issues and adjustments required? The uni's Student Disability Support Service can offer advice on how to arrange the Needs Assessment, if you are near a uni they may be able to organise it even if not one of his choices. The department from his firm choice may even get in touch first. We paid for ds's Post 16 Assessment and found a very local EP online who charged about £350. He then has his Needs Assessment done via the uni in the autumn.

titchy Thu 26-Apr-18 15:45:35

He will need to get in touch with the Disability office at the university he ends up at, as soon as he gets his grades. They should give him all the help he needs. They'll probaly have their own assessments so don't go to your GP or seek your oqn.

MargoLovebutter Thu 26-Apr-18 15:49:27

LIZS, he has had some kind of post-16 assessment at his school, because he qualifies for a scribe in his public exams. No consultants report though, since he had his original ASD diagnosis when he was 7. The dyslexia, dyspraxia & SLD assessment was done privately when he was 8, so there is a massive 48 page document for that, which his school used.

What's an EP?

OP’s posts: |
BeachyUmbrella Thu 26-Apr-18 15:51:57

Educational Psychologist

MNscum Thu 26-Apr-18 15:53:49

Uni are very likely to do their own assessment

LIZS Thu 26-Apr-18 16:03:12

We were advised to get a post 16 Assessment done before starting as that speeds up the process of getting support in place and there is often a delay with so many leaving it until they arrive. The Needs Assessment is part of the process for DSA funded support (he needs to tick the relevant box on the Student Finance Application) and follows on.

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MargoLovebutter Thu 26-Apr-18 16:07:18

Thank you all. Sometimes I don't know where to start and DS has gone into panic mode! not helpful

I've just looked at the Uni website and the new students disability information and they say they require 'diagnostic' evidence. I'll send them an email and clarify what exactly they consider to be 'diagnostic' and see where we go from there.

LIZS, how does the online thing work - can they make a full assessment from that?

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 26-Apr-18 16:10:24

I meant we found her online but she met ds in person to do the assessment.

MargoLovebutter Thu 26-Apr-18 16:11:38

doh LIZS! Got it now, thank you.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 26-Apr-18 16:38:51

We found her via the PATOSS website.

senua Thu 26-Apr-18 16:59:30

I'll send them an email

Sorry, was that a typo. Did you mean to say he will send them an email.wink
University is not like school; they won't speak to parents. He's got to put on his big-boy pants and sort this out himself.

eatyourveg Thu 26-Apr-18 17:34:07

ds (asd) just sent in his diagnosis report from when he was 3 along with the paperwork from his last annual review and statement from Y11. (its dyslexia that requires a post 16 assessment, for asd its just the diagnosis report) The DSA people contacted him and he went for a long assessment in the next town - he was there for over 2 hours long but he came out of it really enthusiastic about all the different types of support available. The dsa people sent his uni a copy of the report.

MargoLovebutter Fri 27-Apr-18 12:11:13

Good website, thank you LIZS.

Thanks eatyourveg, that's really helpful to hear your son's experience.

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2rebecca Fri 27-Apr-18 15:12:05

My son's last dyslexia assessment was at primary school but the uni accepted that and he just had a chat with their disability person who gave him advice on their "package" for dyslexic students. Your son sounds more complex though. A tricky area as we had to go privately for the dyslexia assessment

NoHaudinMaWheest Fri 27-Apr-18 15:16:10

Please do not wait until after he has his results. You (he) needs to get things going now.

First step is to apply for DSA (disabled students allowance). He can tick the relevant box when he does his application for student finance. If he has already applied for student finance he can do a separate application at any time.

They will ask for evidence of his disabilities. For dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and other specific learning disabilities, he will need a report done after 16. This can be done by an educational psychologist or a specialist teacher with the right qualifications.
For ASD and other conditions he needs medical evidence e.g. the initial diagnosis and some evidence of how it affects his studies. If he has an IEP or EHCP at school that should be enough.

He will be asked to send in this evidence and Student Finance will assess whether he qualifies for DSA. In his circumstance, it is very unlikely that he would be refused.
He will then be asked to go for a Needs Assessment and given a list of centres. He could go to the one at the university he plans to attend but it doesn't matter as the assessment will be valid for any university. It might be more convenient to go to one near home. You don't have to pay for the assessment as the cost is covered by DSA.

We found the assessment for Ds was really good and covered everything we had thought of and a few that we hadn't. It was so different from previous experiences when the professionals seemed to be trying to provide as little as possible rather than covering all needs well.

Once he has the Needs Assessment report, he should send it to the disability service at his first choice university. He should arrange to meet them well before term starts, ideally after the A level exams. They can then discuss how the Needs Assessment recommendations are going to be implemented. Some things like exam arrangements are organised by the university internally so this can also be discussed then.

If he is going to be living in university accommodation, it is worth contacting accommodation services now to make them aware of anything he might need (a quiet flat or priority for an ensuite room for example).

Some universities have short orientation courses for students with ASD before the start of term so it is worth enquiring about that from disability services and booking up.

Sorry that is a bit of an essay. I have done this with ds two years ago and I am now doing it with dd for this year. If I can help further do ask.

MargoLovebutter Mon 30-Apr-18 10:56:26

2rebecca and NoHaudinMaWheest thank you both. NoHaudin don't apologise for the essay - the more info I can get, the better.

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chickenloverwoman Sun 24-Jun-18 19:21:05

Thank you from me as well, most useful and helpful info. Just done second open day, with helpful support team who outlined all this and gave us guidance, and the DSA forms to complete. First Uni mentioned nothing, even though we specifically spoke to the support team and disclosed DDs diagnoses. She's now revising all her short list based on how they respond to questions about student support smile

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 25-Jun-18 13:41:03

That is a good idea chicken . The support offered by ds's university was a major factor in his final decision. He has has some struggles along the way and the support available has been invaluable.

chickenloverwoman Tue 26-Jun-18 01:00:07

Unfortunately DDs diagnosis includes oppositional stuff. Enough said i think!

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