DSA for undergrads

(25 Posts)
Aurea Fri 31-May-19 16:57:03

My nephew has Aspergers and is applying for university for 2020. He has Aspergers and currently receives 25% extra time for exams and the use of a laptop. Would anyone be able to comment on the likelihood of a successful application for DSA and the possible amount he may receive?

Huge thanks!

OP’s posts: |
TheFirstOHN Fri 31-May-19 18:11:02

He is likely to be awarded DSA. It's not an amount as such, more that they agree to fund specific support.

DSA doesn't decide on exam arrangements. That's done by disability services at the university itself.

TheFirstOHN Fri 31-May-19 18:16:24

Examples of support he might be eligible for:

- Weekly session with a specialist mentor.

- Note talking software.

- DSA-approved laptop to run above software (he would have to pay the first £200 himself plus the excess amount if he wants an upgrade above and beyond the basic model provided.

GhostIsAGoodBoi Fri 31-May-19 18:33:00

I get DSA for ADHD and Anxiety/Depression and my package is -

- Taxi to and from University. I pay £1 cash each way, DSA pay the rest to the company directly

- One to one support with a specialist, I have 30 sessions over the year, I can use them weekly or spread them out and have more during exam periods

- £100 for ink and paper, I pay this then claim it back

- specialist software and training on that

- they made recommendations for the exams and the disability team at Uni agreed with all of them, I get extra time and I can get and walk around, stretch etc during exams

- I already have a laptop that meets their specs so they paid for the insurance on it; again I had to claim it back

No cash is given directly to the students by DSA

Aurea Fri 31-May-19 19:09:44

Thank you! That's very helpful.

OP’s posts: |
BasiliskStare Mon 03-Jun-19 05:24:58

@Aurea - I would just check he has an up to date diagnosis - in whatever form that takes. So - ds is dyslexic - he had to get another Ed Psych report before going to University ( as I recall - after offer but before he went. ) This maintained ( similar to your son - 25% time and use of laptop ) No money but as @TheFirstOHN said he was offered some sessions to see whether he would need extra help etc. As it happened he had with the laptop and extra time worked out his coping strategies over time.

So I would say if laptop & 25% time is his current normal way of working I would be confident this would apply. Make sure you get the DSA forms along with the SFE forms as even if not applying for money - these still need to be filled out & returned to get the extra time and using laptop in exams. Above all - when it comes to it and he has his place , do phone the university admissions ( Ds's was very helpful) and the DSA to get some advice re forms and anything you may need to do. Ds had sessions to discuss requirements but already had a laptop & given so many students do - that wasn't on the cards . He was offered some sw similarly to @GhostIsaGoodBoi - in DS's case he thought the time taken to learn it would outweigh what he thought he could cope with - but that's just a choice. But also - no money changed hands - in Ds's case it was more about how he could take exams.

But I appreciate not the same situation - so I would just say nearer the time get nephew to get on the phone to SFE ( DSA) and the s[ecofoc university admissions people. Ds found them helpful.

Good luck to him

OKBobble Mon 03-Jun-19 06:37:15

If you are not applying for SF but want to apply for the DSA element can you access these forms direct or do you have to make a nil application with regards main finance?


TheFirstOHN Mon 03-Jun-19 07:33:44

You can apply for DSA without applying for student finance, but it's accessed via the same website.

TheFirstOHN Mon 03-Jun-19 07:36:53

Correction: if you're applying for DSA without applying for student finance, the .gov website says should apply here

wonderpants Mon 03-Jun-19 07:45:13

What proof do you need of diagnosis?
My DD has autism (diagnosed by Camhs aged 10) but doesn’t have an EHCP at school or a DLA claim.

LIZS Mon 03-Jun-19 14:13:32

Depends on the condition but usually either a diagnosis letter or post 16 assessment, although anyone can apply for DSA as reports and assessment follow later in the process.

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 03-Jun-19 14:17:55

You need the original dx letter for most medical conditions (including ASD) that is sufficient.

For SPLDs (dyslexia, dyscalculia, etc and dyspraxia is also included in this) you need an educational psychologist or specialist teacher assessment done after the student's 16th birthday. They are very strict on this. DD's assessment was done when she was 15y 11m but we still needed a new one.

NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 03-Jun-19 14:24:27

As well as applying for DSA through SFE or equivalent, it is important to contact the disability service at your chosen university.
They will then be aware of needs and can talk you through what support the university offers.
Things do differ from university to university so it is best not to make assumptions.
Exam arrrangements are always made by the individual university though if you have a needs assessment for DSA that helps with proof of need.

If the student is likely to need adjustments for accommodation (accessible room, ensuite, quiet flat for example) it is a good idea to contact accommodation services at the university too.
The sooner you do all this the better.
It gives time to put things into place and to iron out problems.
It is best to do initial planning with both firm and insurance choices too.

TheFirstOHN Mon 03-Jun-19 15:04:52

Agree with NoHaudin

DS1 didn't contact disability services until after results day (once he knew where he was going) but even doing that was helpful in making them aware of him, and they set up a meeting in his Freshers Week.

It was disability services who sorted out all the exam arrangements. They also supported him when he was unable to access part of the assessment for one of his modules (an alternative method of assessment was found). None of this support was directly related to his DSA package.

GhostIsAGoodBoi Mon 03-Jun-19 16:35:10

Disability services at my University wouldn’t see me until I’d been seen by the DSA assessor.

TheFirstOHN Mon 03-Jun-19 16:57:11

Ghostisagoodboi (great name: yes he is!)

Many people (not all) apply for DSA in the late spring / early summer before they start university, which gives time for them to been seen by the assessor, get the funding approved and contact disability services before they start.

I realise that for some people it's not possible to apply that early, for example if they haven't yet received a diagnosis or are waiting for paperwork for doctor or psychologist.

GhostIsAGoodBoi Mon 03-Jun-19 17:00:59

@TheFirstOHN I managed to get it all sorted for depression and anxiety by December (complicated by the fact I moved areas and when I called previous GPs surgery my amazing GP had left and they couldn’t give me contact details sad)

ADHD was flagged up on screening tests. Looked into Ed Psych - cheaper, Uni would fund half, but no medication could be given and no clout with NHS. So I’ve had to save up to see a Private Psych and have to travel from East Mids to London - which I’m not sure my anxiety will allow.

Long shot OP but he could apply for PIP too. My advisor at Uni helped me with the forms.

BasiliskStare Mon 03-Jun-19 17:43:09

@OKbobble - as I understand it to apply for DSA you do have to apply to SFE even if you put £0 as what you are applying for ( i.e. financially for fees , accommodation etc) sorry if this has been said already

bananasonfire Tue 04-Jun-19 13:43:10

This year the rules for DSA have changed so that an assessment for SPLD administered at any age is acceptable, however the assessor must be a specialist teacher assessor holding a current SpLD Assessment Practising Certificate [APC] or a practitioner psychologist registered with the HCPC.

TheFirstOHN Tue 04-Jun-19 15:09:14

DS2 has the original diagnosis letter from when he was 9 (from neurodevelopmental psychiatrist and neurodevelopmental psychologist at a tertiary centre).

Since then the only letters mentioning his diagnoses are from the community paediatrician but he is now under a CAMHS psychiatrist so might be able to get a letter from him.

BasiliskStare Tue 04-Jun-19 17:17:25

Let others better qualified say - but DS graduated last year had to have a post 16 yo diagnosis. So do check. But don't rely on me - we got this information from SFE and university. I am not an expert. If the rules have changed then they have. But do check.

stucknoue Tue 04-Jun-19 17:19:13

Dd has it, it funds a weekly session with a mentor/counsellor. It's mostly awarded for specific things.

BasiliskStare Tue 04-Jun-19 17:19:41

( NOT btw way saying @bananasonfire is wrong - not at all ) But just worth checking the particular circumstances for your DC) Things may very well have changed. Main thing is to get current rules for your DC's particular circumstances.

All Best

stucknoue Tue 04-Jun-19 17:24:06

Ps most universities have additional services but the prospective student needs to make themselves known (there's a way through ucas or let the university know directly after results are known) dd was offered a session in early September to help with acclimatising and planning and a session during freshers - this years she is involved in planning a special event during freshers for incoming asd students

MillicentMartha Tue 04-Jun-19 17:56:22

DS2’s ASD diagnosis letter was too long ago. He was 3! We had to get a SLC standard form signed by his GP, just confirming he had ASD. She put it affected every aspect of his life, which it does. We were signed off by his paediatrician around 14 years ago.

They didn’t need any other ‘proof’ but I sent his most up to date EHCP as well.

He doesn’t need a laptop, or writing software as he uses the college machines. He doesn’t get 1:1 support in lessons/lectures, that’s not covered unfortunately. He gets 64 hours a year of mentoring outside of college. He’s doing an HND so no exams, just assignments. He’s just finishing his first year and hasn’t used all his hours, he mentor didn’t see the need. He has had mostly 1 hour a week.

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