DSA Assessment Centres Are They All The Same?

(28 Posts)
Itscoldouthere Fri 19-Jul-19 07:29:07

My DC have to go and have a DSA assessment, you get sent a list of centres near you. Are they all the same? Does it make any difference where you go? Should you just go to the nearest one?
Any experience of having an assessment would be great.

OP’s posts: |
swisscheeseplant Fri 19-Jul-19 07:40:18

I assess students to see if they are eligible for DSA. If they are, the next step is a DSA Assessment- the feedback I receive suggests that centres are variable; however, I have no idea how you would find out the best centre other than through specific recommendation. If you have a report with good recommendations for support that should help.

Itscoldouthere Fri 19-Jul-19 09:20:28

@swisscheeseplant thank you for your reply. Both my DC are going to university in September, they have both been approved for assessment but have different needs, one has dyslexia, one ASD.
I was hoping they could go to the same place to get assessed but didn’t know if certain places were better than others, generally or for their specific needs.
Near to us some centres seem to be attached to colleges/university others seem to be independent, I have no idea how to choose a good one.
We are happy to travel a bit further to get a good one.

OP’s posts: |
NoBaggyPants Fri 19-Jul-19 09:37:08

I can recommend the two universities in Nottingham, have used both and got the same awards.

I've noticed several independent services have appeared in the last few years, can't comment on them. They charge much more than the university services, and although that is not paid by the student, it wouldn't feel right using them when the university can provide the assessment at a much lower cost.

swisscheeseplant Fri 19-Jul-19 09:39:04

My clients speak positively of the centre attached to our local university- if they have retained their staff (and not outsourced), they are likely to be experienced regarding students’ needs. I know there have been some issues in other centres with staff who have insufficient training/experience and therefore making generic suggestions. My expertise is dyslexia, but I would suggest asking around at any local ASD support groups for suggestions for DC with ASD. I would also go to the appointments with clear ideas of the support that would be beneficial-that will very according to the course and the DCs’ individual needs.

Itscoldouthere Fri 19-Jul-19 09:51:12

Thank you both, I was wondering if certain centres would be better for different conditions, as obviously they have different needs.
They were both given their DX years ago and their needs have changed so much, especially the DC with ASD, he used to have a lot of provision but now he’s pretty independent and I’m more interested in him having some support if he finds living away from home/student life difficult.
I know that we don’t have to pay, but it seems most charge £650/700 which is such a lot of money.
I wondered if they should go to a centre attached to the university they are going to? Although we won’t know for sure for DS2 until he get his results in August.

OP’s posts: |
swisscheeseplant Fri 19-Jul-19 10:00:27

I would also contact Student Support at the university. I know they are really helpful with things like preferential accommodation for students with disabilities. The National Autistic Society has some good information on their website


Itscoldouthere Fri 19-Jul-19 10:04:19

Thank you @swisscheeseplant

OP’s posts: |
Empra123 Wed 24-Jul-19 16:35:14

We went to the nearest one. And came out with an assessment giving more support that we had thought would be available.

mum2eim Sun 04-Aug-19 23:52:08

We went to the local one. My daughter has ASD and we hoped that she would be offered support for the mental health difficulties that it comes with. I was astounded at the additional support she was recommended to have around learning, IT, study support. This was something we had never considered she might benefit from. So assuming it is all approved by SFE we have been extremely happy with the assessment process.

greengrower Thu 08-Aug-19 19:01:40

Is this something that needs to be done in advance of the start of the term? DS is off to Uni in Sept and seems to think it is something to get done once there. So far all he's done is send of the letter with his diagnoses codes detailed.

Itscoldouthere Thu 08-Aug-19 22:32:27

@greengrower after we submitted the medical evidence to DSA we got emails/letter saying they approved going for an assessment with a link to assessment centres, you just put in your postcode and a list comes up.
We’ve not been yet, I hope to get something booked tomorrow.

OP’s posts: |
Itscoldouthere Thu 08-Aug-19 22:35:03

I think once you have the assessment they send you a report with all of the recommendations, you take that to university with you so that the support can be arranged.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Fri 09-Aug-19 08:38:23

Yes it can be done once they have arrived but waiting may delay adjustments being put in place and if that involves specific accommodation requests best done in advance . The sooner it is booked the better though as others will need the same and may only be identified and referred by tutors once the course is underway.

NonHypotheticalLurkingParent Fri 09-Aug-19 20:59:28

Do the DSA send you a letter or email? On her application dd said she’d like to apply for it, but hasn’t heard anything yet!

Itscoldouthere Sat 10-Aug-19 08:45:45

@NonHypotheticalLurkingParent my D.C. were send an email saying they had been approved and needed to book an appointment at an assessment centre.
We booked yesterday and they are going next week, the assessment takes 2 hours.

OP’s posts: |
Itscoldouthere Sat 10-Aug-19 08:50:25

@NonHypotheticalLurkingParent just thinking did you get an email/letter requesting medical information? The first part of the application needs you to send off all the medical info you have.
One of my DC is dyslexic and to start with they said the information I sent wasn’t good enough, I phoned them and then sent additional information and they then accepted him.
The assessment only happens once they approve your medical information.

OP’s posts: |
NonHypotheticalLurkingParent Sun 11-Aug-19 12:28:32

Thanks, she’s had no email or letter regarding DSA. Got her to log into student finance and there’s something in there she has to do!

Getting there, slowly.

mum2eim Sun 11-Aug-19 14:29:05

@NonHypotheticalLurkingParent I think I had a similar problem for my daughter, She indicated or applied for DSA through SFE and we hadn't heard anything. Eventually I sat down with her and went through the application form and for whatever reason she hadn't clicked apply or submit or something like that at the end of it. Once she did that it all happened very quickly. She was asked to email medical evidence, then she got a letter from SFE saying she was eligible. She then booked the assessment centre (I think there was a telephone call to her to arrange this), she attended, had the assessment and then a report has been sent to SFE to ask for the funding for what she has been assessed as needing.
Having never gone through the process before we had no idea what the stages were or what to expect. Hoping now that SFE approves it all and then I expect we contact the student disability team at her preferred Uni. She just has to get the grades now!

Itscoldouthere Wed 14-Aug-19 17:55:02

Both my D.C. have been for their assessments today, all very easy and interesting to hear what support has been suggested.
They will now send the report off to SFE and hopefully they will approve it.
Just got to get through results day tomorrow !

OP’s posts: |
greengrower Fri 30-Aug-19 16:46:39

Now got appt for DSA assessment, did you go in with your child? Ours is very very very good at masking and basically saying everything is "fine" but then after wards we have had to appeal the result because actually, you know, things are NOT fine, at all.
Think that if they go in alone, same thing will happen sad but, they are technically an adult (19) and will be off to Uni away from our support in three more weeks.
Difficult to know what to do for the best!

Also, should we take all the medical reports from the last 12 Months? (DS only diagnosed 6 months ago)

Ffs1608 Fri 30-Aug-19 18:59:03

@greengrower. DS has appointment on Weds for needs assessment. He was sent a list of docs to upload and a form to fill in. The last box on the form asked would you like to be accompanied, what relation are they to you and their name. Phew! I was going to rock up and ask if I could support/gatecrash. I uploaded the GP medical they'd asked for and Access Arrangements from 6th Form.

mum2eim Fri 30-Aug-19 19:46:52

So my DH went with my DD. He stayed for the first bit which explained the process, and for the start of the assessment which was about travel. When they moved onto the IT discussion he asked whether he was needed and left. He came in at the end for the summary. I’ve just asked him and he said that if he’d wanted to stay in, he didn’t think the assessor would have minded.
I can’t remember if my DD took any reports with her but it is an assessment of what assistance they need, not whether they qualify for assistance as that decision has already been made. From what my DD said, the assessor was very good at teasing out of her what she found difficult. He appeared to be very knowledgeable.

greengrower Fri 30-Aug-19 20:41:44

Thank you, that's reassuring. DS has produced a hand written list of documents he says he has to provide, but no idea if he's actually been told this, as he won't share any info with us (he's always been very controlling about anything from very tiny, part of the PDA and anxiety aspects.)
He wo t shard the email with us, just screaming demands that we have to take him to the appt. Which of course, we were going to do!

Ffs1608 Sat 31-Aug-19 11:29:06

@greengrocer the Assessment Centre emailed DS confirming appointment and asked for DSA eligibility letter (which had told him to book assessment) and pre-assessment form. Could all be uploaded. Also medical evidence. Had to be done for yesterday (appt is Weds so 5 working days?)

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