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6th form difficulties, suggestions please. (long, sorry)!

(6 Posts)
Dawndonna Fri 14-Oct-11 10:30:34

Ds2 has Aspergers and has started 6th form this year. He had all sorts of plans, most of which have gone awry.
The school had an open day for the new intake which seemed to go reasonably well. Some difficulties because he's the new boy, so some of the girls took advantage and we ended up with him being so distressed he threw up. However that was resolved and he told everyone that it was too soon for relationships. That too went out of the window and he has a girlfriend. On paper that is fine, except when 6th form started, he was already involved, she's there too, and the lads he met he is not seeing. This is the first time he's done the social thing, and we're trying to achieve some sort of balance, so we try to encourage him to have some of the lads round too. Not really working at the moment, because he doesn't know how to ask, however, school have been brilliant and have managed to arrange something for this weekend.
On top of this, he insisted he do 5 AS levels. He is bright, but not so bright that he can juggle girlfriend/social/homework stuff. He has already handed in one essay late, and needs an extension for another. We and the school feel that he would be better off dropping the spanish. This would give study periods (what we used to call free periods), meaning he could use the time to both chill in the sixth form common room (meeting people other than the girlfriend) and do study at school, thereby freeing up some evenings for relaxing, socialising, spending time with family instead of nose to the grindstone etc. We have offered to continue spanish lessons, but in his leisure time, perhaps an hour a week, rather than the timetabled four hours, and of course, no exams.
The suggestion has not gone down well and resulted in meltdown last night and this morning. I had to take him into 6th form today ( I thought he should take the day off and come to terms with things but he insisted) and talk to the director. She's brilliant and I know she will call me if there are further problems.
How can I explain to him that it's not the failure he sees it as. It's common sense that he gets a balance and he's better off with 3 A levels about which he knows lots (he'll drop maths after AS) rather than 4 that he knows bits about?

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 14-Oct-11 22:22:00

Hi Dawn. Sorry, I've no advice, but there are people here with DC your DS's age who will hopefully spot this.

intothewest Fri 14-Oct-11 22:35:40

My DS (SN) is only 7,but my DD (NT) will be going to 6th form next year- They are only allowed to take 4 subjects and drop one at AS level.From looking into it I think the workload is going to be tough as it is,so wouldn't want to add another subject on.

I appreciate though that your son may not see it that way- Hope it gets sorted soon(I think you are right by the way !)

daireen Fri 14-Oct-11 22:41:39

My suggestion would be get him to look at University entrance requirements, which won't ask for 5, it is usually 3 or 3 + an AS. Even if he doesn't know whether of not he wants to go, it might offer reassurance that the plan need not included 5.

Many schools don't allow 5 subjects and for good reason: VERY few kids can do well enough at 5 to make it worth it. If he isn't planning on medicine, Vet school, or Oxbridge he shouldn't be even considering it and frankly most good universities want the UCAS points to come from 3 GOOD A levels not 4 or 5 mediocre ones (assume he will drop one after AS anyway)

The transition from GCSE to A level is a LOT harder than most think.. I have watched both of my daughters struggle with it... both straight A/A* at GCSE so pretty able (elder one now doing medicine at Uni, younger in A2 year) and they had to work pretty hard... eldest has ADHD, dyslexia dyspraxia and is on the spectrum and she had to work flat out to get the A grades she needed at A2 year even after dropping her 4th after AS levels. It's NOT worth the stress, even more so if he is doing the sciences.. maths and chemistry are particularly evil!

I really hope that someone in school can persuade him to drop a subject now.. I can imagine the resistance, but it really is in his best interests.
Can you get school to look at Uni requirements with him to reassure him? Maybe get some prospectuses from online so he can see for himself?

Dawndonna Sat 15-Oct-11 09:46:11

Okay, we have extracted (and I do mean that) an agreement to drop Spanish. he is planning on medicine, so it's not an essential, and the teacher will run a lunchtime conversation session, so he can keep up the language without the pressure of homework/exams. Director of 6th form (said she's good) rang Cambridge admissions, they directed her to an article in the telegraph a while back stating that they'd rather have 3 good As than 4 badly done ones. They'd rather have a more in depth knowledge. He knows this, he is calming down now, but it's sad to see him feeling as though it's some sort of failure, he is one of those people that thinks anything less than an A is a failure too. I worry, because if he goes through life like that, he'll put too much pressure on himself and start failing. He's so frazzled now, and he's only sixteen.
Thanks for the replies, it's reassuring to see that I'm not the only one.
medusa He's doing maths, chemistry, biology and lit, and you're right, maths is evil!

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