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Advice 6th form for newly diagnosed asd & adhd

(11 Posts)
TheMagnificentStanley Wed 24-Apr-19 16:33:12

Hi. This is my first post in this topic, so hope appropriate.
Very recent diagnosis as above, picked up almost immediately as likely undiagnosed asd as prob explanation for problems that had been present from about 14. Is really struggling in college and likely to need to repeat this year. We are finding it almost impossible to get post diagnosis support and I think until he has some psychological input, meds get sorted and some skills work he is going to find it impossible to cope or stay on in a college setting. We are looking to identify possible options that will keep him linked in with something whilst he has a chance to learn the skills he needs and understand what all this means for him, including the possibility if private school. Does anybody have any experience of similar situation?

We are struggling and I fear that if he can't maintain at college, which in reality he can't at the moment, he will become so disaffected and separated from peers and any semblance of a 'normal' life he will fall even further behind. He already thinks he's stupid and worthless (despite WAIS showing that academically very very bright, but huge differential with processing speeds). Am so frightened for what the future may hold and so angry (at myself and services) that this was not identified sooner. Now feel we have a small window of opportunity and very much want to find a way forward but feel thwarted by services. He is willing to engage (did so fully with assessment process which we eventually went privately for as gatekeeping and services passing him around from pillar to post became intolerable and we saw an ever deteriorating mental state)

This was longer than I planned. So thank you if you read it and any advice appreciated.

Punxsutawney Wed 24-Apr-19 20:42:06

Unfortunately I don't have much advice but can totally understand your situation. My Ds is 14 and currently being assessed for asd. I feel very guilty that we did not pursue a diagnosis sooner as Ds is really struggling in year 10. It's such a difficult age without dealing with the assessment process and all the problems that come along with it. Unfortunately my Ds does not want to engage with anything, he is starting to become depressed. I too feel like we are running out of time to get him help.

My Ds's school are pretty rubbish and he is still on a long waiting list for a speech and language assessment. Although I don't expect much support even with a diagnosis. I don't feel like there is help anywhere.

Does your son's college have a good senco and additional needs department? Could they step up with their support for him? If he is going to repeat a year would it be worth him moving to a more supportive college if there is one?

Sorry I'm not much help but I can totally understand how you are feeling. It is very difficult with teenagers that have a late diagnosis. It feels that they have missed out on the vital support that those diagnosed younger were able to access.

TheMagnificentStanley Wed 24-Apr-19 22:53:30

Thank you for responding. I know it feels like such a rubbish time for them to have to be dealing with this, am told its not unusual for the difficulties to become less manageable, and therefore lead to more obvious indications. However I agree, feel missed so many opportunities that an earlier diagnosis would have afforded. Current college is pretty good, don't imagine we'll find better. But he needs time to learn how to manage the difficulties more effectively to cope with the level of independent organising and planning that I think is required, but trying to keep open as an option as they've been really helpful so far. Am sorry to hear your schools not supportive and I hope you get the assessments you need soon... And then that you defy experience and actually manage to access a service that helps in a timely fashion.

Neolara Thu 25-Apr-19 15:52:22

What are the specific difficulties he is having?

HardAsSnails Thu 25-Apr-19 15:58:14

Google your local authority name + local offer and see what services are actually available. Getting a private diagnosis can mean you don't get referred into available services. You need to be proactive!

You might want to consider applying for an EHCP. IPSEA and SOSSEN websites can help with this.

But, ultimately, there's very little support so you will probably have to either do it yourselves or look for either informal or paid support.

TheMagnificentStanley Sat 27-Apr-19 14:38:09

Significant difficulties in executive functioning. Thank you for the advice.

Neolara Sat 27-Apr-19 16:58:45

Have you spoken to the senco about what support the college can offer your ds? Did the report suggest any strategies?

Ellie56 Sat 27-Apr-19 21:15:23

When he was 19, our autistic son struggled through mainstream college because of poor processing skills and working memory. He ended up nearly having a nervous breakdown because of all the stress and pressure of being expected to fit in and do what everybody else did.

It took a very long time, he was out of education for a year and we had to fight every step of the way, but eventually he got an EHCP and went to a specialist residential college for students on the autistic spectrum. Up till then he had always been in mainstream education.

He has been there now nearly three years and has done fantastically well. He has made outstanding progress in all areas, and is doing things I never thought possible.

In your position I would apply for an EHC Needs Assessment. Info here:

TheMagnificentStanley Thu 02-May-19 19:10:21

Hi. Thank you for the info. Really helpful. Do you mind my asking what college your son attended?

Ellie56 Fri 03-May-19 17:05:51

Farleigh FE College in Somerset. They take students from 16 to 25.

TheMagnificentStanley Tue 07-May-19 06:56:51

Thank you. That's really helpful.

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