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Asperger's Syndrome - evidence for disability support at university?

(17 Posts)
Kleinzeit Fri 01-Apr-16 23:36:18

DS is 17 and has an Asperger's diagnosis. He went through mainstream primary school with a lot of support then by the time he got to upper primary school he needed less suport and after his first year at secondary school (when he had a major wobble) he has been coping successfully with no TA support at all. So he's doing really well. But of course he still has an ASC and the difficulties that go along with it.

So, in September he will be off to university. He put his Asperger's diagnosis on the UCAS form, and we've heard from the disability services at the universities he is intereseted in. They offer introductions to university life before term starts for students with ASCs, support, etc. and they suggest he applies for DSA. But this is where it gets tricky. For DSA and for support from the universities, he needs recent formal evidence of his diagnosis. But we don't have any! He was diagnosed at 6. CAMHS discharged him three years ago (and they only stayed in contact for that long because I insisted). We don't claim disability benefits any more and the school educational psychologist hasn't been involved with him for years either.

So how do we prove his Asperger's Syndrome? Who do we ask? How do we go about it? Has anyone else gone through this process?

NoHaudinMaWheest Sat 02-Apr-16 17:03:48

I have exactly the same problem. Ds has other issues and I have recent evidence for them but nothing for his ASD.
I have asked the disability service at his chosen university what evidence they need but not had a reply yet. However I am fairly sure that at an open day they said a letter from the GP would do. (Not that the GP knows anything whatsoever about his ASD.)

Kleinzeit Sat 02-Apr-16 17:16:46

Thanks for that NoHaudinMaWheest - I think I'll give the uni disability service a call next week. GP would be easiest, certainly!

LIZS Sat 02-Apr-16 17:18:57

We've got to arrange a post 16 assessment for ds' dyspraxia.

Kleinzeit Sat 02-Apr-16 17:28:33

They seem to put dyspraxia and ASCs under different headings though, or at least the DSA form seems to say that ASCs need medical confirmation. It's all so complicated!

There's a thread on AIBU complaining about parents helicoptering their kids through university, well my DS is fine at academic work but he gets anxious trying to wrestle with forms and bureaucracy and that includes university SN bureaucracy. It does my head in, never mind his!

NoHaudinMaWheest Sun 03-Apr-16 01:25:12

Haven't seen that AIBU thread but my ds will definitely need support (not helicoptering) through university.

Dyslexia needs a post-16 assessment too but I have already sorted that. I didn't realise that dyspraxia was put into that category as well. It doesn't seem very logical at all.

TheDrsDocMartens Sun 03-Apr-16 07:21:36

Try a letter from the GP, they accepted that for my condition(not ASC)

Kleinzeit Mon 02-May-16 18:01:28

Just checking back in to say thank you to everyone for suggestions. I spoke to the university's disbilities office and they said a letter from the GP would be fine although they'd really like more detailed information so they can give advice.

We now have a letter from the GP confirming DS’s diagnosis. Cost £25 to get it but never mind!

HarHer Sun 08-May-16 07:32:50

Hello,

I used to work in disability related support in further education and we had many requests. We would often advise young people to gain a letter from their GP. I would also advice the young person to ask the Disability Support Service at the university if your son could come for some additional (transition related) visits to the campus. Also, make sure your son knows where to go for support and if he could be introduced to someone who he could turn to if he had any problems, you could have a point of contact too.

GrumpyOldBag Sat 29-Apr-17 14:50:15

Just found this thread, as I was not aware until someone mentioned it on another thread that my DS might also be entitled to DSA for mild Aspergers, residual language delay & hyperlexia.

We are in a very similar situation to the OP. But DS has never been under CAMHS or had any disability benefits just some NHS SLT when he was very young, plus a lot of private SLT.

I had a look online at the government forms though, and wondered if it's worth the effort? He had an Ed Psych assessment when he was 15, so will need another one (not a good time for this as he's revising hard), and as far as I can tell all he's likely to get is maybe some money towards a computer.

LIZS Sat 29-Apr-17 14:58:54

Ds get dsa for dyspraxia. He already had a , somewhat elderly, laptop but he received recording software, a few bits of equipment and, most valuably, access to 20 hours of one to one support a year. He also gets exam access arrangements. You don't get cash rather funding for assessed support. A post 16 ed psych report was one route , I think medical or social needs can use alternative evidence. It is then reviewed face to face, specific recommendations made and appropriate funding agreed. I know one student in ds' accommodation had asd and had someone to notetake at lectures.

Mary21 Mon 08-May-17 13:32:48

The most valuable thing DS has from an ASD point of view is one to one mentoring of a weekly basis.

FastForward2 Mon 08-May-17 22:13:04

Grumpy - if you had private help, do you have anything from psychologist or other professional on headed paper, I think this would count as evidence?
We spoke to several university disability advisors and they all want to help, but some things are not available unless you apply for DSA.
In our case we had no such professional 'evidence' since early childhood, so forked out for private assessment still awaiting outcome, and also started process of assessment at school so we would have something on headed paper even if not in time to get the full diagnosis. Not sure how much help he needs, or will accept, but want to make sure he gets access to what he needs.

Mary how does weekly mentoring help? This has been suggested for ds but I am worried he thinks he does not need any help, if I could explain it more he might be more accepting.

GrumpyOldBag Tue 09-May-17 08:00:34

FastForward2 DS had a full assessment when he was 15, which cost £500. But the government website states that the assessment needs to be carried out post-16 and his school has confirmed he'd need another one. It doesn't seem worth it to get a grant for a laptop, which he has already!
I also need to have a chat with DS about it - he doesn't see himself as having any problems at all - but he's strung out on revision at the moment & i don't want to add to his stress.

LIZS Tue 09-May-17 08:19:48

Grumpy , if you can use the same ed psych it probably won't cost as much. If not shop around (Patoss website is helpful) . Ds' was £300 with a different one to previous. Some unis will do it free or low cost if you have one near you. It isn't only about equipment, the support and mentoring is funded via dsa.

GrumpyOldBag Tue 09-May-17 15:40:28

Interestingly, some of the University websites say you don't need a full assessment, a letter from the GP is sufficient.

ItsNotRocketScienceThough Thu 01-Jun-17 06:05:28

If you get a GP letter then please be sure it spells out the support needs - all of them. If your GP can't do this then ask DCs paediatrician. I was told a GP letter was all that was needed for my DC but the needs assessor based the recommendations for support on (who knows what - but it certainly wasn't DCs needs). She completely ignored his most pressing need leaving out the most essential support saying the DSA would not finance it (because there was no written evidence that it was needed - the GP letter simply confirmed the condition but said nothing about support needs except that they still existed). At the time we were told this this didn't matter as the specific support that was not needed would be provided as a reasonable adjustment if it was needed. This turned out not to be the case and DC got no support at all initially which led to an incredibly difficult start.

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