AUTISM: what happens when they leave school?(11 Posts)
Ds is 17 and contemplating applying for university after A levels. He loves school but I'm worried about how he will cope with the extra freedom and lack of structure at uni. Does anyone have any experience of this?
Sorry, no experience yet. I've been wondering about this aspect for my elder 2 boys. DS1 (17) is dyspraxic & desperate to go to sea (?) & DS2 (15) has no idea. Its worrying to think of them out there all alone.
Hope you get some answers- I'll be watching with interest.
Universities now have a Disability Officer/Team who offer advice and help with a number of disabilities. They may be able to give advice about things like house-shares with other students or may have a list of families who take in students as lodgers. The second option may help your ds to establish a better structure and routine.
They may also have advice about day-to-day life at university. I think you mentioned on another thread about your ds having sensitive hearing? This may make note-taking difficult in a room full of 100+ students. They may be able to arrange for lecturers to give your son some notes themselves. Alternatively he could take a dictaphone.
They may also be able to provide him with instructions of how to get to each class/lecture. This will be useful if he gets lost very easily.
Does your ds know yet which university he would like to go to? You may also find the Connexions service useful to get more general advice about university and careers options. I think Connexions are for 14-19 year-olds so your son is in the right age-group.
Connexions should have your son as a priority as he has SN. Have a chat with the school, they should be able to put you through to the right person
thank you thank you thank you for your replies!! Will sit and digest these for a while before responding.
Immediate thought - ds is definitely of the 'geeky' persuasion but funnily enough struggles with maths - his passions are languages and history. I n some ways I think uni will be an ideal environment for him - I remember meeting geeky types there myself.
Just read your posts and wanted to make sure you know about "Disabled Students Allowance". bad name I know but basically anyone with special needs is entitled to it (you need to ring the education dept of your local council). Basically once your son has a university place he will then be given an assessment to see what help they can offer.
This includes computer equipment, dictaphones etc as well as help with doing library work, IT or support strategies in terms of help with managing workload, time or whatever is relevant. Also the Disabikity Discriminination Act means that they are required by law to do everything possible to ensure a student is not disadvantaged so if lectures were for example in an acoustically unsuitable room for a hearing problem they would be obliged to move it somewhere suitable for your son. Also essay extensions, alternitive arrangements for exams etc etc etc if needed.
Anyway I have had brilliant experiences with help through this system and recommend it to anyone with any sort of Special needs. Hope this is of use!
My 16 year old son has high functioning Aspergers and is due to leave school in less than 6 weeks time, we are looking to send him to the local 6th form centre and his statement goes with him
I work in a college with students with learning disabilities, some with asperger syndrome. I think careful preparation is necessary to prepare for the change so that your son will know exactly what he is going to. Certainly ask the College for support and advice and try to find a local group of AS people who meet socially and to support each other. Try to meet with the Tutor and explain about your sons needs, for stucture etc. A university that responds positively to your enquiries is what you are looking for. The fact that he loves school is a positive indication. Go for it!
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