DSA for Autism and Mental Health Problems?

Watch
bfm.mcdermott
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Hey,

I've been looking into DSA and was quite surprised to see how many different things they can offer people. Would anyone be able to tell me what sorts of things I might expect to receive, if anything, for the following:

- Autism Spectrum Disorder (high-functioning)
- Severe social anxiety, and generalised anxiety
- Depression (although I'm still in the process of getting a formal diagnosis so idk if I'll be able to apply for that even though I've had it for 5+ years)

I also have disordered eating but, because I'm in recovery, it only interupts my studying during relapses, so I won't apply with this.

The main things I'm worried about is that I really need an en-suite (because of the social anxiety and autism - I won't go to uni if I can't get one) and a printer.

Obviously if I don't get any DSA then I'll have to try and pay for it myself and my parents will try and help if they can, but DSA would really help...

Do you think they would pay for either of these?
Is there anything else they might offer me?

Also I know some people with similar issues can get lecture notes printed for them in advance... Is this related to DSA or would that just be something I need to ask my lecturers to do?
0
reply
centraltrains
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
I have HF ASD and Anxiety.

I get:
Specialist Mentor
1 to 1 Study Skills Support
Specialist Software and money towards a laptop for wish specialist software goes on. [I would have to find out what the software is as I don't use it.]
Can claim for printer ink and paper.
Dictaphone

I was offered a printer though didn't accept. [I am a commuter student and there isn't really any room for an additional printer in the house.]



You are required to go to an assessment centre who basically have a meeting and chat through how you work [which can be a little challenging as they ask you how you work, yet you haven't started uni yet]. [You have to pick from a list yourself, however its a bit strange because they all have ratings yet these apparently don't truly reflect the quality of the centre (according to the mental health team at my uni)]. For me this felt a lot like a sales pitch.

All of the things you get, are then outsourced to 3rd party companies to provide which you have to contact. Personally I find this a dehumanising experience and makes me feel like a commodity for businesses to take advantage of just because of disability.

I have heard you can get an en-suite funded, but this is through a reasonable adjustment with the accommodation provider rather than as a DSA.

Apparently there is an app called "Brain in Hand" which can help with managing unexpected circumstances which can have some kind of premium service funded too.

[Sorry if my wording is poor, very tiered]
2
reply
Plagioclase
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by bfm.mcdermott)
Hey,

I've been looking into DSA and was quite surprised to see how many different things they can offer people. Would anyone be able to tell me what sorts of things I might expect to receive, if anything, for the following:

- Autism Spectrum Disorder (high-functioning)
- Severe social anxiety, and generalised anxiety
- Depression (although I'm still in the process of getting a formal diagnosis so idk if I'll be able to apply for that even though I've had it for 5+ years)

I also have disordered eating but, because I'm in recovery, it only interupts my studying during relapses, so I won't apply with this.

The main things I'm worried about is that I really need an en-suite (because of the social anxiety and autism - I won't go to uni if I can't get one) and a printer.

Obviously if I don't get any DSA then I'll have to try and pay for it myself and my parents will try and help if they can, but DSA would really help...

Do you think they would pay for either of these?
Is there anything else they might offer me?

Also I know some people with similar issues can get lecture notes printed for them in advance... Is this related to DSA or would that just be something I need to ask my lecturers to do?
When you apply for the DSA, you'll have what's known as a "needs assessment" which is essentially a conversation where you explain what your needs are, and conversely they explain what arrangements can be made for you. I don't know where you're thinking of applying and what the accommodation situation is like there but they should be able to ensure you're able to have an ensuite (however I don't think they will be able to pay for any difference as a result of having an ensuite). When I applied, I think a printer was something that the DSA could cover, but I don't know if that's still the case (I'm pretty certain that it does still cover the cost of printing/paper etc though). Another thing the DSA generally covers is specialist ASD mentoring if that's something you think would be useful. They will also cover the cost of specialist note-taking software or an actual note-taker in lectures if that's something you need. Basically though, they will tell you what is (and what isn't) possible when you go for your needs assessment, so the best thing you can do is just apply as soon as you get the offer you want to firm.
1
reply
bfm.mcdermott
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by centraltrains)
I have HF ASD and Anxiety.

I get:
Specialist Mentor
1 to 1 Study Skills Support
Specialist Software and money towards a laptop for wish specialist software goes on. [I would have to find out what the software is as I don't use it.]
Can claim for printer ink and paper.
Dictaphone

I was offered a printer though didn't accept. [I am a commuter student and there isn't really any room for an additional printer in the house.]

You are required to go to an assessment centre who basically have a meeting and chat through how you work [which can be a little challenging as they ask you how you work, yet you haven't started uni yet]. [You have to pick from a list yourself, however its a bit strange because they all have ratings yet these apparently don't truly reflect the quality of the centre (according to the mental health team at my uni)]. For me this felt a lot like a sales pitch.

All of the things you get, are then outsourced to 3rd party companies to provide which you have to contact. Personally I find this a dehumanising experience and makes me feel like a commodity for businesses to take advantage of just because of disability.

I have heard you can get an en-suite funded, but this is through a reasonable adjustment with the accommodation provider rather than as a DSA.

Apparently there is an app called "Brain in Hand" which can help with managing unexpected circumstances which can have some kind of premium service funded too.

[Sorry if my wording is poor, very tired]
Thank you so much! This really helped

What exactly are specialist mentors and 1 to 1 study skills support?
How do they justify a dictaphone? I understand how it would be helpful but I'm not sure why specifically for autism/anxiety.

In the assessment meeting, would you need to justify why you need certain things or would they do that for you? I.E. Would I have to come up with good reasons for anything I was going to request and then convince them?
(Original post by Plagioclase)
When you apply for the DSA, you'll have what's known as a "needs assessment" which is essentially a conversation where you explain what your needs are, and conversely they explain what arrangements can be made for you. I don't know where you're thinking of applying and what the accommodation situation is like there but they should be able to ensure you're able to have an ensuite (however I don't think they will be able to pay for any difference as a result of having an ensuite). When I applied, I think a printer was something that the DSA could cover, but I don't know if that's still the case (I'm pretty certain that it does still cover the cost of printing/paper etc though). Another thing the DSA generally covers is specialist ASD mentoring if that's something you think would be useful. They will also cover the cost of specialist note-taking software or an actual note-taker in lectures if that's something you need. Basically though, they will tell you what is (and what isn't) possible when you go for your needs assessment, so the best thing you can do is just apply as soon as you get the offer you want to firm.
Okay thank you!

Is the needs assessment connected with the university? Like, is it at the university? Or at somewhere completely separate nearer home?

How do they justify things like note-takers or note-taking software?
Obviously if you have a physical impairment that stops you writing then I'd understand but I've seen a lot of people with mental illnesses and Autism who have it... I think it's a good thing but I'm unsure what you'd say as the reason why you need it.
0
reply
Pathway
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
I had a lot of different things. Software, printer, dictaphone, allowances, exam arrangements, arrangements with my department regarding additional support (such as getting lecture notes early), specialist mental health mentor, etc. My university also assigned me a support worker as well, but that wasn't related to DSA, as she was assigned to me from before I even enrolled. SFE refused to pay for ensuite accommodation, despite the fact I needed an adapted, ensuite, on-site room or I wouldn't be able to go, but my university paid for the difference with non-standard award from the Hardship Fund in first year, and later on from non-standard awards from the Access to Learning fund.

I have numerous issues, some physical (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and related issues) and a bunch of mental health problems. I'm open to answering any questions you might have.
2
reply
centraltrains
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by bfm.mcdermott)
Thank you so much! This really helped

What exactly are specialist mentors and 1 to 1 study skills support?
How do they justify a dictaphone? I understand how it would be helpful but I'm not sure why specifically for autism/anxiety.

In the assessment meeting, would you need to justify why you need certain things or would they do that for you? I.E. Would I have to come up with good reasons for anything I was going to request and then convince them?
My support was initially contracted through clear links; they provide some useful descriptions on what they do which will probably give a good idea:
https://crystal.clear-links.co.uk/Me...listMentor.pdf
https://crystal.clear-links.co.uk/Me...killsTutor.pdf

I can't remember the exact justification. I think it is to do with being able to relisten to lectures for lapses in concentration [in case uni lecture recording software isn't working] and also the recordings can be used with one of the piece of software to take notes.

You have to provide evidence of disability, but don't really need to justify things. It's more of they listen to how you work and then offer/suggest things they can fund which may be helpful [but can request specific things].

DSA Assessment centres can be found here: https://www.dsa-qag.org.uk/students/...essment-centre [student finance pat (not loan), strange they tell you the cost imo]
0
reply
Plagioclase
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
(Original post by bfm.mcdermott)
Is the needs assessment connected with the university? Like, is it at the university? Or at somewhere completely separate nearer home?

How do they justify things like note-takers or note-taking software?
Obviously if you have a physical impairment that stops you writing then I'd understand but I've seen a lot of people with mental illnesses and Autism who have it... I think it's a good thing but I'm unsure what you'd say as the reason why you need it.
I think it varies. Oxford University does needs assessments in-house and I was recommended to go to theirs, but I honestly don't know how it's done elsewhere. What I would suggest is that you contact the disability advisory service (or equivalent) at the university you want to go to when you get an offer, and if they have a recommendation of where to do the needs assessment, they'll let you know.

I'm not really sure how they justify those things to be honest, I didn't see any point of having a note-taker in lectures but since they were offering the note-taking software, they basically said I might as well take it and then I can decide whether I wanted to use it or not, so I did, and it turned out to be really useful actually.
0
reply
bfm.mcdermott
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#8
(Original post by Pathway)
I had a lot of different things. Software, printer, dictaphone, allowances, exam arrangements, arrangements with my department regarding additional support (such as getting lecture notes early), specialist mental health mentor, etc. My university also assigned me a support worker as well, but that wasn't related to DSA, as she was assigned to me from before I even enrolled. SFE refused to pay for ensuite accommodation, despite the fact I needed an adapted, ensuite, on-site room or I wouldn't be able to go, but my university paid for the difference with non-standard award from the Hardship Fund in first year, and later on from non-standard awards from the Access to Learning fund.

I have numerous issues, some physical (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and related issues) and a bunch of mental health problems. I'm open to answering any questions you might have.
Thanks for replying! It's annoying about DSA not covering ensuite rooms but I'll talk to the uni and see if they can help. What sort of software did you receive?
Sorry...What's the Hardship Fund and the Access to Learning fund?
(Original post by centraltrains)
My support was initially contracted through clear links; they provide some useful descriptions on what they do which will probably give a good idea:
https://crystal.clear-links.co.uk/Me...listMentor.pdf
https://crystal.clear-links.co.uk/Me...killsTutor.pdf

I can't remember the exact justification. I think it is to do with being able to relisten to lectures for lapses in concentration [in case uni lecture recording software isn't working] and also the recordings can be used with one of the piece of software to take notes.

You have to provide evidence of disability, but don't really need to justify things. It's more of they listen to how you work and then offer/suggest things they can fund which may be helpful [but can request specific things].

DSA Assessment centres can be found here: https://www.dsa-qag.org.uk/students/...essment-centre [student finance pat (not loan), strange they tell you the cost imo]
Thanks for the links - they were really helpful!
Okay, that sounds useful.
So is student finance the funding body?
(Original post by Plagioclase)
I think it varies. Oxford University does needs assessments in-house and I was recommended to go to theirs, but I honestly don't know how it's done elsewhere. What I would suggest is that you contact the disability advisory service (or equivalent) at the university you want to go to when you get an offer, and if they have a recommendation of where to do the needs assessment, they'll let you know.

I'm not really sure how they justify those things to be honest, I didn't see any point of having a note-taker in lectures but since they were offering the note-taking software, they basically said I might as well take it and then I can decide whether I wanted to use it or not, so I did, and it turned out to be really useful actually.
Oh okay, thank you! I'll look into that.
They see quite generous with this sort of thing
0
reply
Pathway
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
(Original post by bfm.mcdermott)
Thanks for replying! It's annoying about DSA not covering ensuite rooms but I'll talk to the uni and see if they can help. What sort of software did you receive?
Sorry...What's the Hardship Fund and the Access to Learning fund?

Thanks for the links - they were really helpful!
Okay, that sounds useful.
So is student finance the funding body?

Oh okay, thank you! I'll look into that.
They see quite generous with this sort of thing
The Hardship Fund and Access to Learning (A2L) funds are one and the same. Just different names. The name changed from the Hardship Fund to A2L in 2014 or something. Every university has one (afaik). It's just pots of money where if students are low on funds and would otherwise need to drop out, the university will bail them out, basically. The non-standard awards are for people who aren't low on cash necessarily but have a different reason for requiring assistance (such as needing help to pay for accommodation due to disability). Yeah, my assessor and support worker were frustrated with SFE for not granting it as I wouldn't be able to go to university without the help, but my support worker was able to help me with the applications to the Hardship Fund/A2L my university has.

I had speech to text software (I struggle with typing and writing due to my EDS, so for long essays I preferred the use of just talking), text to speech software (poor concentration), dictaphone software, mindmapping software (I find it easier to coherently write essays when I've mapped them out). There might've been some other stuff, but I don't remember. I graduated in 2016.
0
reply
bfm.mcdermott
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by Pathway)
The Hardship Fund and Access to Learning (A2L) funds are one and the same. Just different names. The name changed from the Hardship Fund to A2L in 2014 or something. Every university has one (afaik). It's just pots of money where if students are low on funds and would otherwise need to drop out, the university will bail them out, basically. The non-standard awards are for people who aren't low on cash necessarily but have a different reason for requiring assistance (such as needing help to pay for accommodation due to disability). Yeah, my assessor and support worker were frustrated with SFE for not granting it as I wouldn't be able to go to university without the help, but my support worker was able to help me with the applications to the Hardship Fund/A2L my university has.

I had speech to text software (I struggle with typing and writing due to my EDS, so for long essays I preferred the use of just talking), text to speech software (poor concentration), dictaphone software, mindmapping software (I find it easier to coherently write essays when I've mapped them out). There might've been some other stuff, but I don't remember. I graduated in 2016.
Ohh okay.
Thanks so much for helping me I’ve only just started looking into the system so I don’t know much about this stuff. You’ve really helped ty x
0
reply
Pathway
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
(Original post by bfm.mcdermott)
Ohh okay.
Thanks so much for helping me I’ve only just started looking into the system so I don’t know much about this stuff. You’ve really helped ty x
Your assessor will be very knowledgeable. :yep: Good luck and you're welcome.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Current uni students - are you thinking of dropping out of university?

Yes, I'm seriously considering dropping out (86)
13.98%
I'm not sure (29)
4.72%
No, I'm going to stick it out for now (194)
31.54%
I have already dropped out (13)
2.11%
I'm not a current university student (293)
47.64%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise