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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:40 am 
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So my son seems to be doing well enough on his A level courses to be looking at doing Aerospace Engineering at uni....he is studying maths FM and physics...his teachers believe he could get A*AA if he works hard next year and improves his writing/ presentation skills. The thing is he has dyspraxia and Crohn’s and I wonder if something like aerospace engineering will be too busy / full on for him to manage...I know he can get support through disability student services and allowances to help...just wondering if anyone has any insights/ experience that might help


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:46 am 
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Location: Reading
All engineering degrees have quite a full timetable. I had well over 20 hours a week plus stuff to do outside Plus projects in some years.

Another thing to consider is whether he will do a placement (which I’d recommend) and how that will work out too.

Hopefully the individual unis he is interested in will be able to advise him better on how they can accommodate his needs.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:03 pm 
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Tinkers wrote:
All engineering degrees have quite a full timetable. I had well over 20 hours a week plus stuff to do outside Plus projects in some years.

Another thing to consider is whether he will do a placement (which I’d recommend) and how that will work out too.

Hopefully the individual unis he is interested in will be able to advise him better on how they can accommodate his needs.

Thanks ..my own Uni course was pretty well full time work with lots of labs and contact time...and I managed it pretty back then...not knowing I too had dyspraxia so hopefully knowing will at learn mean he can get support if necessary...we have been to a few open days..and are looking at courses with a year in industry.
He is doing a Headstart Engineering course next week then Senior Space School in August so getting a few tasters into uni life


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:10 pm 
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Location: Reading
Good luck to him.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:43 pm 
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The disability rules and support should be universal but in practice they vary hugely between institutions.
I would make sure you and he speak to the relevant people at each university he is interested in. This is one case where parental involvement is definitely helpful even though he needs to be largely independent.

Don't just go by what the policy says but speak to the individuals who will actually be involved. Each department should have a disability person as well as the disability services at the university level.

Also get in touch with the students union and ask for their opinion.

Its also worry checking how good the local GP cover is for students.

In theory his disability shouldn't reduce his options but as unfair as its is there are some departments in some Universities who make it very hard going.

I dont know that Newcastle does the appropriate course but I have heard from various reliable sources that the Engineering department there is very supportive.

If he is entitled to learning support then check on the credentials of the tutors. Not many have a science background and most dont therefore understand the workings of STEM courses v Humanities etc.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:34 pm 
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KB wrote:
The disability rules and support should be universal but in practice they vary hugely between institutions.
I would make sure you and he speak to the relevant people at each university he is interested in. This is one case where parental involvement is definitely helpful even though he needs to be largely independent.

Don't just go by what the policy says but speak to the individuals who will actually be involved. Each department should have a disability person as well as the disability services at the university level.

Also get in touch with the students union and ask for their opinion.

Its also worry checking how good the local GP cover is for students.

In theory his disability shouldn't reduce his options but as unfair as its is there are some departments in some Universities who make it very hard going.

I dont know that Newcastle does the appropriate course but I have heard from various reliable sources that the Engineering department there is very supportive.

If he is entitled to learning support then check on the credentials of the tutors. Not many have a science background and most dont therefore understand the workings of STEM courses v Humanities etc.


Thank you ...all useful advice...I am struggling to grasp how much I need to advocate and support vs letting go... I guess I will find it easier to let go if the support is good and DS knows he can ask for support when needed..


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:56 am 
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DC17C wrote:
KB wrote:
The disability rules and support should be universal but in practice they vary hugely between institutions.
I would make sure you and he speak to the relevant people at each university he is interested in. This is one case where parental involvement is definitely helpful even though he needs to be largely independent.

Don't just go by what the policy says but speak to the individuals who will actually be involved. Each department should have a disability person as well as the disability services at the university level.

Also get in touch with the students union and ask for their opinion.

Its also worry checking how good the local GP cover is for students.

In theory his disability shouldn't reduce his options but as unfair as its is there are some departments in some Universities who make it very hard going.

I dont know that Newcastle does the appropriate course but I have heard from various reliable sources that the Engineering department there is very supportive.

If he is entitled to learning support then check on the credentials of the tutors. Not many have a science background and most dont therefore understand the workings of STEM courses v Humanities etc.


Thank you ...all useful advice...I am struggling to grasp how much I need to advocate and support vs letting go... I guess I will find it easier to let go if the support is good and DS knows he can ask for support when needed..[/quote

Its a tricky balance but I agree with your approach.
I'd talk through with your DS what he wants before any meetings so he can take the lead. Apart from being there to back him up, you can help assess whether a particular uni/department are actually likely to deliver what's needed.

It might be worth taking travelling time into consideration as well as a reassurance for both of you. My DCs felt more confident knowing a parent could get to them if needed - thankfully it rarely was!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:55 am 
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Thank you again for the above advice...we have Bristol, Bath, Birmingham, Coventry, Loughborough and Southampton all within reasonable distances with courses which look good...I will explore the support offered in a bit more detail. DS likes Bristol and I studied there in the past..and loved it but the accommodation is a long way from the departments I suspect a campus might be a better option.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:16 pm 
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DC17 I have pm'd you re: SEN provision at Coventry.

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Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad !


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:02 pm
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Location: S E London
I would definitely agree with speaking to people in the actual department about support - and not just the designated support person. We (DD and I) have found it is worth speaking to any random adult you find and see what sort of response you get. At one university we have had very positive discussions with the actual disability support services, but a less than positive 'vibe' from a lecturer we spoke to. A subsequent e-mail to the departmental disability support person got a reply from the director of education for the department (it sounded as if the disability person was away) in which he stated what the university expects from lecturers and how the disability support services would organise stuff - but no mention of what the department actually did - it had a distinct whiff of 'the uni might expect it but it doesn't mean we agree and will do it'.

I tend to give DD quite a bit of support on these visits - she has a word finding problem which, once she is confident and knows people, isn't very noticeable but when faces with an unknown expectant-looking adult everything she wants to say disappears and I have to prompt her. Having been through this a couple of time now I think I might make her write a list so she can refer to that rather than me!


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