Arun Court School is well-placed to support students with these needs with a full range of interventions as well as therapies. Sadly students come to us experiencing other mental health conditions which have started with these issues, which in themselves are learning needs not mental health needs. Late diagnosis, lack of resources in schools, traumatic experiences and lack of understanding from friends all contribute to increasing anxiety around school or general low self-esteem. Again, we do not advertise ourselves as a specialist dyslexia setting, as we are not exclusively for that diagnosis, but we do have specialist staff and a speech and language therapist. Currently 20% of our students have dsylexia or discalculia.
Often students who arrive with eating disorders, PTSD, school phibia, separation anxiety and depression will have these accompanying needs. We always focus on potential and it is very important for these young people to understand that other testing may show their intelligence level to be high, eventhough they struggled within the standard school system.
For such students we first work on their mental health and self esteem, then put in intensive tuition and support for their learning needs. Learning styles analysis allows us to direct students towards 'quick wins' where they can experience success and often recognised certification in learning activities where they can excel - thus starting to raise their self-esteem.
Dyscalculia and Self-Esteem
Dyscalculia is a childhood disorder that affects the ability to learn arithmetic and mathematics in someone of normal intelligence, as compared with those of the same age who are receiving identical instruction. It is not a mental health disorder, but rather a nonverbal learning disability that causes difficulty with counting, measuring quantity, working memory for numbers, sequential memory, ability to recognize patterns, time perception, telling time, sense of direction, and mental retrieval of mathematical facts and procedures. To someone with dyscalculia, learning and performing math is like trying to understand a foreign language. Dyscalculia may also be referred to as math learning disability, acalculia, developmental dyscalculia, math anxiety, math dyslexia, or numerical impairment.
Whilst not a mental health disorder, sadly discalculia is still under diagnosed in schools and understanding / strategy research is far behind that of dyslexia. Being overwhelmed by seemingly foreign concepts, when everyone aroudn you seems to understand, chips away at self esteem and further conditions which are mental health related can sadly develop.
SOURCES OF HELP
These services are not associated with us. We are not responsible for the quality of service they provide, we are recommending them based on the positive experiences of some young people known to us. By inclusion in this list nor are we suggesting that we are in any way affiliated with these servcies.
ANXIETY UK - Support, online counselling, magazine, advice
Text line: 07537416905
Info line: 03444775774
A magazine packed full of useful articles around not just ASD, but the mental health aspects associated with it - fascinating reading and lots of signalling to specialist support.
Website provides support for young people, professionals and parents. Young people who feel they are having a mental health crisis can get instant emergency support by texting YM to 85258
OCD UK - advice, online counselling, support and magazine. Dedicated youth services.
PAPYRUS - suicide prevention young people's hotline 0800 068 41 41
An eating disorder support service - smaller than some of the bigger associations, but specifically aimed at young people.