College not taking condition seriously

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Coolguy22468
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19 Jan 2014, 6:00 pm

I have a diagnosis of Aspbergers and ADHD and I was previously in a special school for it but I am now in a mainstream college.

One thing I have noticed is because of the level I work at people don't take my aspbergers seriously where my college doesn't make all my lecturers aware of the fact I have aspbergers and makes me work in conditions which I find difficult such as loud rooms full of artificial light and working with people I don't know and have never met before as well as people saying things that they have no intention of doing.

Another things I also notice is people don't realise that because of my ADHD some things I can do sometimes I can't do at other times which can be difficult to explain as it makes me look like a naughty kid.

Many of my diagnosis are around 8 years old which I often get told that I have grown up since then and they are not valid any more and that I should live with it.

Does anyone know the best way to explain to people to explain to my course team leader how bad my aspbergers can be and to make it so that he listens.



thewhitrbbit
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19 Jan 2014, 8:03 pm

Quote:
doesn't make all my lecturers aware of the fact I have aspbergers


Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the college cannot disclose to your professors your disability. Only you can do that. The college I work for provides students with a memo certifying they are registered with the disability office and any accommodations they receive. The student must then share this memo with the professor. Are you registered with the disability office? If not, you need to be.

For the age of your documentation, it is prob to old to be used, especially the ADHD part, but if your coming from a special school I'd assume you have valid documentation (3 years I think is the cutoff). If not, talk to the doctors you've seen, or see if the disability office can refer you to someone.

I've never seen a professor win out against the disability office when it comes to accommodations, but without that certification, your at the mercy of the professor if he/she believes you or thinks your gaming the system.

As for working in group conditions, I've never seen an ADA accommodation that exempted students from group projects. I have seen one that allows students to leave class briefly without permission to reset. I don't know what to tell you about artificial light though, every room in a building is going to have it, maybe sunglasses would help? Or a seat near the window? I've seen those accommodations given.

People saying things they don't intend to do, that's true of life in general.



StatsNerd
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19 Jan 2014, 8:37 pm

The main difference between grade schools and college is that you are now your own advocate. It is both illegal and not the job of the college to tell your professors you have Asperger's or ADHD, unless you require special accommodations. It is your responsibility.

The college is under no obligation to schedule your classes in small cohorts in rooms with no artificial light - that goes well beyond providing equal access (which they are bound by law to do) into fundamentally changing the nature of the program (which they are protected by law from having to do). If you need accommodations made for testing, that is your responsibility to arrange through Student Disability Services. You might also try your Counseling Center; they might be able to assist with an updated diagnosis on the ADHD; if your University has a graduate program in Psychology, the Psychology department may also run a clinic that will provide diagnostic services.



zer0netgain
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19 Jan 2014, 8:40 pm

Just a side note....

College is about preparing you for life. In a somewhat twisted way, their not being much help to you is actually preparing you for the real world. Lots of people out there won't give a rat's behind about your AS.

It's the same way with anyone who is "socially awkward." All the "important" things you need to master that will actually get you ahead in the world colleges don't have classes in, but those who figure it out are set for life while the others just get a mountain of debt and a very expensive piece of paper to show for it.



Coolguy22468
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19 Jan 2014, 9:21 pm

I am in the United Kingdom (sorry I forgot to mention) here I think colleges are required to tell all staff if someone has special educational needs if the staff work with that student. Our colleges are more like high schools.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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19 Jan 2014, 11:23 pm

Please don't assume ahead of time that eight years means it is no longer a valid diagnosis.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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19 Jan 2014, 11:49 pm

And you don't necessarily need to be a lone ranger in dealing with disABILITIES Services or with any other university officialdom.

In Herb Cohen's excellent book You Can Negotiate Anything (not strictly true, but I love the title!), one lesson I took is that it is often precisely good negotiation to have someone else negotiate with you. I mean, mayors of cities do this for crying out loud.

For example, if you're talking with someone that you wish to be treated with respect and as a valued participant in a group project or have an equally good alternate project, it's acceptable to have a relative, friend, former teacher, former coach, etc, sitting there with you. This is the method of having your advocate present. The other person in the meeting is then likely to be more formal and more on his or her best behavior. Now, just like any method, it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I feel it does put the odds more in your favor. And if your advocate sitting there with you is an older person, the odds are probably even more in your favor. Shouldn't be this way, but probably is.



thewhitrbbit
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20 Jan 2014, 10:35 am

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
Please don't assume ahead of time that eight years means it is no longer a valid diagnosis.


Very true. The law just requires the paperwork be within 3 years. We have many students who were diagnosed young and still have their conditions.