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Neon304
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18 May 2010, 11:57 pm

Now that I can see thatgetting a diagnosis in my area will be difficult, and I can't just pay to see someone, I know that I can't let this stop me. I'm extremely lucky to have a family who at the very least tries to understand my differences, and are willing to support me as much as they can. With the support from my friends and family, I think I can handle college, now I just need a game plan to make sure I can in fact make it through. First off, I plan on going to a local college, maybe even just a local tech school so that I can afford it, so thatway I won't have to worryabout money being an issue, or at least notas much of an issue a sit would be if I went off to the school I wanted to go to (already made 1 failed attempt at that). So now what I need to figure out is, how to keep myself on track, and keep a passing grade. Obviously taking courses that I'm interested in will help keep me focused, but I know I'll have to take some classes that I'm not as interested in just to get the degree. So here are some questions for anybody that can answer them.

1. Do you need any special permission to use a tape recorder instead of taking notes? I could never take notes in high school, when I tried I always missed more than I wrote down, so I just tried to listen to lectures, and remember things later, and that worked fine for me in high school, but I doubt it will work for college, so a tape recorder could be a life saver.

2. What is the best way to go about managing your time while trying to do assignments? I honestly never completed a single essay of significant length in high school, i know I'm capable of doing much more, as I've actually posted forum posts on certain websites (although they were on various special interests of mine) that were as long if not longer than some of the essays I did write in high school, and I did them in significantly less time. (and that's before proof reading)

3. Well, this isn't so much a question as it is just asking for basic advice, because I haven't yet learned how to drive, most likely I'll have to live on campus, and that could open up a whole lot of problems, because I can be very easily distracted by noise, or if my roommate is doing something, just seing them up walking around could be a distraction. I have found in the past that listing to music can sometimes help (by drowning out the background noise) but other times it just seems to make things worse, and I can never tell before hand which result will come from that.


If anybody has any other advice that doesn't fit into one of the above areas, please share, and thanks in advance.



bee33
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19 May 2010, 12:39 am

Perhaps you can try to see if the school has any workarounds for people with disabilities. Even if you don't have an official DX, if you are seeing a counselor who knows about your issues, you should be able to make a case that you need some accommodations. For instance, where I went to school there were a few single rooms in the dorms, and you could request one if you had a particular medical/psychological need. There were also note-takers, though they did cost some money. (But I don't think that bringing a tape recorded should pose a problem.)



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19 May 2010, 12:47 am

Neon304 wrote:
1. Do you need any special permission to use a tape recorder instead of taking notes? I could never take notes in high school, when I tried I always missed more than I wrote down, so I just tried to listen to lectures, and remember things later, and that worked fine for me in high school, but I doubt it will work for college, so a tape recorder could be a life saver.


Usually not. If a professor doesn't allow tape recorders they have to put it in their syllabus.
My own advice on using a tape recorder: try to sit in the front row. When I've tried to tape a lecture from further back in the room, I get a bunch of paper rustling, people shifting, coughing, candy wrappers rattling and all kinds of similar stuff that makes it almost impossible for me to listen to the tape again without wanting to gouge my eardrums out with candy thermometers.

Quote:
2. What is the best way to go about managing your time while trying to do assignments? I honestly never completed a single essay of significant length in high school, i know I'm capable of doing much more, as I've actually posted forum posts on certain websites (although they were on various special interests of mine) that were as long if not longer than some of the essays I did write in high school, and I did them in significantly less time. (and that's before proof reading)


1. give yourself more time than you think you'll need.
2. if you're easily distracted, get an egg timer and set it for fifteen minutes, work till it chimes, take a five minute break, then go back to work. If you're super easily distracted, set the timer for five minutes and force yourself to work until it chimes.
3. schedule time to work on school work every week day. get a good routine going. If it turns out that you need more than the weekdays, schedule time on saturday and/or sunday as well. Truly schedule it, written down on a calendar, in specific time blocks and stick with it. Don't think, "I'll do something at some time on Monday" because before you know it, you're exhausted and ready for bed and have done nothing.
4. do "triage" on your homework. For example, if you have a paper due on Wednesday and an exam on Friday, work on the paper first.

Quote:
3. Well, this isn't so much a question as it is just asking for basic advice, because I haven't yet learned how to drive, most likely I'll have to live on campus, and that could open up a whole lot of problems, because I can be very easily distracted by noise, or if my roommate is doing something, just seing them up walking around could be a distraction. I have found in the past that listing to music can sometimes help (by drowning out the background noise) but other times it just seems to make things worse, and I can never tell before hand which result will come from that.


See if there is a quiet corner in the campus library that is really out of the way and people don't walk by often, put on some headphones and play music (I find music without lyrics is less distracting to me so I often listen to Mozart while studying. Or tribal drums works for me because of the hypnotizing rhythms.)

If your dorm room is big enough, maybe you could get a little privacy screen (you know, like women get dressed behind in old movies) that you can keep folded up out of the way normally to keep the room bigger but set up around your chair when you do homework to reduce visual distraction and maybe even to serve as a reminder to the roommate that it is quiet time.

Look around on campus for other quiet areas. For example, on my campus there is a building that is quiet and sort of dimly lit on the third floor of one building. Another building is almost entirely empty on the fifth floor and has a convenient table with chairs in the hallway.

If all else fails, consider rearranging your schedule to something less "normal" but more workable. For example, I get my best studying done at about 2 am when it's very still and quiet and everyone else is asleep. So I study and write papers from about midnight to three. Then I sleep for about four hours, then go to classes. Then I have a nap for about four hours. Then I eat, bathe, watch a movie, or whatever for about four hours, then it's study time again. Of course those who have a hard time sleeping between 4pm and 8pm would not be able to use a schedule like mine, but it has worked well for me for the last seven years of school and should continue to work well for the 2-3 years I have left.

Best wishes to you in your new school career!


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ambi
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19 May 2010, 1:08 am

At my school you need to ask the professor to tape record (or have it set up through the disability office). You also need your disability documented and evaluated by someone there for what services you need. So you can't just acces services easily (in fact I've been too lazy to document my considerable visual impairment). Again, this is just at my school.



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19 May 2010, 5:30 pm

You need to go way before school starts and speak with the office of disability support services/academic advising (it has different names everywhere). And be aware that some schools offer better/worse services than others, so that should be a factor in your college decision. I go to community college now and have had a lot of trouble because we have terrible disability support. I'm going to a really small 4 year school next year and I've had a better experience with them than I've had all year at my CC.

1. This is something you'll request from DSS. A good disability office will offer services like a tape recorder/note taker to you, but some places will make you come up with your own list. I got extended time on tests and excessive absences due to medical problems. If you go to voc rehab, they might buy you a tape recorder.*

2. If you have a good DSS department at your school, they will have someone who can help you with this kind of thing. Most places offer classes such as "improvement of study" and stuff like that, though I don't know how much it helps. This is my recommendation though. Before I chose a college, I visited the ones I was interested in and sat in on classes at each one. This gives you an idea of what it will be like when you're in school. This is also how I ultimately chose my school (for this fall, not my CC). Same goes for staying the night in the dorms, since you're planning to stay on campus.

3. DSS should direct you to residence life/housing. You explain your special needs (you'll need documentation as well) and they should try to help you work around it. Sometimes there's only so much they can do, though. I have problems with driving + I just want to live on campus so I'll be on campus, and I'm hopefully getting accommodations.

General advice:
A small college will be a lot easier when you have to go from one department to another (getting accommodations and such) and usually a small school can offer more help to the individual. Usually people won't look at a private college because they think it costs too much, but they don't realize that private colleges have more money; thus they give huge scholarships.

If you want to know anything else, PM me. College has almost become a special interest of mine now, cause I spent so much time choosing one.

*I went to them and they said they sometimes buy stuff like laptops for their college students. They will also pay for portions of tuition, housing, etc.



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19 May 2010, 5:44 pm

If you go to your college's disability office, be prepared to document your disability. I don't know of any university disability offices that will help people just based on them saying they are disabled. Even folks in wheelchairs have to get doctor's documentation that they require the wheelchair before disability services can help them. If you don't have a formal diagnosis of asperger's, see if whatever doctor/therapist you do go to is willing to document your difficulties, even if under a different name. Without those pieces of paper, the disability office's hands are tied as far as helping.


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Neon304
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20 May 2010, 9:35 pm

Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately I've already looked into ways to try and get some sort of documentation, and at one point I did have that (not an official diagnosis, but it did lay out the areas where I have trouble), but I lost it during my failed attempt at going to the school I wanted to go to last year. This is why I need to figure out how to handle this on my own.



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20 May 2010, 10:30 pm

I hope that your plan works for you. :)


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Sparrowrose
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20 May 2010, 11:53 pm

Neon304 wrote:
Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately I've already looked into ways to try and get some sort of documentation, and at one point I did have that (not an official diagnosis, but it did lay out the areas where I have trouble), but I lost it during my failed attempt at going to the school I wanted to go to last year. This is why I need to figure out how to handle this on my own.


I didn't submit documentation (because I'm stubborn and wanted to do things "on my own steam" though I've been told many times that I'm daft for not taking everything that is available to me) and so far I've muddled through just fine.

Try not to overload your schedule. Decide if you need "down time" between lectures or whether it's easier for you to have your classes all in one clump and push through and chill afterwards. You might not know the answer to that right now. Just pay attention to how classes make you feel and expect to be fine-tuning what works for you throughout your entire university career.

If you are one of those people who automatically say yes when someone ask an obligation from you, start training yourself now to say no. It's really easy to get overburdened at university by agreeing to everyone who asks a promise for something. If saying "no" is too hard, train yourself to say "let me think about that and get back to you" because in NT-speak that means "polite no" but it still leaves things open if you think about it for a while and genuinely decide you want to do it.

Tempting though it is to spend your free time holed up in your room in front of a computer, force yourself to spend some time out exploring. That is how you find the quiet places, the little nooks where no one else goes, the special places that will have meaning for you in years to come. When I think on university, it's places I remember much more fondly than people so make sure to get out and find some places that can become important to you.

Best wishes! You *can* do it!


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-- Randy K. Milholland

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