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JimmyJ
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15 Jul 2012, 7:14 am

Okay so I do a media sort of course, and on the last day of term (a few fridays ago. I'm on holidays now) one of my teachers told me to go down to see the new program coordinator (the older coordinator left). I have this teacher for only one class a week, every friday.

He didn't exactly tell me what it was for, but I assumed it was for him to talk to me about my attendance (I missed some classes a lot due to my mental health problems and sleeping issues). So I went down to see him and he asked me to sit down.

For the next 10 minutes or so could possibly be some of the most humiliating moments of my life. He asked me why I was missing some of my Friday classes (i actually hate the friday class very much but I didn't tell him that. Nor did I tell him about my depression or aspergers/anxiety/social problems) but I did give him some reasonable excuse. I didn't have anything to do in some of those Friday classes (besides planning for a future class project) so I decided to stay home. And I told him that, and he said something like "Fair enough" but that I still should attend classes anyway.

He then proceeded to ask personal questions about why I am the way I am, like "Was it the way you were brought up?", I said no but he kept asking whats causing me to be in my shell. (I am kind of quiet and struggle to work in bigger groups. The friday classes are when the whole class works together in 1 group, whereas in the Monday-Thursday classes we work in smaller groups, of which I am much comfortable in. It's like the guy thought I was the way I am by choice. He may as well have asked "Where you dropped on the head as a child?"

Anyway the dude keeps questioning this (I don't know HOW he knew I had social problems, maybe my Friday teacher tipped him off, I don't know) or maybe he knew I was quiet because I was struggling to answer his dumb questions that didn't have an answer for them, and because I was terrified of this guy. He asked me "Are you intimidated by me" "No" I said, but of course I was. He kept staring at me and having these creepy laughs when I told him something. Surely he must have known he was making me feel uncomfortable but he kept persisting anyway. It's as if he enjoyed humiliating me.

He said something like "How are you going to survive in this industry being the way you are" (so Aspies are not allowed to work?)
He said a bunch of other stuff but I don't remember exactly what he said, but I remember he made me feel really bad about myself, yet he kept saying "I'm here to help you" when he was doing the exact opposite. He also told me to stop speaking to him in "that tone" when I didn't even have a tone.

He told me to think about why I'm doing this course over the 2 week holiday, and he wanted to see me again after the holidays. (the two weeks are already up, and today is the last day of those holidays)

It may sound kind of trivial in text, but trust me it was a horrible experience. Boy was I wrong in thinking it would just be another "Yep. Yep. Yep won't happen again" meeting (telling them what they want to hear) in which I would have done with previous coordinators.

When he finally let me let me go back to class, I felt so bad about myself and I honestly felt like I was going to cry (think I actually may have a little) and I was so upset that I just wanted to go home. I was standing around in the fire escape thinking about whether to go back to class or to just go home and not come back. It took me a while to think, but I ended up going back to class (mostly because someone entered the fire escape and the noise startled me so I just went back lol. But also because I didn't want that jerk to ring me up at my house asking why I didn't return to that class, and ruin my holidays)

So now it's Sunday night and I have school tomorrow. I don't mind the Monday-Thursday classes as much as the Friday classes, but I'm still scared to go back, what if that guy asks to see me?

To be honest,even though I don't mind some of the classes, I find the whole course to be pretty boring, so maybe I should just quit. I would possible have wasted a year of my life, and I may have lost any qualifications I was working to, and may have to get a job flipping burgers at McDonalds, but at least I won't be so depressed all the time. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to go back there. I feel like the only thing I want to do now is stay home and watch movies, that's what makes me happy :(

Help :(



Shroomy
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15 Jul 2012, 8:59 am

If you don't really like your course I think you should try and change it. Try to find something else you'd enjoy.

I'm not sure what your teacher's intention was, but I think it's possible that he is genuinely concerned about your ability to take this course material further. I once had an English Literature teacher at high school whom I didn't like at all because of his behaviour towards me. I struggled in his classes. He was never downright mean or anything like that but he was very frustrated with me in many ways. Anyway, after I was diagnosed with AS he found out about it and he became considerably warmer and understanding to me after that and tried to help in any way he could. He even read books about it and educated the other teachers about AS and other learning difficulties.

I think perhaps you should have told him about your difficulties, but since you really didn't like him I can completely understand why you didn't. However I think he could have been intrigued by you. I can't understand why a person would summon a student to his office for the sole purpose of humiliating them.

This is just my opinion though and I'm definitely no expert lol.

I'm sorry you had this experience. :( I hope things get better for you.



Alfonso12345
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15 Jul 2012, 9:52 am

I think maybe the coordinator was just trying to understand you but didn't know how. Maybe the coordinator was already extra frustrated about something and took his frustrations out on you without meaning to and hopefully is able to see how he did more harm than good and feels bad about it.

Or maybe... this coordinator just needs to be replaced because he's the wrong guy for the job. I do have one suggestion though. Maybe write down a list of the things that are causing difficulty for you, so that if this coordinator does want to see you again after the holiday break is all done, you can show him the written list and maybe try the best you can to explain it. Maybe the second meeting will be better, maybe it won't be, but all you can do is hope for the best.



CuriousKitten
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15 Jul 2012, 10:39 am

If movies are one of your special interests, and this course could help you get involved with making movies or other video presentations, then it is very important that you continue the classes.

It sounds like he was trying to get to the bottom of what's going on, even if he had to provoke you a bit to get you to reveal what you know/realize. It could also be possible that the instructors see an importance to the Friday class that you have not yet noticed.

If you have a diagnosis, it might be an idea to tell him that yes, he is comes across as intimidating, but if he is sincerely interested in helping, you have Asperger's and present him with a list of what you are having trouble with. If you are not comfortable with telling him about the Asperger's, focus on the individual issues like social anxiety.


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InThisTogether
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15 Jul 2012, 11:37 am

hmmm...

Well...I had to take a number of classes I didn't like with professors I couldn't stand. And some of them made me quite uncomfortable. But I had to take them. So I guess the first thing you have to do is figure out whether or not you really need this class. Because if you don't, you can consider whether or not you should drop it. But even if you don't, I'd think very carefully. I do not think dropping out of everything you find difficult is necessarily a good habit to get into and it can be a hard habit to break and sometimes it can impair your ability to get to where you want to in life.

For me personally, I think I'd tell the guy about your AS. It is quite possible that he was asking because he wants to figure out what to do to help. And the knowledge might change his approach. My son takes tae kwon do. When he was younger, he was a much bigger handful and his behavior was very difficult to manage sometimes. I know he frustrated his instructor because he frequently disrupted the class and did not listen all the time. It was about that time that my son was first diagnosed. When I told his instructor, everything changed. He became much more tolerant and worked harder at helping my son. Instead of just expecting him to behave like everyone else, he tried different techniques to see if they would help better, like physical redirection (touching his shoulder when he was not paying attention) instead of verbal redirection (which often involves yelling).

At 44, I still find myself avoiding certain people and certain types of interactions because they make me feel ineffective and...I don't know the word to use...defective? But I have found that it is better to just make myself face them if they are related to things important to me. It takes a lot of effort, though. But I will never get more effective if I always avoid things that make me uncomfortable.

Good luck in deciding what is the best course of action for you.



TheSunAlsoRises
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15 Jul 2012, 12:27 pm

JimmyJ wrote:
Okay so I do a media sort of course, and on the last day of term (a few fridays ago. I'm on holidays now) one of my teachers told me to go down to see the new program coordinator (the older coordinator left). I have this teacher for only one class a week, every friday.

He didn't exactly tell me what it was for, but I assumed it was for him to talk to me about my attendance (I missed some classes a lot due to my mental health problems and sleeping issues). So I went down to see him and he asked me to sit down.

For the next 10 minutes or so could possibly be some of the most humiliating moments of my life. He asked me why I was missing some of my Friday classes (i actually hate the friday class very much but I didn't tell him that. Nor did I tell him about my depression or aspergers/anxiety/social problems) but I did give him some reasonable excuse. I didn't have anything to do in some of those Friday classes (besides planning for a future class project) so I decided to stay home. And I told him that, and he said something like "Fair enough" but that I still should attend classes anyway.

He then proceeded to ask personal questions about why I am the way I am, like "Was it the way you were brought up?", I said no but he kept asking whats causing me to be in my shell. (I am kind of quiet and struggle to work in bigger groups. The friday classes are when the whole class works together in 1 group, whereas in the Monday-Thursday classes we work in smaller groups, of which I am much comfortable in. It's like the guy thought I was the way I am by choice. He may as well have asked "Where you dropped on the head as a child?"

Anyway the dude keeps questioning this (I don't know HOW he knew I had social problems, maybe my Friday teacher tipped him off, I don't know) or maybe he knew I was quiet because I was struggling to answer his dumb questions that didn't have an answer for them, and because I was terrified of this guy. He asked me "Are you intimidated by me" "No" I said, but of course I was. He kept staring at me and having these creepy laughs when I told him something. Surely he must have known he was making me feel uncomfortable but he kept persisting anyway. It's as if he enjoyed humiliating me.

He said something like "How are you going to survive in this industry being the way you are" (so Aspies are not allowed to work?)
He said a bunch of other stuff but I don't remember exactly what he said, but I remember he made me feel really bad about myself, yet he kept saying "I'm here to help you" when he was doing the exact opposite. He also told me to stop speaking to him in "that tone" when I didn't even have a tone.

He told me to think about why I'm doing this course over the 2 week holiday, and he wanted to see me again after the holidays. (the two weeks are already up, and today is the last day of those holidays)

It may sound kind of trivial in text, but trust me it was a horrible experience. Boy was I wrong in thinking it would just be another "Yep. Yep. Yep won't happen again" meeting (telling them what they want to hear) in which I would have done with previous coordinators.

When he finally let me let me go back to class, I felt so bad about myself and I honestly felt like I was going to cry (think I actually may have a little) and I was so upset that I just wanted to go home. I was standing around in the fire escape thinking about whether to go back to class or to just go home and not come back. It took me a while to think, but I ended up going back to class (mostly because someone entered the fire escape and the noise startled me so I just went back lol. But also because I didn't want that jerk to ring me up at my house asking why I didn't return to that class, and ruin my holidays)

So now it's Sunday night and I have school tomorrow. I don't mind the Monday-Thursday classes as much as the Friday classes, but I'm still scared to go back, what if that guy asks to see me?

To be honest,even though I don't mind some of the classes, I find the whole course to be pretty boring, so maybe I should just quit. I would possible have wasted a year of my life, and I may have lost any qualifications I was working to, and may have to get a job flipping burgers at McDonalds, but at least I won't be so depressed all the time. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to go back there. I feel like the only thing I want to do now is stay home and watch movies, that's what makes me happy :(

Help :(


He probably observed certain characteristics in you, had sincere concerns, and tried to find out what was causing the behavior. From the perspective of an outside observer unaware of the condition, Aspergers can appear as 'a host of character flaws' that people assume were greatly influenced by society and family.

*IF your perception is fine in interpreting his laughter.*: He may suspect you have Autism(at the least something is very different ) and/or You are an interesting character. I just hope THAT he is not amusing himself by questioning YOU and hearing your answers.

Certain situations, education being one of them, a failure to come to class for some teachers warrants a reason and not an excuse. The explanation THAT you gave probably startled him. It was unabashedly honest.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You:---confidentially i have personal issues involving my health that prevents me from attending your class at times.

Teacher:--what are they ? can i help?

You:-- I rather not discuss them. No sir. I will make a greater effort to attend your class.


TheSunAlsoRises



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15 Jul 2012, 12:40 pm

I don't think he was mean. I think he may have been concerned or curious and their job is to try and help you if you are having a problem. But yeah I know how uncomfortable is it to talk about your problems. I still don't feel comfortable about talking about mine. My mom is the same way about her cancer and my husband is the same way about his disabilities and health problems.


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15 Jul 2012, 1:27 pm

I think it would be a good idea, at this point, to disclose your AS to him. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, then tell him about the various problems you have. If you have a diagnosis and you disclose it you could also get help/assistance/accommodations from the school.

I'd do what others have said - write your problems down - and if you disclose your AS, do so in writing, too. This will make it a lot easier to disclose your problems. You don't want to be confused for someone who is just skipping classes.



abstract
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15 Jul 2012, 8:29 pm

Talk to him about it. If he refuses to stop ask the school to change your class or even transfer. I was stuck in a similair situation this year in Math and it has impacted my life forever... I truly believe that I will never be the same because of this teacher. In my opinion, it's just not worth it to put up with this. My teacher actually went on to complain about how nice people get nowhere with numerous indirect references to me. Every day after that class I to cry in school (and once did, I'm 16 by the way) and in some instances she even gave me suicidal thoughts. Many more tears where she'd over this at home. It's a class, it 's not worth it. Knowing what I know now, I would have transferred schools to avoid this teacher if need be.