What info to disclose to university admissions?

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Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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Joined: 10 Mar 2011
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Posts: 127
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26 Oct 2011, 9:34 am

I'm 43 years old and have recently (finally!) been diagnosed as having high functioning autism.

I already have 2 B.A.'s and I started grad school about 10 years ago, then had to leave because of personal reasons (6 separate deaths = definitely personal reasons; the grief was overwhelming).

I'm in the process of returning to graduate school now, in a different state, at a different school, within a different department.

Except for my transcripts that show where I took several Incompletes and Withdrawals during my last attempt at grad school, for reasons previously noted, I look pretty good on paper: high overall GPA, awards, scholarship, high qualitative score on my GRE (we won't talk about my quantitative score - besides, the department to which I'm applying says that they don't care about our quantitative scores).

Is there any reason why I should disclose my recent HFA diagnosis to my department?
Would such disclosure help or hinder my chances for admission?

Diagnosed with High Functioning Autism well into adulthood.
It's never too late to get a diagnosis.
Hell, I thought I was just weird. ;-)

i can (obviously) come off as really abrupt and my tone can sound sharpish, so feel free to ask me to clarify

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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Joined: 25 Oct 2011
Age: 37
Gender: Male
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario

26 Oct 2011, 10:32 am

I was diagnosed AS after starting my PhD (in Canada). The resources that I have had presented to me since then are helping me go from a mediocre student to being on pace with the most collected and motivated NTs in my department. I would expect most schools in the US will have similar resources or accomodations.
As for disclosing it in your admissions, I don't imagine it should hurt your chances, in Canada that would be considered discrimination. If I were in your shoes I would (anonymously) call someone in either the school's office for persons with disabilities (or the equivalent where you are) or the admissions department and ask if it would be considered in admissions decisions or not.


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Joined: 3 Dec 2008
Age: 53
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Location: United States

26 Oct 2011, 11:31 am

Schools cannot discriminate against you for that, it's against the law under the American's with Disabilities Act so it should not hinder your chances. I think they look more at your transcripts than anything. Colleges have disability services departments where you would go for accomodation if you need that, but you don't need to disclose that you may need these services during the admission process. Your HFA has nothing to do with that.

I don't think that it would hinder your chances for admission, but I also don't see the need for disclosure at this point either.

Good Luck!


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Joined: 9 Oct 2011
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 106

26 Oct 2011, 11:58 am

Like others have said, it shouldn't hurt your chances for admission, but unless you're asked, I don't think that there's any need to bring it up. Later, if you need help, you can definitely ask for that. If the college did anything to deny you access to their university based on your HFA, then you could and should sue them for discrimination.