Lost a great opportunity because I "don't look Autistic"

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Andrejake
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22 Mar 2018, 8:30 am

I lost my place in the best university of my city because, apparently, I don't look "Autistic enough" for them.

To explain the situation a little better:
I was diagnosed 4~5 years ago with Asperger Syndrome (when it was still a separated disorder), but I'm between those ones who don't match the classic stereotype of what an Autistic person should look like.
I'm 24 years now, high functioning and, from a superficial point of view, I may look like an NT.
At the beginning of this year, I was able to pass the exam to enter the best University of my city by occupying a spot reserved for people with disabilities. I gave them all of my documentation and, a few weeks ago, the last phase of the selection process was to have an appointment with a psychiatrist of the University that was responsible for checking my diagnosis.
Here is the weird part: The appointment didn't take longer than ten minutes and, a few days after, I received a notification telling me that I wasn't able to prove my disability. And I remember leaving his room with a weird feeling because he didn't ask me anything that I felt that was important about my diagnosis (like how literal I am, my lack of body language, my special interests, how I can't do small talk, how I get overwhelmed by certain sounds and things like that).
My official diagnose process was long, and it happened this way because I wanted to be sure about it. I passed through three Psychologists, one Psychiatrist, and one Neurologist before finally having all the information I needed to accept that I was on the spectrum. And now, it's really hard to understand how this guy from the University was able to completely deny my diagnostic with less than ten minutes.
They gave me an opportunity to write a letter and try to prove that they were wrong. I did it and even commented on some very hard moments of my life (like having a Meltdown in the middle of a class in my first graduation) just to give them some examples of how Autism affects my life, but my letter was rejected and I just lost my spot there.

I'm really upset right now because I was very excited to start this new graduation on a subject that I love and in such a great university. And, well... Now after years of finally having accepted myself I'm back into questioning my diagnosis.



Last edited by Andrejake on 22 Mar 2018, 8:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

Esmerelda Weatherwax
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22 Mar 2018, 8:42 am

That smells, and it smells like an admissions quota. It also smells like prejudice from the examiner. IOW, they only want X number of ASD folks per year and he's weeding out the ones who "won't look ASD enough" on their advertising photos.

Look to see if there is a mechanism to contest this. If you can request a second opinion, it may be worth a try. I don't know anything at all about legal stuff in your country, but if you qualify for legal aid (low cost or free legal help for the disabled or poor) - if such exists where you are - talking to someone in a legal aid office might be very useful. (I rarely recommend "going to law" without securing either free or low cost legal support, because otherwise the main thing you accomplish is to drain your savings.)


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magz
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22 Mar 2018, 8:45 am

That really sucks!
It's not about your diagnosis, some psychiatrists are just like that... like the one that misdiagnosed me 2 years ago. He would reject any information that could prove him wrong.
Your story reminds me of so called "miraculous recoveries" at disability allowance centers in my country. You know, some clerk looks at you and decides you are no longer disabled.
Damn.


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Andrejake
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22 Mar 2018, 9:42 am

Esmerelda Weatherwax wrote:
That smells, and it smells like an admissions quota. It also smells like prejudice from the examiner. IOW, they only want X number of ASD folks per year and he's weeding out the ones who "won't look ASD enough" on their advertising photos.

Look to see if there is a mechanism to contest this. If you can request a second opinion, it may be worth a try. I don't know anything at all about legal stuff in your country, but if you qualify for legal aid (low cost or free legal help for the disabled or poor) - if such exists where you are - talking to someone in a legal aid office might be very useful. (I rarely recommend "going to law" without securing either free or low cost legal support, because otherwise the main thing you accomplish is to drain your savings.)


Yeah, I'm still not sure about what to do in this case. I never looked for any extra help (that wasn't from my Neurologist or Psychologists) because I never been through a situation like this one. Although I feel like something could (and should) be done about my case, I'm just not sure I want to go through such a stressful situation.
But I'll surely consider this type of option later today because I don't have the energy to take a clear decision right now.

magz wrote:
That really sucks!
It's not about your diagnosis, some psychiatrists are just like that... like the one that misdiagnosed me 2 years ago. He would reject any information that could prove him wrong.
Your story reminds me of so called "miraculous recoveries" at disability allowance centers in my country. You know, some clerk looks at you and decides you are no longer disabled.
Damn.


I've heard of this before, but it's the first time that I'm going through it.
I feel offended by the fact that the University is, basically, calling me a liar, which is one of the things that bothers me the most in life.



Esmerelda Weatherwax
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22 Mar 2018, 10:01 am

Wise thinking - decisions made in "the heat of the moment" are rarely good ones - there will doubtless be a deadline for seeking reconsideration or initiating other action, but cooling off first (and coming here to vent) = excellent idea.
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22 Mar 2018, 12:51 pm

Sweet Pea hugs


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ASPartOfMe
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22 Mar 2018, 4:26 pm

Esmerelda Weatherwax wrote:
That smells, and it smells like an admissions quota. It also smells like prejudice from the examiner. IOW, they only want X number of ASD folks per year and he's weeding out the ones who "won't look ASD enough" on their advertising photos.

Look to see if there is a mechanism to contest this. If you can request a second opinion, it may be worth a try. I don't know anything at all about legal stuff in your country, but if you qualify for legal aid (low cost or free legal help for the disabled or poor) - if such exists where you are - talking to someone in a legal aid office might be very useful. (I rarely recommend "going to law" without securing either free or low cost legal support, because otherwise the main thing you accomplish is to drain your savings.)


Admissions quota was my first thought also. Esmerelda had some good suggestions.


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