Can colleges check/need your medical history?

<p>This has been a serious topic of frustration and I don't know whether this was even the right forum to submit it to. I don't know if anyone has been in a similar situation, but I'll try to keep this to the point. I have had serious absent-mindness my whole life and attention problems. My parents are the type of people who were unwilling to go to the doctor unless I had broken an arm or were very concerned about my well-being. They're basically cheapskates but with good reason: they racked up a ton of credit card debt in their twenties. They're still paying it off in their forties. I was very troubled by my senior year of high school and my family was in a financial crisis because 2008 was a bad year for the economy (we had just moved to California because my dad retired from the Air Force and hadn't sold off our house yet). But with my mom having to leave us to live there and get a job down there, we had bought ourselves a little more time before we would really be out of a house. I was troubled during my senior year of high school and my dad got me a psychologist to take a look at me - she diagnosed me with Asperger's. We had no money to get testing. There's no way we could even do anything half-and-half. </p>

<p>We had since been able to sell the house and mom lives back at home with us. I attend a community college now. I've been having trouble with keeping focused on important things like school. My grades are all over the place. But we still don't have proper funds to get me tested and especially now because my sister is just starting college this fall and I'm not even sure if I can afford to buy/rent all my school books. And all of the gas and money I need to spend to just get out of this community college I'm stuck in. In addition to this, ever since Spring '10 it took over a year for doctors and specialists to figure out I had an allergy problem, which heightened my problems by making me feel horrible every day. I must've had literally 20-30 appointments in the last year. But all I have is a memory of being diagnosed by the psychologist, not really any concrete evidence I have in my hands saying she diagnosed me with it. I'm having so much trouble focusing on school and I'm trying to raise my major GPA desperately because I want to get into a good school that's close to home.</p>

<p>I guess the question is...would they seriously look into my personal statement (digging up medical history) if I wrote about me having asperger's?</p>

<p>To put this into perspective - when joining the military ( keep in mind, they do background checks and the like ); they are not allowed, or able to view your medical records.</p>

<p>Legally you are granted the expectation of privacy of your medical history, now if you wanted to divulge your medical history at a later date to actually prove to them you have it - that is possible, but hardly necessary (IMO)</p>

<p>Short answer: no.</p>

<p>Huh? I was talking about if colleges want you to prove it, not about joining the military.</p>

<p>I don't think they will check, nor do I think it would make much difference. </p>

<p>BTW, I have been asked for patients psych records, (with signed releases,) by the military.</p>

<p>The college can not access your medical records without your written permission. If you claim you are disabled by a medical condition and request special accomodations from the college, they are probably within their rights to require you to document the codition by providing them the relevent portion of your medical records.</p>

<p>One problem that I am a litttle concerned about is that while Asperger's syndrome is disabling and should entitle you to special accomodations, documenting it may be difficult. Like Shrinkrap I am a medical doctor with an MD and even though I do not practice psychiatry or neurology, theoretically I could legally diagnose you with Asperger's syndrome in California, which is something I would not do because I do not feel I am qualified to do so despite having an unrestricted license to practice medicine and surgery in California. You mentioned that you were diagnosed by a psychologist. Psychologists are not medical doctors and I am unsure as to whether they can legally diagnose you with a medical condition that would require the college to extend special accomidations to you. You may have to be evaluated and diagnosed by someone with a license to practice medicine in your jurisdiction.</p>

<p>I think it depends on the school and on the accommodations. At my sons school, there is no way the average psychiatrist could complete the forms for LD type accommodations from an average psychiatric evaluation.</p>

<p>I think the OP is wanting to explain something in his academic history, but that does lead to the question of what would happen without accommodations,</p>

<p>I don't need any special accommodations. I've had many problems my whole life, but I work around them. I'm not seeking any sort of special treatment, I just wanted to know if it would be a big deal to mention that I do have problems, I am affected by these, and if it would be a big deal to talk about it with a name to it because I need to explain my academic history.</p>

<p>I have a heart condition that I wrote about in my essays and while that's easier to prove than Asperger's I was never asked for additional information. If you're going to discuss it in your essays, make sure it's not a "woe is me" type of personal statement; you need to show how you've overcome it and handled it. Explain without trying to say that that's your excuse for your grades, etc - so wording is everything! I had a whole quarter of Ws due to medical issues but I explained it sufficiently for them since I got accepted to almost all of the schools I applied to.</p>

<p>I know you say you don't need any special accommodations (I felt that I didn't need that for years either), but sometimes it's easier if you are on the school's official record with any disease/condition/etc you have. I don't have any mental disabilities, but thanks to missing school for appointments I've missed material or if I've been sick, etc. But by having the disability coordinators explain to my teachers beforehand that I will be out - they're more understanding and accommodating. </p>

<p>That way a teacher doesn't go back on their word if they say they're going to be understanding about you're situation. I've had that happen several times during CC and at least then I can hold them accountable for it. </p>

<p>Good luck!</p>