Expectations of college office of disability for Aspergers

<p>^^^^^</p>

<p>Agree that it's a mistake to not seek necessary assistance because of the perceived need to prepare for "real life", where (supposedly) such help won't be available. Rather than prepare our kids for a preferred situation, where they can manage such tasks on their own, we have to help them make the best of their reality. If that means some sort of executive function coach, so be it.</p>

<p>I told DS that he's fortunate to be getting the help he receives from the disabiity services office at his school, and for free, no less. Many successful people pay lots of money for similar services. Despite Dad no longer having a clue, I think that idea actually sank in and contributed to his being more receptive to help this semester.</p>

<p>Now, when I tell him that either world peace or a pony is next on the checklist, I'll be interested to see which he chooses to tackle (though you did say "And a pony.").</p>

<p>I woudl check with the school before you shell out on the tests. Many colleges have disability services sections on their websites with their requirements spelled out (sometimes you have to look for these under the "offices" or "departments" tabs on the site. Sometimes under student life). It seems that when this question has come up on CC before, many people have reported just needing to provide basic documentation like a letter from the student's doctor or an evaluation from their psychologist, rather than a whole slew of outside testing. For small, reasonable accomodations (medical single, notetakers to take notes for a student, more testing time, etc.) this will probably be enough. </p>

<p>One area in which the outside testing is useful is for standardized tests for graduate school. I don't know how they deal with Asperger's but my friend is dyslexic and the LSAT people were not accommodating even though she got a thoroughly documented evaluation. But that's still a ways in the future.</p>

<p>mdcissp: spend the money!!! It'll be worth it, believe me. My son suffered his first college b/c he 'only' got the standard support, something we didn't pay extra for. The school, turns out, was really awful for kids with AS.</p>

<p>Eventually, with LOTS of struggle, my son ended up at a school that was perfect. And yes, we did pay for that first semester of extra support and it was worth every penny, for piece of mind if nothing else. He needed an advocate, and the special program provided just that. The most important aspect for you to keep in mind is that transitional period. Your child may not need lots and lots of support, but initially, without his parents as his support, he goes to the center. They will know him.... What needs, which teachers are best for him, when to sign up for this or that.</p>

<p>College is tough enough for any kid, but for someone with AS, give him the extra help at first to make that transition as easy as possible.</p>

<p>Mdcissp:</p>

<p>You might want to take a look at these pamphlets from the Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Education:</p>

<p>Students</a> with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education</p>

<p>and</p>

<p>Auxiliary</a> Aids and Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities</p>

<p>What kind of accommodations would people with AS generally request, besides possibly a single room? I know I am having issues but I don't even know what possibilities there are for me to ask for. If I just ask what they typically offer for students in my case they are probably going to make it sound like they don't usually offer anything regardless of what they are willing to give me, as they have done in the past, it is a whole stupid dance you have to perform with them. If I ask directly they'll probably let me have whatever it is but they won't suggest anything. They are not forthcoming unless you ask just right. >.></p>

<p>Twisted, Some students with AS get therapy and social skills classes from their college counseling office. Study skills help might be available, if that's an issue for you. Some Aspies get extra time on tests and/or a quiet room for testing. Sometimes Aspies get permission to take fewer courses in a semester; sometimes they get advanced registration dates.</p>

<p>When you got evaluated, did the report suggest some accommodations you would need? I know my son's report had a list of such recommended accommodations. You could start there.</p>

<p>Why do people with AS need advanced registration dates? Is it so they can take classes at certain times or have certain professors?</p>

<p>Some schools grant advanced registration to all students with disabilities, because they might have particular needs about which classes work for them or which times work for them.</p>

<p>Some students with Aspergers (and other LDs) can also benefit from regular/weekly meetings with learning specialists or trained mentors/staff who help them develop organizational/time management skills. Many schools even offer courses on this to their general population. A frequent issue with Aspies is that they often cannot "see the forest for the trees" - they can get stuck or sidetracked by small, sometimes unimportant details and lose sight of the end goal. It can be hard for them to get started on large or complex projects and they may need help breaking down a large assignment into smaller more workable tasks. As icedragon mentioned, they sometimes tape record lectures so that they can listen to them again, or they sometimes have notetakers to help take notes for them since, again they sometimes have difficulty filtering out the important information from less important information, or they may also receive copies of the professor's notes...</p>

<p>Yeah that sounds like me. My notetaking is good and I already audio record my lectures, but I have a hard time planning out how to accomplish X amount of homework in Y amount of time and have pretty much ended up at point where I cannot allow myself to sleep during the week because I need the extra hours to get things done, which results in constant illness and missing classes and that just makes everything worse. I have a B+/A- average but I am killing myself for it. I am using every spare minute of time I have to work but I am not using it efficiently enough to still have time to sleep. That is the main problem I am having. I quit my internship and dropped a class and that has alleviated things somewhat, but I have so many absences now that my professors all think I am just making excuses and don't want to work with me anymore. If I can possibly make it to class without vomiting or fainting I am there no matter how awful or tired I feel, but my health has been awful this semester and my professors don't get how sick I am.</p>

<p>And before anyone suggest I move back home, my mom thinks autism is funny and purposefully creates upsetting situations so she can laugh at me. There is a reason my grades have only gotten higher and higher since I started college and had someplace other than home to be.</p>

<p>Don't feel alone. Being busy at college is typical of a lot of students even though they may not admit it. While I always had time for sleep, there were a few quarters that I had little time for anything else. There's nothing wrong to quit an internship and take a lighter load to get through college.</p>

<p>You say your grades are doing well, so you have a lot to be proud of for that.</p>

<p>I am just so tired. :( It's not even like I am trying to balance a social life into the mix, I don't have one at all. My boyfriend comes over once a week to do homework with me and that's it, and I am hesitant to cut that because he is the only person that even bothers to say hello to me once in a while. I am just trying to balance homework and functions essential to life. I usually don't even remember to eat until I get out of class for the night at 5.</p>

<p>TwistedxKiss - Please, go to your college counseling service and get some advice on how to get back on track. If you are like my daughter (who also sacrifices sleep during the week for work) you are not only physically ill all the time, but you are also not processing your learned material into long-term memory. Thus, while you might remember it for a test the next day, the memory will be gone by next year. You need to be taking a lighter load and work on prioritizing assignments so that only the most important impact your sleep. Think of sleep as an additional class which you must pass to graduate! Social interaction should also be seen as a mandatory class. Once you actually treat these activities with the priority they require, you will be on your way to finding the right balance in college. I am so sorry that your mother is not supportive.</p>

<p>my team says they will only re-test if there is need to change the placement. I am going to e-mail the head of special ed. about this. Is there a federal law that the child is to be tested to have the documentation for college? Thanks so much.</p>

<p>College students don't have IEPs. A different law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), governs colleges. Colleges are required to offer reasonable accommodations, but not required to lower their academic standards. This gets interpreted in various ways, but there is no federal right to a college education.</p>

<p>mdcissp, you can consider getting your child tested privately, if this is financially possible.</p>

<p>While often times subject to the deductible, your health insurance SHOULD cover full battery testing, but I would get on it right away. In fact, it would be my opinion that to fully understand your child's strengths and weaknesses in learning can only help him organize and put in successful strategies in college level work amid time crunches. In fact, I think it is valuable for ANYONE to understand more fully how they learn and what strategies work best for them. However, mre to the point, it is crucial that a kid with learning and coping deficits have this to prepare by. I just don't think you can tell all that from a 5th grade report, especially if done by a school that clearly has a bias to allocate (and protect) their resources. Maybe there are no learning differences, but as others have said, knowing the resources are there for your kid and understanding what a school will and won't/can't do is pretty important for the long term success of your student.</p>

<p>College is a very different animal than HS and remember, as a parent, you are not there with reminders, to reduce stressors or the other things you may or may not do for your child. Really assess what you do and don't do for your child. As has been pointed out, this is a spectrum disorder and so you really need to critically evaluate where on that continuum your child falls. </p>

<p>Twisted.. get your butt to the disabilities office. You have proven yourself to be a very committed student this year and I do not want to see you drown without even realizing youve been treading water this semester. Do not overwhelm yourself and do not risk shutting down. If your professors have seemingly grown weary, it's because you need bigger supports. Please drag your butt over there tomorrow! Promise?? Look, you absolutely have to advocate for yourself but you need to do so from a position of confidence. Yes, you've made some mistakes that has gotten your internal clock all woobley which certainly isn't helping matters. Take responsibility, yes, BUT!!!! then you ask. for. help. Start there and if they seem unhelpful, I am sure you can get some good parental level advice from a lot of parents here on what to do next. Have you already had spring break?.</p>

<p>I did have Spring break, but I was awake almost the entire time trying to finish midterm essays. I had to stay awake for four days straight in order to get them done, I think I took a two hour nap on day three and then had to finish them. I got 88% on them, but made myself really ill. I was vomiting the first two days back and missed classes and was so stressed out that I only went to Spanish the rest of the week (which is not something I ever do, if I am not puking I am in class like I am supposed to be). Of course, nobody believes I am REALLY working that hard, they think I am just screwing around. That was when I dropped the class and quit my internship, and I got normal amounts of sleep Sunday and Monday nights and I went to all my classes, but still haven't been doing well getting my homework done. Tonight I have a whole paper to write because even though I wrote it down in like five different places I forgot about it. I am not NEARLY as behind as you would think though, I don't learn anything in classes anyway, I have to teach myself at home before I can understand and I am doing most of the homework, I just have been too sick to get up and walk across campus to get to class. Now I am free every day after 5 except for Wednesday. I just have to wind back down and catch up on my sleep and get used to the huge change, which people with AS don't do very well anyway.</p>

<p>I have a plethora of processing disorders as well from my LDs and you may remember I petitioned the academic standards board earlier in the semester to get out of Spanish. They denied me on the basis that I am not dyslexic, basically, and now for my oral final next week she is going to give me a random topic right before the test and I have to "make small talk" and "maintain normal conversation" and "speak in a normal tone of voice" and "ask appropriate questions of your partner" etc and so forth for seven minutes. If I could do that in English, that would be just fine! So I emailed my contact at the disabilities office and he wants me to re-petition, and my professor is going to tell them I don't come to class and I'll lose, and then I'll fail the next class up. I've only been missing classes because this class is way too far out of my depth and they made me take it anyway and now I can't ever SLEEP trying to pass it, and if by such extreme measures I manage to NOT fail the oral final they will insist there's nothing wrong with me and wait for me to fail the next class or end up in the hospital (no insurance!) before they do anything. Meanwhile any hope I had of law or graduate school is out the window because my GPA is going to tank because they need to PROVE that my disability actually disables me by watching me fail a few times first. This is just so stupid. I have to call the disabilities office tomorrow to ask them *** to do about all that crap anyway so I will ask to make an appointment. I just don't know what they'll do for me if I can't come up with something specific I need. I am afraid they'll just tell me to lighten my class load or drop out for a while, but financially neither of those are options.</p>

<p>Twisted, please go right to the disabilities office. Please. Making yourself sick can't be the right answer.</p>

<p>Have you considered getting a notetaker? This is an accommodation you probably could get. You say you don't learn anything in class; perhaps you would if you didn't have to take notes.</p>

<p>That may be true. My best grade in Spanish was when I had a notetaker (I have dysgraphia anyway, I usually type my notes but can't in spanish) and I only attempted to take very minimal notes. I didn't bother asking for it this semester because my absences are so bad that my professors would take it away anyway, and their system is very awkward. I have to find a classmate myself and ask them to be my notetaker, which involves telling a random person I am disabled and convincing them I am not just mooching. They told me to just ask a friend but I don't have any. And in my Spanish class they use that stupid approach where they provide zero structure and just have you communicate in class and pick things up naturally, and as you might imagine I have no idea what to even do with that. Nobody even takes notes. Which is part of the reason I will start failing before I finish the sequence even if I am clinging to things now.</p>

<p>I will make an appointment tomorrow. Maybe if I can impress upon them how sick I am they will help me explain it to my Spanish professor so she will cut me some slack and not sabotage my petition, and then we can work out the rest. If I had someone to help me plan when I need to do the different assignments I feel like I would have more time to sleep. I just always misjudge how long it will take me to do something and then don't prioritize the different assignments right and end up having to stay up to get it done. I do fine with these kinds of things at work, but for some reason at school it is much harder.</p>

<p>I am going to go concentrate fully on my paper now so I can go to sleep. Sorry I hijacked the thread, I thought my question would be a quick one and it was at least partly relevant to the discussion. >.<</p>

<p>Twisted: Without sleep, college (and management of any/all responsibilities) is impossible. I'm sure that when the disabilities or counseling office hears about your herculean efforts, doors will open for you. Let them help you get back on track and don't even think beyond the next few days until you get some rest. There is a story that went around my college (long ago) about a brilliant student who was juggling too many classes and writing a senior thesis. After a week without sleep, he waltzed into his philosophy final and tore through the test, finishing well before the other students. The next day, he was called into the professor's office. Thinking that the prof wanted to congratulate him for his brilliance, he complied. The professor shoved the paper across the desk to him and asked, "what is this?" He looked at the paper, and all that was written was row after row of little circles. Now, I'm sure this story is at least somewhat apocryphal, but it illustrates that the ultimate limit on the capability of the human mind lies with the care and maintenance of its support system. Get some rest and help before proceeding onward. One true test of college is finding your limits and knowing where to get help when you reach them.</p>