High Functioning Autism/Asperger's Syndrome

<p>I'm new here, already posted in a few places around here, and have some questions regarding my diagnosis on the ASD.</p>

<p>Currently, I attend a school where I've been since my second semester of freshman year. I'm doing pretty well there, a 3.97 overall (all A's, one B+, and a W) and project to get four A's this time around. Unfortunately, I also have one class that I'd be satisfied with even a B- in. I had an 80 on the nose on the first test but probably did much worse on this one. It's a gen ed, nothing for my major (which is psych...I want to go into autism research and get a PhD there) but still a concern since I am worried about grad schools seeing a C of any kind, especially with a W already there.</p>

<p>The course in question was one that I thought would not involve social reasoning as much as it does. It's a criminal justice type course and while I can get the rote memorization of facts and some of the applications, a good deal of the social aspects in that class are confusing to me and are probably causing me to do poorly.</p>

<p>I have never disclosed my diagnosis with anyone, should I talk to the professor before she gives the test back and explain a bit?</p>

<p>I don't share my diagnosis with folks anymore since when I talked to the disability support coordinator at my old school, she put me through three months of hell and was basically the reason I had to leave the school early and in poor health. She was trying to mess with me in many ways and wanted to change me and put me way out of my comfort zone to "fit in" there. She even suggested that I party, something I don't do since I am deathly afraid of drunks. I know I am weak socially and that is why I avoid those situations.</p>

<p>I currently get no accommodations. I often need my mother to explain some concepts to me in evolutionary psych (specifically the ones related to sexual concepts, since I do not understand them at all due to my condition) but otherwise I am on my own. The only course I didn't get an A in at my current school was a history class with a really hard prof. In high school, I was in National Honors Society and was in the gifted program all 13 years of K-12.</p>

<p>Should I go ahead and tell the prof about this? She is also one of my two advisors, this class is not a psych course but she does work in the department.</p>

<p>BTW: I appear normal in other respects: a GPA of 3.9 or better is tough even for a neurotypical, I swim and work out, I drive, I talk normally, I look pretty normal (in dress, physical appearance, etc), etc. However, I only have two people I'd consider friends on campus and even with them I can be very awkward sometimes. Profs don't usually see that though.</p>

<p>Also, should I consider telling someone in a grad school interview about my condition and that being the reason I want to enter the research field?</p>

<p>I think that you should definitely talk to the disability coordinator and find out what academic accommodations are available for people with your situation. Additionally, you should take advantage of any counseling services your college provides. College is a good time to learn how to be comfortable in social situations, including situations where people may be drunk or are acting inappropriately. You obviously are very bright and capable of a successful career. However, you need to learn how to deal with and how to go about overcoming the challenges that you will obviously face in life. You have time to decide what to say in a grad school interview two years from now.</p>

<p>Hi ENjoy, I am a parent of a child with Asp going to college this year. He also did not disclose this with his application. He has applied to colleges which are small and academically challenging in order to fill his need to learn, learn, learn. Our biggest hope is that he will fit in with his peers based on their level of intelligence at these schools. I would love to hear any suggestions you have and also hear how you are doing! Good luck to you :)</p>

<p>I'm a current junior in college, also looking at graduate school, and I have AS. Like you, I haven't gotten many academic accommodations. The only real accommodation in class that I've gotten has been this semester. I'm in a lab science course where my poor motor skills, and occasionally my social style, have gotten in the way with lab group work. I've talked to the prof. about it, as has the Associate Dean at my school--it's a really small school. He was very nice about it, and said he wouldn't hold that against me now that he knows about it. I've mentioned it to a few professors, all of whom have been very understanding. Maybe I'm a Pollyanna, but I don't think that most people in higher education have attitudes like the DS coordinator at your old college. Even when the people at my school have been uninformed about AS, referring to it as a "disease" for example, they have tried to be extremely understanding and they definitely appreciate what I bring to the school.</p>

<p>Talking to the professor about why AS affects you in the class may be worth the try. He or she also may be able to explain some things you don't understand. If you have to speak with Disability Services, hopefully it will go well. Try to make it clear that you want accommodations for specific areas of difficulty, but don't want them to turn you "normal." Blech.</p>

<p>I don't think a bad grade in a course outside of your major will affect your chances at grad school significantly, so I wouldn't stress about it too much. About disclosing AS in grad school applications: I wouldn't, personally. I think there's entirely too much misinformation and ignorance out there. This summer I'm doing a college-sponsored research project about the social history of the autism spectrum, which I will put on my CV though I don't plan on mentioning my personal connection to the project to grad schools. Since your research may be more directly related to AS, disclosing might be different for you. I'm in a discipline which tends to attract fewer spectrum-y people than some others, so that's a factor for me as well. I don't think most people in my field know a lot about it, and I'm pretty sure the programs I'm looking at don't have interviews anyway.</p>

<p>Mostly, though, I feel as though I'm a pretty good candidate on my own merits. I don't feel AS hinders my academic pursuits 99% of the time--in fact, my obsessive tendencies are a huge asset. For that reason, I don't want to possibly be admitted out of pity. I also don't want the people evaluating my application to believe I've gotten "special" treatment such as extra time on tests, which I have not. Whether to disclose or not is your decision, and I hope it goes well for you.</p>

<p>You are an amazing person and deserve to pursue your dream career for which you are especially suited. Don't worry about a lower grade outside your major, and at this point you may get a B which is still very good. In my ex-
perience, sharing information with interviewers can backfire.</p>

<p>I think a great amount of people with AS have a learning disability too. EnjoyTheSilence, I guess you are one of those people with AS who are just simply quiet and not talkative. SRA, you are an exception too. I have AS on the side of ADD, ODD (Obsessive Defiance Disorder) as well as LD, and I barely pulled a 3.0 the first time trying in school while I am in Community College, and the reason why is that I never cared about school up till my 2nd year in community college is from many factors, is because of having a near death experience in High School. Also in High School, I had poor social skills which I ended up attempted to socialize with other kids and it ended up with bad results. It gradually sucked up my self esteem and I slipped into deep depression. I ended up frequently shoplifting, getting in trouble with the law nearly twice (the second circumstance is a long story), plus having thoughts of planning to commit suicide literally due to serious depression (yes, I am serious about that part too). Most of you guys didn't have it as hard as other people, especially guys like myself for instance.</p>

<p>I am trying to get my act together to pull of a 3.8-4.0 4-year college transferrable GPA right now too and in your case, you guys are in the 0.1% percentile of AS as well. But hey you didn't have it as tough as I did (I was impacted more then anyone out there) and I have to tell the truth, a large majority of people with AS cannot survive college and are only capable of skilled trades or doing paper of plastic for a living, because it requires frequent communication with teachers (which people with AS have trouble with communicating/relating with others) and as well as organizational skills (most people with AS have lack of critical thinking skills, which interrputs their ability to organize their school binders and so on). Only less than 1-2% of AS people succeed in school and actually finish college. But in my case, I dress normally, I have much better social skills then I did in high school, I drive, I can go to the gym and am physically active, I talk normally, I have great social skills compare to 99% of people with AS, I get along with my peers quite well, I go out with my friends to a lot of places, I have very neurotypical hobbies and so on. It is how much people struggles with their disabilities that are the differences and how they overcome them. Obviously you guys haven't struggled that much compare to other people, especially compare to people like me. I think I may have more of Obssessive Defiance Disorder + ADD + LD and I think I was misdiagonsed as AS, but I was diagnosed having it, because most people with AS don't dare to fight with authority and are very obedient with authority on the other hand. So it's a long story on how people struggle with their learning differences and how they overcome them. Otherwise, your guys cases aren't too severe.</p>