View Full Version : Reasonable academic adjustments?


Darkneko
08-12-14, 10:45 PM
First time posting a thread so sorry mods if its placed wrong or if a similar topic exists elsewhere. Just let me know :)
For those of you doing adult education such as uni or whatever your equilivent is...
What is a reasonable requests to make of your uni if you are already on meds?

Background: I'm first year psychology student at a uni where the terms are shorter (its 12 weeks instead of the normal length to cut a year off the degree times). I am really facinated by my subjects but I have time management issues and have troubles getting my assignments done to the standard on time (even though I really know my stuff and I like writing about it) and have trouble completing exams in time. With meds I can pay attention to class but its difficult in a large room of students to do my exams. I am on Ritalin 10mg and the psychiatrist says I can have up to 3 a day. He says its a "learning tool" for when I need it. I usually only take 1 or 2 depending on if its just class or I have stuff after to do as well. I am also taking a math subject that is not my strong point. Number bore me so naturally I don't handle them effectively.

I want to do out of uni things like tutors and writing the notes from books but I haven't even though of that yet (finals first!!!!). I have also cut my classes to 2 instead of 4. But I worry about if I cannot get meds or run out and the impact on my ability to understand content.

Is it reasonable to ask for extra time for exams and assignments? What about a seperate room for exams (with fewer kids at least)?

Is that reasonable even on meds? (If it wasn't obverse, I'm new to ADD and handling it at school).

Input is appreciated.

sarahsweets
08-13-14, 04:41 AM
I am of the opinion that the less that people know among your disorder the better you'd be surprised at how many people discriminate.

someothertime
08-13-14, 05:14 AM
The longer I go, the more I move to Sarah's view...

I tried seeking accomodations last semester... it didn't work out so well in my case. This was partly due to not asking for an exact thing and just laying down my symptoms... ( well somewhere in between )

In my case the teacher etc. seemed to take on a cotton wool / softly softly... type stance... where they stopped asking for stuff and telling me where I was at... etc.

Anyways.... there is potential for both to be good and bad... if you feel you'd greatly benefit, then I say go for it...

In my case... the specific accommodations ( alternate tests and clearer content divisions ) did not arise... which left me in a stale mate and added to anxiety and frustration... in hindsight I would have devised some alternate methods and/or divided each requirement down into simplistic achievables... as way back it would have been possible... though I kept a rag out hoping they would devise...

Sorry, got a bit rambly there.... long story short..... it is reasonable.... beware of eggshelling and / or uncertainty from your providers.


Wishing you the best.

Eaaqas
08-13-14, 12:27 PM
Go through accessibility services at your school -- They will be the ones you report to in case of discrimination. They will be able to work out what would be the best solution for you.

I am under the impression that it is reasonable to ask for accommodations even with meds.

Darkneko
08-13-14, 11:55 PM
I am of the opinion that the less that people know among your disorder the better you'd be surprised at how many people discriminate.

True. I have been fortunate that as my teachers are all practising psychologists as well as teachers most have been okay when I told them. I know that won't always apply but I go to a top private uni so the teachers are all ones that have practised and have published and all that impressive stuff. I don't want to be seen as different but if I need a provision then I will sacrifice my pride. Its more about if I don't have my meds for some reason and I need a back up plan. I supose when I start other methods (I have been busy with finals and last term assesment) I may need less assistance. I am looking into therapys currently and plan to make an action plan when I am less focused on this term.

Darkneko
08-13-14, 11:59 PM
Reply to Someothertime
I plan to ask my psychiatrist what he think will help but I know exam and assesment time is a big thing for me (I do plan ahead alot as it is, but its more how much and how difficult). Anyway as part of my application, the psychiatrist has to give reccomendations anyway.

Darkneko
08-14-14, 12:03 AM
Go through accessibility services at your school -- They will be the ones you report to in case of discrimination. They will be able to work out what would be the best solution for you.

I am under the impression that it is reasonable to ask for accommodations even with meds.

Yeah. I guess I don't want to be seen as lazy or just ripping off the system. I mean meds and other methods should work but uni is difficult and I want to do the best I can. I know at least with my math subject I'll need to help.

MADD As A Hatte
08-14-14, 03:58 AM
...
What is a reasonable requests to make of your uni if you are already on meds?

Background: I'm first year psychology student at a uni where the terms are shorter (its 12 weeks instead of the normal length to cut a year off the degree times). I am really facinated by my subjects but I have time management issues and have troubles getting my assignments done to the standard on time (even though I really know my stuff and I like writing about it) and have trouble completing exams in time. With meds I can pay attention to class but its difficult in a large room of students to do my exams. I am on Ritalin 10mg and the psychiatrist says I can have up to 3 a day. He says its a "learning tool" for when I need it. I usually only take 1 or 2 depending on if its just class or I have stuff after to do as well. I am also taking a math subject that is not my strong point. Number bore me so naturally I don't handle them effectively.

I want to do out of uni things like tutors and writing the notes from books but I haven't even though of that yet (finals first!!!!). I have also cut my classes to 2 instead of 4. But I worry about if I cannot get meds or run out and the impact on my ability to understand content.

Is it reasonable to ask for extra time for exams and assignments? What about a seperate room for exams (with fewer kids at least)?

Is that reasonable even on meds? (If it wasn't [obvious], I'm new to ADD and handling it at school).

Input is appreciated.

Hi Darkneko - Welcome to the forum, you're amongst friends here.

How amazing!! We're in exactly the same situation, except I'm um just a touch older than you are! Like a few decades but who's counting!

I'm taking a wild guess that you're on the Gold Coast in Queensland?

Anyway, I felt as hesitant as you feel (per some of your posts) at approaching my uni's disability services. But truly, they've been fantastic. Last year I did a pathways year at uni, so I learnt my way around the system then. As part of my accommodations, yes, I do my exams in a room on my own; and yes, I am allowed a bit of extra reading time. Also in online quizzes I get a bit of extra time. In fact, if I need it, I've got room to move on all the assessments etc.

As an example, the STATs online quizz today. It was our first one. Everybody else says they did it in 15 minutes flat. I would have done it in that time too, except for question number 4, which had me completely flummoxed, just completely tied up in ADD-related confused knots. It took me 15 minutes just to work out a way to understand the (very poorly written) ******* question, to calm down, and then to sort it.

I got 100%. Woohoo!!

I try to deny that I need the accommodations, it's the ADD Resistance factor! And I always get exams etc completed within the given time everybody else has to do it in, because morally that feels right to me.

My psyche professors / lecturers have been fantastic about my AIP: they've each emailed me to ask if there's anything I need etc.

As a note, you're only on half the recommended adult dose of Ritalin, and long acting might be a better solution. But without more info, I couldn't really say.

Anyway, please feel free to private message me if you want any further info and I'm happy to share what I know thus far. And some uni strategies, if you'd like.

Cheers

Darkneko
08-15-14, 05:54 AM
Hi Darkneko - Welcome to the forum, you're amongst friends here.

How amazing!! We're in exactly the same situation, except I'm um just a touch older than you are! Like a few decades but who's counting!

I'm taking a wild guess that you're on the Gold Coast in Queensland?

Anyway, I felt as hesitant as you feel (per some of your posts) at approaching my uni's disability services. But truly, they've been fantastic. Last year I did a pathways year at uni, so I learnt my way around the system then. As part of my accommodations, yes, I do my exams in a room on my own; and yes, I am allowed a bit of extra reading time. Also in online quizzes I get a bit of extra time. In fact, if I need it, I've got room to move on all the assessments etc.

As an example, the STATs online quizz today. It was our first one. Everybody else says they did it in 15 minutes flat. I would have done it in that time too, except for question number 4, which had me completely flummoxed, just completely tied up in ADD-related confused knots. It took me 15 minutes just to work out a way to understand the (very poorly written) ******* question, to calm down, and then to sort it.

I got 100%. Woohoo!!

I try to deny that I need the accommodations, it's the ADD Resistance factor! And I always get exams etc completed within the given time everybody else has to do it in, because morally that feels right to me.

My psyche professors / lecturers have been fantastic about my AIP: they've each emailed me to ask if there's anything I need etc.

As a note, you're only on half the recommended adult dose of Ritalin, and long acting might be a better solution. But without more info, I couldn't really say.

Anyway, please feel free to private message me if you want any further info and I'm happy to share what I know thus far. And some uni strategies, if you'd like.

Cheers

Yeah I'm on Gold Coast. Maybe I will speak to my uni first week back after I get paperwork from the psychiatrist. A room on my own is ideal but it depends. The only specifics I get get is "reasonable accomodations". Although generally I have found the student assistance very helpful so I guess it depends. I found final exams were okay timewise for me so thats not so much a concern at the moment. As for meds, I am on my first trial at the moment and should be seeing the psychiatrist when its almost up so he can reccomend any changes or whatever.

someothertime
08-15-14, 10:31 AM
in hindsight i realise my reply was perhaps a little tainted by my recent experience...

i think it will work well for you, and it sounds like the uni's do a great job with officers to liaise etc. etc.

so it's really about ironing out the best provisions for you and keeping things practical like you've been :)


good luck with it!

Eaaqas
08-15-14, 02:02 PM
Yeah. I guess I don't want to be seen as lazy or just ripping off the system. I mean meds and other methods should work but uni is difficult and I want to do the best I can. I know at least with my math subject I'll need to help.

As I have noted in other posts -- there is ALWAYS a chance of implicit judgement.

With your math subject test they probably won't record that you are taking medication. Is this test standardized like the GRE?

Whether or not you have accessibility services in your favor, you will be graded the exact same as everyone else. There may be a professor or two that think ADHD is just an excuse, but the majority of them will recognize that their institution has noted that it is a real disability; thus they will be happy to accommodate.


A personal experience:

I had not been doing well at work for a while, and then I was medicated. I knew that my boss was about ready to fire me because of how much I slacked off and didn't meet deadlines.

I approached her about it and let her know that I was receiving treatment for ADHD and we talked about the implications. She totally changed her attitude because she knew I wasn't making excuses but was trying to work through a problem that really affected my life.

So, if you have to approach someone about it, approach it as a "this is something I'm working on, but I need you to understand it is a chronic problem" thing as opposed to a "I can't do this because I have a disability" thing.

If you think about it, you judge a person with a physical disability in the same way. If you see a story on television about the guy with no arms and no legs who is a world class wrestler, you think "Wow, this man has really worked hard to get where he is! I am so impressed!"; whereas, when you hear about the guy with no arms and no legs who is sitting at home on welfare making excuses about why he can't work, you think "Oh, that's sad... too bad he wasn't willing to make something of himself like the wrestler. He could be out hosting seminars about his disability AT LEAST."

Sorry about the long post. I took my meds 30 minutes ago and my sister-in-law is sitting trying to talk to me while I write.

Darkneko
08-16-14, 06:21 PM
As I have noted in other posts -- there is ALWAYS a chance of implicit judgement.

With your math subject test they probably won't record that you are taking medication. Is this test standardized like the GRE?

Whether or not you have accessibility services in your favor, you will be graded the exact same as everyone else. There may be a professor or two that think ADHD is just an excuse, but the majority of them will recognize that their institution has noted that it is a real disability; thus they will be happy to accommodate.


A personal experience:

I had not been doing well at work for a while, and then I was medicated. I knew that my boss was about ready to fire me because of how much I slacked off and didn't meet deadlines.

I approached her about it and let her know that I was receiving treatment for ADHD and we talked about the implications. She totally changed her attitude because she knew I wasn't making excuses but was trying to work through a problem that really affected my life.

So, if you have to approach someone about it, approach it as a "this is something I'm working on, but I need you to understand it is a chronic problem" thing as opposed to a "I can't do this because I have a disability" thing.

If you think about it, you judge a person with a physical disability in the same way. If you see a story on television about the guy with no arms and no legs who is a world class wrestler, you think "Wow, this man has really worked hard to get where he is! I am so impressed!"; whereas, when you hear about the guy with no arms and no legs who is sitting at home on welfare making excuses about why he can't work, you think "Oh, that's sad... too bad he wasn't willing to make something of himself like the wrestler. He could be out hosting seminars about his disability AT LEAST."

Sorry about the long post. I took my meds 30 minutes ago and my sister-in-law is sitting trying to talk to me while I write.

I have no idea if its standardised test...its a uni subject but its a private uni so it might not be the same as others. Whats a GRE? Is that american or something? I don't think Australia has that. True they have to recognise it if they work at the uni. Never thought of that. The approach of "something I'm working on" rather than "things I can't do" does help. I should have thought of that as a writer that knows how words can effect others...