View Full Version : ? re: Canadians: Getting Accommodations for exams - University & GRE, etc.


JellyBeanBear
09-23-17, 04:47 PM
Hi,
Any Canadian Post-Secondary Students here?
I'm curious what exactly your schools needed for "proof" of a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD in order to provide any accommodations.
And,
also if anyone has taken the GRE or other similar type exam (outside the university), what exactly was needed for "proof".

My situation - back when i was in school was that i only needed to ask for extra time or for exams like the GRE, my psychiatrist wrote a letter (but that wasn't for ADD)

It seems the process is far more formalized nowadays and since i'm going back to school and/or rewriting various national type exams, perhaps including the GRE or other board type exams and I KNOW i will need extra time, I'm wondering if i now need to go through a formal process of diagnosis.

i'm only getting finally treated as an adult with ADD now - midlife! and by my GP - even though other doctors including psychiatrists had brought it up before.

I know i'll need extra time and other accommodations and want to prepare now since it seems hard to find anyone under the BC health care that can diagnose you - and if there is even one person there's a huge year long wait list. I just need to know if i need to spend a lot of money on a psychologist's testing..or if my GPs written word is enough for universities or other exams.

anyone have any experience or know of others..
be it in Canada, UBC, or other University in Canada?

Thanks!!
:)

namazu
09-23-17, 05:06 PM
The GRE is administered by a U.S.-based organization. Here's their page describing what's needed to apply for accommodations. (http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/register/disabilities?WT.ac=rx28)

JellyBeanBear
09-23-17, 07:18 PM
thanks.
It was but one example. I didn't want to list the others but the others involve canadian organizations and/or universities - i'm interested in info for all - thank you though for answering that so quickly.

JellyBeanBear
09-23-17, 07:20 PM
I guess i'm also more interested in what exactly is being used now to diagnose add - besides taking a history and asking pertinent questions (which any GP can do if they know enough about ADD/ADHD) - is there more ?

has anyone actually had to apply for accommodations?

or if anyone was recently diagnosed - how were you diagnosed? (i.e.: if i have to pay a psychologist or organization - what are they doing beside history taking and asking the kinds of questions you find in ADD questionnaires? anything?)

is a qualified knowledgeable GP's word good enough for a university?
canada OR the uS?

namazu
09-23-17, 10:00 PM
I guess i'm also more interested in what exactly is being used now to diagnose add - besides taking a history and asking pertinent questions (which any GP can do if they know enough about ADD/ADHD) - is there more ?

has anyone actually had to apply for accommodations?

or if anyone was recently diagnosed - how were you diagnosed? (i.e.: if i have to pay a psychologist or organization - what are they doing beside history taking and asking the kinds of questions you find in ADD questionnaires? anything?)

is a qualified knowledgeable GP's word good enough for a university?
canada OR the uS?
The standards for diagnosis of ADHD and the standards for getting accommodations on certain standardized tests don't necessarily match up.

For example, extensive psychological testing is not required to diagnose ADHD in most cases. (It can be helpful if there's reason to believe a learning disability or processing problem might be present, but it's not required to diagnosis ADHD alone.) However, some testing organizations (and some universities) still request the results of psychological testing when students request accommodations. Some universities are moving away from this, because it's not needed for diagnosis of ADHD, and because the costs involved with the testing present a barrier to accommodations (and access) for students with disabilities who can't afford this (not-always-necessary) testing.

Because the details vary from institution to institution, I would suggest you contact the offices that handle disability issues at the universities you're considering (or check their websites), and find out directly from them what they require. Depending on the university (and who staffs the offices), some may be more flexible than others.

A GP's diagnosis may be enough to get the ball rolling, and for some places it may even be enough to get you accommodations. However, even the more relaxed places may want to see that you've been evaluated by a psychologist or psychiatrist, that other issues have been ruled out, and how your ADHD currently affects your needs in a school setting. (Which, if you haven't been in a school setting for a while, and are just now returning, may be a little bit hard to say in advance...but they'll want a formal write-up of some kind indicating how your ADHD affects you in general, and how it's likely to affect you in school, so that they can help you work out appropriate accommodations.)

A standard-of-care evaluation for ADHD includes a thorough medical, developmental, educational, occupational, social, and family history. It includes discussion of you ADHD symptoms, how they've manifest in the past, and how they affect you in the present. It ideally includes input from one or more people who know you well (family members, partners, friends, others). And generally it does include some kind of rating scale. But most of the real "meat" of the diagnosis comes from the life history and current impact of ADHD symptoms and the impairments they've caused.

JellyBeanBear
09-24-17, 12:01 AM
Wow. Thank you so much for such a thorough reply. It helped put things in perspective for me. Thank you :).

TheGreatKing
09-24-17, 03:26 PM
hi there fellow Canadian!
well i never had to apply for accommodation but in BC you can ask you GP to refer you to a psychiatrist and then they will refer you to a public sector professional to get tested. That is how i received my diagnoses and then you get a copy of it.

JellyBeanBear
09-24-17, 08:44 PM
Thanks..
I realize that is how it SHOULD be. The problem is..there are none. They have almost all gone private ($$$) or left the province. The few who are left behind treat only children. And the very few (one or two) I've found that treat adults have a closed wait list.
This is the problem.
What's left is GPs and Psychologists (which costs more money than I, and many others, have)
:(

JellyBeanBear
09-24-17, 08:45 PM
wait..maybe i posted too soon - what do you mean by a "public sector professional"?
and Hey fellow canuk!!! ;)

Sorry...rushed without saying hi back :)

Are you in BC? The only professionals covered by MSP (I don't have extended) are GPs and Psychiatrists. Anyone else i have to pay out of pocket.

JellyBeanBear
09-25-17, 08:37 PM
@ TheGreatKing

I sent you a PM

Thanks again.

JellyBeanBear

JellyBeanBear
10-13-17, 05:47 PM
Anyone else in the BC area know GPs or psychiatrists who treat
adult ADD?

*AND*/*OR*

any reputable place to get formal testing? (looking for references for places)


and/or did anyone get testing AFTER starting post-secondary education (i.e.: did being a student help you get testing - either with coverage or with finding someone who will do the formal testing?)

namazu
10-13-17, 07:38 PM
You might want to check out the Canada referrals section (http://www.addforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=97). Not sure if there's anything recent in your area, but you could definitely revive a BC thread or start a new one to find someone local.

JellyBeanBear
10-13-17, 07:45 PM
thank! :)

Shannon L.S.
10-19-17, 03:01 PM
I was referred from my GP to a private psychologist for formal ADHD testing that was covered via private insurance. With the formal assessment results and the diagnosis I was able to submit that information to my universities' accessibility office for multiple accommodations that were recommended for ADHD inattentive and co-morbid bipolar 2 disorder.

At that point I was referred from the GP to a psychiatrist for further interviewing and medication considerations.

At the moment I receive the following assistance:
1. 20 minutes extra time per hour of existing test time.
2. I write in a separate quiet space from my class with proctors.
3. I have stop time breaks allowing me to get up and move around without interfering with the assigned time on my exams.
4. I receive counseling services with an individual therapist specialized in emotional dysregulation issues.
5. I have livescribe software allowing me to record my lectures and sync them to my note taking, as well as speech to text and text to speech software that was funded through disability services.

My psychiatrist has written a letter of intent for workplace accommodations that allows for me to work 8 hour shifts instead of the customary 12 in my industry that is expected of students in co-op placements. I still experience large amounts of discrimination facing medical accommodations that is a primary cause of my severe levels of anxiety. Trying to manage side effects, the workload of a science degree, full time work expectations, and not disclose any illness is a lot to ask of any one person.

I am unfortunately on a seemingly endless waiting list for the ADHD specialist at the university I attend, so I expect I will be using my private insurance to access ADHD coaching from the psychologist who originally diagnosed me. They specialize in both ADHD and mood disorders so are a good fit for me personally.

JellyBeanBear
10-24-17, 04:08 PM
Thank you so much for the reply! and the details!
it's VERY helpful! :)

I'm curious about the permission to work reduced hours - i didn't realize that was a part of ADD accommodation. Can I ask how that works - it's perhaps going to be really important for me in the future but i didn't realize there was a way around it - or rather, that the ADD diagnosis would allow for such accommodations.

thanks! ;)

p.s. along the same line..I'm wondering...can you get accommodations for ADD that specify which hours you can or can't work (e.g. if there are shifts involved?)

Shannon L.S.
10-25-17, 05:18 PM
I'm required to do shift work in my program, generally 12 hours in length and it's 24 hours/7 days a week. My psychiatrist wrote a formal letter that stated I can only do 8 hour shifts and no nights at this point to protect my health and then workplace accommodations were put in to effect.

In my case I also happen to have Bipolar 2 disorder making emotional regulation/sleep/set routines an absolute must with the stress of being a full time student. Once I graduate and have a reduction in my expected workload that will be bumped back up to 12's as tolerated.