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Old 04-24-11, 08:12 PM
cactusface cactusface is offline

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No one seems to understand my partner at university.

Hi guys,

I have asperger's syndrome and have a boyfriend with adhd. I liaise with the disability department at university a lot, mainly about my own condition, but sometimes I get asked how he is getting along.

The disability department continuously interprets his failure to attend meetings as laziness/an uncaring attitude. I find this shocking, because they are so opposed to discrimination in every other instance. I was told that they find it frustrating when he forgets to turn up. I suggested that they send reminder emails, but this has not been carried out.

Have people experienced a lot of discrimination against ADHD? People don't seem to "get" the symptoms at all.

The disability dept. have told me about people who use their disability as an "excuse" for behaviours. I worry they think that about people with ADHD. Unfortunately, he has gone twenty years without any treatment, growing up in a highly abusive, disorganised, poor household and I don't think it's fair to expect that he will gain skills overnight that match "normal" peoples'.

As I have asperger's, I am good at looking at things objectively. It is my opinion that leaving a student with ADHD on his own to struggle with organising eight different modules of work is ridiculous, and someone should've been available to support him a long time ago (he now has a mentor but they have not met up yet).

I get special permission to queue-jump when we receive ID cards, a mentor I see every week just to chat to and ensure that I'm practising social skills and I've had study skills support to help me to understand the wording of particular exam questions. He stated his disability as well, but has so far received no support. As a result, he is failing.

I tried to figure out a simple lecture timetable for him a while ago and couldn't even do it, because the timetables for the modules are spread across eight different documents and vary according to the week. Then there are practical sessions that the students find out via email, and also change sometimes. Then there are deadlines for coursework, in-class tests and formal exams. It is an absolute mind***** trying to pick through everything and make a definitive list of what his course entails, and I am someone who has particularly strong executive functioning/organisational skills!

I just want to get him some help, and it is so frustrating feeling like no one can empathise with him. The main point is that they tell him to "improve his organisation" and "get to things on time" but don't understand that he has no idea how to do these things because no one has ever taught him. The other great one is "go to bed earlier" - yeah, I'm sure he would if he could, but he can't, because his thoughts don't stop until he is too exhausted to go on anymore. As a result, he oversleeps a lot, but everyone just sees it as laziness.

It gets upsetting sometimes. I don't know if anyone else feels the same way. It's like "normal" people tend to see ADHD as nothing more than a lack of self-discipline and that people just need to be harder on themselves... no one is harder on himself than my boyfriend. It makes me sad the way he thinks of himself sometimes.
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