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Old 02-12-04, 01:27 AM
ifso215 ifso215 is offline
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About to cause some BIG problems here at school

I picked up my college's newspaper today to find a front page article in the features section on how students here are "coping with the challenges of ADD." It included the obligitory basic info about coaching, stimulant meds, and the services the university offers to its students with ADD.

It included comments from the vice-president of our Academic Development Center who deals directly with almost all LD/ADD students. She mentioned how the school provides various modes of assistance for students with ADD based on their individual needs - making specific mention to how the center most often arranges extended time for tests and the like. The overall tone of the article was very positive and made it sound like students with ADD here have it just GREAT.

Well, this article made me FURIOUS. I've had personal experience with the university's willingness to provide 'accomidations.'

Close to two years ago, I was diagnosed by a Neurologist and put on medication the same day. Within a week I'd made an appointment to speak to the very woman who lent her input to this article. After waiting a month for the appointment to come around, I walked in with my diagnosis and the printouts of my TOVA test with intentions of giving whatever information I needed to be accomidated with extra time on exams and flexible deadlines with written assignments (my personal worst weakness). Within five minutes I was shown the door after being told that since I'd recieved my diagnosis from a neurologist and not a rigorous ADD evaluation and suggested accomidations from a psychiatrist, my needs could not be accomidated in any way. No extended exam periods, no flexible deadlines, no coaching, no official documentation of my needs to save me from the humility of explaining it to five different professors each term, in short - NOTHING. I asked whether I needed anything like the college equivalent of a 504 individual education plan, but since it's a private university I was told it was merely "how we do things here." I was told to not even bother trying to make another appointment unless I'd gone through the whole process of a full evaluation, something easier said than done. It would have taken me well over three months to go through that process, the whole time kicking and scratching my way through school with just a bottle of Adderal to help. After that I would have had to wait at least another month for an appointment, time I just didn't have.

Needless to say, I've fought my way through school for the last two years and am on schedule to graduate only one semester late (what's another $20,000?) and I still recieve absolutely no accomidations from the administration. When necessary, I speak individually with the professors and usually work something out if I'm having trouble, but that doesn't always work unless you've got an official mandate from the administration. I might not have completely slipped through the cracks as I did through the entirety of my earlier schooling, but the only acknowledgement of my disorder has been from the medical world, not the higher education institution whose motto is "Ever to Excel."

I'm planning on writing a letter to the editor of the newspaper exposing how the services here aren't quite as 'accessable to everyone' as their article claims.

Here's my favorite (read: infuriating) quote from the whole article:

"The Academic Development Center provides accommodations to students who have ADD that are truly individual to each student based upon their specific need," said XXXXX. "Some students are fully in control of their ADD, while some students need more help."

Now I wanted to pose a question as to whether or not such a slap in the face merits a letter to the paper that would be read by the president of university, the deans, the administration, not to mention thousands of students? Maybe I'm taking this a little too personal, but I know I have the ability to write a short, eloquent letter that in the words of a friend who teaches LD, "would definitely stick it to 'em."

Do I get all fired up and start some trouble with this, or should I just take my adderal and settle down?
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