Anonymous said to realsocialskills:How do you ask for accomendations when you don’t have a go-to reason to explain why you need it? I don’t know if I’m disabled (I find info about disablities completely inaccessible to me, though i’ve wondered from seeing people talk about things i’ve also experienced) but I do know I can’t learn in certain ways, or process information that’s presented in certain ways, and that I’m prone to sensory overload. people act like i’m being overdemanding when I bring it up. am i? if not, what do I do?realsocialskills said:I’ve been there, a lot. I was only diagnosed after college, even though I’ve always been disabled. I was just as impaired before diagnosis; being without a label didn’t magically create abilities. So I’ve spent a lot of time negotiating accommodations informally.I’ve found that what works best is to give a very simple version of the problem, and to ask for something specific. This can make accommodating you seem like a straightforward thing to do.For instance: “This is hard for me to read. Is there an electronic copy?” works much better than ”I’m autistic and I have visual tracking issues and executive dysfunction and I need a different format.”Or: “Noisy College Hall is big and crowded. I never understand anything there. Can we have class in the usual room instead of moving?”Or: “I don’t understand the assignment when it’s said verbally. Can you email me the details?”tl;dr You don’t have to go into great diagnostic detail when you’re negotiating with a teacher directly. You can start by describing the problem and a solution you think would work. This doesn’t always work, but it’s the most effective approach I know of for this situation.Does anyone else want to weigh in? What’s worked for you when you’ve needed to ask a teacher for accommodations?
If you can afford it or have insurance cover it, getting a diagnosis, or just getting tested in some way, can be an option. I had to get tested to get an accommodation letter from the disability office once (it was a small thing, but the professor was inflexible on that specific thing because of reasons). The test itself was an afternoon of doing timed tests and puzzles, and a bit of conversation about whether I’d had difficulty in school as a child and such. I’m not actually sure if I was diagnosed with anything (so probably I wasn’t), but I got a doctor letter that basically amounted to “this person’s brain is a little different in this specific way and she has trouble with these sorts of things, so you should let her review the power point slides after class”.
(read more break because random personal stuff)
Getting a diagnosis can definitely be helpful for some people (I’m one of them). It’s not a complete solution to the problem though, and it’s not a good option for everyone. There can also be a long waiting list, and people waiting still need options.