Author Topic: S/O Aspergers - autistic student - UPDATE: I give up  (Read 29852 times)

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Balletmom

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2011, 07:25:32 PM »
The real issue here, is that the family hasn't come to terms with the limits of Nazir's abilities, and the impact of his disabilities. They didn't notice he wasn't going to class, and expected the university to call them. "That is not appropriate at this level of education" is the correct response. They have unrealistic expectations.

Graduate school, sadly, seems to the point at which this revelation will have to occur. Document and put the ball back in Lawyerzilla's court. He obviously cares about his brother and wants him to do well. He obviously feels guilty that he's not doing more to help his brother, although it's not really help.

A key question might be to ask: "What does Nazir really want? We cannot do more for him than he wants to do for himself. If he is not able or willing to come to class, or seek out tutoring, then we cannot force that on him. He is an adult, and capable of knowing what he wants. This needs to be about his goals, and what he wants to do."


blarg314

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2011, 02:55:31 AM »
It depends on the subject matter.  I wouldn't expect someone on the spectrum to do well in literature or languages or any of the social sciences.  But engineering or computer programming or something solid like chemistry?  I imagine they'd do very well. 

I'm not sure about that.

I've got a PhD in the physical sciences, and and awkward social skills or weird mannerisms are not that big a problem.  But students absolutely need to be able to function independently.  If a student can't function outside of an very structured environment, where they are told what to do and when to do it, and led through things carefully, they aren't going to make it to the end of the program, no matter how brilliant they are at the subject material.

If someone came up with a really brilliant project on their own, but couldn't handle the rest of the surrounding stuff, it would be tricky.  It's just possible that they might be given the degree, but it would be difficult to get past the university if they, for example, didn't have the coursework properly completed, or had foundered on the qualifying exam a year into the program and were asked to leave, or did brilliant work that wasn't written up properly. IN other words, ground-breaking genius level work might be let past the rules, but not merely excellent work.


immadz

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2011, 04:13:19 AM »
While I feel sorry for you and Nazir, I also feel sorry for Tariq. Being responsible for Nazir's grades is not an enviable position to be in, given Nazir's disabilities.


shadowfox79

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2011, 05:44:33 AM »
Oh, it gets better.

I've just spoken to the course leader, who had a meeting scheduled with them, the Dean and reps from our disability and counselling groups. Tariq showed up with his mother but not Nazir, and when asked why he wasn't there, replied that he didn't want to come. Not a great start.

Not only that, but as Nazir apparently can't handle presentations, deadlines or group work, it was suggested (but not agreed, so far) that maybe the module team could write separate assignments just for him.  ::) He's already getting a separate induction, and his brother asked to be copied in to all emails sent to him (which the course leader said could only be done with Nazir's written consent, although I imagine it will be Tariq who writes it).

This is going to be a disaster.

Spoder

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2011, 06:08:00 AM »
Oh, it gets better.

I've just spoken to the course leader, who had a meeting scheduled with them, the Dean and reps from our disability and counselling groups. Tariq showed up with his mother but not Nazir, and when asked why he wasn't there, replied that he didn't want to come. Not a great start.

Not only that, but as Nazir apparently can't handle presentations, deadlines or group work, it was suggested (but not agreed, so far) that maybe the module team could write separate assignments just for him.  ::) He's already getting a separate induction, and his brother asked to be copied in to all emails sent to him (which the course leader said could only be done with Nazir's written consent, although I imagine it will be Tariq who writes it).

This is going to be a disaster.

This is utterly ridiculous. Clearly, money talks in this place, in a big way. Otherwise, I'm assuming they would have used some common sense and called off the meeting when Nazir didn't even show up.

shadowfox79

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2011, 07:48:29 AM »
Not so much money as clout. With a mother on the Board and a lawyer brother to speak for him, there was no way they'd be cancelling the meeting.

I doubt he will actually get separate assignments, but you never know. As far as I know, any module involving presentations also has a written component, so he might be able to just take that component to cover the whole assessment. And he wouldn't be the first student to do a group assignment on his own.

How they plan to handle the deadline problem I don't know.

Winterlight

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2011, 11:40:29 AM »
Oh, it gets better.

I've just spoken to the course leader, who had a meeting scheduled with them, the Dean and reps from our disability and counselling groups. Tariq showed up with his mother but not Nazir, and when asked why he wasn't there, replied that he didn't want to come. Not a great start.

Not only that, but as Nazir apparently can't handle presentations, deadlines or group work, it was suggested (but not agreed, so far) that maybe the module team could write separate assignments just for him.  ::) He's already getting a separate induction, and his brother asked to be copied in to all emails sent to him (which the course leader said could only be done with Nazir's written consent, although I imagine it will be Tariq who writes it).

This is going to be a disaster.

Hoboy. This is definitely not going to end well. Document, document, document. And have a witness!
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 11:43:35 AM by Winterlight »
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TychaBrahe

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2011, 12:23:21 PM »
It depends on the subject matter.  I wouldn't expect someone on the spectrum to do well in literature or languages or any of the social sciences.  But engineering or computer programming or something solid like chemistry?  I imagine they'd do very well. 

It's a management course. I've no idea how that ties in with autism.

He's wasting his time.  He's going to be useless at management.  How can someone who doesn't understand normal human interactions and social cues lead, motivate, or discipline people?  I learned that about myself the hard way.  (And frankly, he's just proven he can't even successfully manage himself.)

The first thing I thought of here was the old Star Fleet regulation that a Vulcan cannot command a ship unless its crew is entirely Vulcan. 
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TychaBrahe

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2011, 12:29:19 PM »
It depends on the subject matter.  I wouldn't expect someone on the spectrum to do well in literature or languages or any of the social sciences.  But engineering or computer programming or something solid like chemistry?  I imagine they'd do very well. 

I'm not sure about that.

I've got a PhD in the physical sciences, and and awkward social skills or weird mannerisms are not that big a problem.  But students absolutely need to be able to function independently.  If a student can't function outside of an very structured environment, where they are told what to do and when to do it, and led through things carefully, they aren't going to make it to the end of the program, no matter how brilliant they are at the subject material.

If someone came up with a really brilliant project on their own, but couldn't handle the rest of the surrounding stuff, it would be tricky.  It's just possible that they might be given the degree, but it would be difficult to get past the university if they, for example, didn't have the coursework properly completed, or had foundered on the qualifying exam a year into the program and were asked to leave, or did brilliant work that wasn't written up properly. IN other words, ground-breaking genius level work might be let past the rules, but not merely excellent work.

By "physical sciences" it sounds like you mean something like chemistry or physics.  And I agree, Aspies would do well there.  They are all about rules and structure, and there is one answer.  F = (G * m1 * m2) / r^2 forever and ever and always.  You can write legislation to make pi = 22/7 or 3, but you can't change the fundamental workings of the Universe.

It's things like psychology and sociology and I would argue even some aspects of biology that I think Aspies would have trouble with. 
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Elfmama

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2011, 02:06:06 PM »
Not only document, but get signatures all the way down the line.  "I have received my schedule and class assignments." Nazir Whosis  (You'd probably have to put it in legalese.)
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KimberlyRose

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2011, 04:26:45 PM »
Not so much money as clout. With a mother on the Board and a lawyer brother to speak for him, there was no way they'd be cancelling the meeting.

But couldn't they have at least told them, "in that case, we'll need to reschedule for a time when Nazir can be present," instead of just going ahead?

Onyx_TKD

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2011, 07:41:10 PM »
Oh, it gets better.

I've just spoken to the course leader, who had a meeting scheduled with them, the Dean and reps from our disability and counselling groups. Tariq showed up with his mother but not Nazir, and when asked why he wasn't there, replied that he didn't want to come. Not a great start.

Not only that, but as Nazir apparently can't handle presentations, deadlines or group work, it was suggested (but not agreed, so far) that maybe the module team could write separate assignments just for him.  ::) He's already getting a separate induction, and his brother asked to be copied in to all emails sent to him (which the course leader said could only be done with Nazir's written consent, although I imagine it will be Tariq who writes it).

This is going to be a disaster.

RE: the bolded
Thank all that is good and holy that he "can't handle group work" because I would weep for the poor students assigned to his group. There are already enough students who flake out of responsibilities and meetings in group work without adding a student who skips out on meetings scheduled purely for his benefit because "he didn't want to come" and can't even handle his own schedule without help. Add the fact that it would be incredibly difficult to ask for him to booted from the group without risking accusations of being insensitive to his disability, and it would be pure [place of fiery torment] for his teammates.

However, it does bring up the question of what he is going to "manage" if he can't work with groups.  ??? I don't think that leading a group of one generally requires a graduate management degree (and I really hope "can't handle group work" doesn't mean that he can only deal with groups if he's in charge  :-\).

Twik

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2011, 08:05:29 PM »
So, if Nazir cannot handle presentations, deadlines, group work, or even getting to class, what will he be able to do once he graduates? I'm afraid this family is trying to pretend to themslves that Nazir is going to be able to go out, get a job (even a prestigious one) and live independently, and he is not in any state where he currently could do so. He needs intensive therapy and training in managing his own life, before he starts trying to manage others.

It's a tragedy for Nazir, really. He needs support, not people turning a blind eye to his problems.
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blarg314

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2011, 10:13:53 PM »
I think your department needs to start talking with higher levels at the university, to maintain its own professional integrity.

Right now they are being bullied into basically giving someone a meaningless degree. It's a management degree, and they want him exempt from presentations, deadlines, group work, getting to class by himself, and communicating with the faculty by email, voice or phone.

So he's going to get a graduate degree based on solo written assignments with no deadline, and someone else to handle basic communications and make him get to work. If he goes out and gets a job based on this, your department is going to look incompetent and/or unethical.

blarg314

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2011, 10:20:25 PM »

By "physical sciences" it sounds like you mean something like chemistry or physics.  And I agree, Aspies would do well there.  They are all about rules and structure, and there is one answer.  F = (G * m1 * m2) / r^2 forever and ever and always.  You can write legislation to make pi = 22/7 or 3, but you can't change the fundamental workings of the Universe.


You'd be surprised.  At an undergrad level, sure, but when you hit grad school you learn that what you were taught in undergrad is not necessarily true.

Take F = (G*m1*m2)/r^2, the Newtonian gravitational law. I spent a full year in a master's level relativity course learning that this law is actually *not* generally true; it's only true in certain, special circumstances.  However, you need to learn tensor calculus before you can even approach Einstein's General Theory.

One of the courses I took as an undergrad  was completely invalid within a few years of graduating.  Basically, I took a course on solar system astronomy. The next year, solar systems outside of our own were discovered, and we found out that most of the theories of solar system formation we had were totally wrong.  If I taught that course now, the material would be completely different.

A student who insisted that what they learned in undergrad *had* to be true, even when presented with evidence to the contrary, wouldn't make it past the course work, let alone the qualifier, and would be completely incompetent at original research.  They'd probably be fine applying current, well accepted theories to practical applications, but that's not what's involved in the PhD.