Author Topic: S/O Aspergers - autistic student - UPDATE: I give up  (Read 28169 times)

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Balletmom

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2011, 10:32:53 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.

I agree. This is a family that can't accept one child being different. What part of the grad school program IS Nazir able to handle? '

He cannot meet the basic academic requirements on his own. The essential question is, "what can Nazir do to make this degree meaningful."


shadowfox79

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2011, 04:25:53 AM »
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.

Yup. However, I'm not sure what they can do. The meeting included the Dean of the faculty - going higher than her essentially means the VC, who I don't know personally but I doubt she'll want to annoy members of the Board, especially when it relates to a learning-disabled son.

Frankly, I don't see how he's going to get his degree anyway, unless his brother does the assignments for him. It's all going to be pointless if he fails all his coursework.

Spoder

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2011, 04:28:29 AM »
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.

Yup. However, I'm not sure what they can do. The meeting included the Dean of the faculty - going higher than her essentially means the VC, who I don't know personally but I doubt she'll want to annoy members of the Board, especially when it relates to a learning-disabled son.

Frankly, I don't see how he's going to get his degree anyway, unless his brother does the assignments for him. It's all going to be pointless if he fails all his coursework.

I just shudder to think how much drama, frustration and extra work he's going to create for everyone else (read: university faculty/staff) along the way.  >:( All because his mother and brother refuse to live in the real world with the rest of us.

TychaBrahe

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2011, 04:00:47 PM »
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.

This reminds me of something a few years ago.  I audited a course at one of the local seminaries on "Creation" from a scientific and religious purview.  The science part fascinated me.  We started with the Big Bang and ended up somewhere around ardipithecus, which discovery had just been announced the week prior to our lecture.  (The religion part I didn't understand at all.  I stopped going to class when they were discussing how the meaning of Jesus had changed between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.)

Anyway, when the lecturer on extrasolar planets spoke, I asked her about Bode's law.  I'd learned it in high school astronomy.  The only reference I'd read about it since was in a Heinlein novel.  Except that I couldn't remember the name.  I kept coming up with Boyle's Law, which has to do with the pressure and volume of gases.  And she knew exactly what I was talking about, told me that it was considered an accident of our solar system, since it hadn't been observed anywhere else (and 500+ planets is a lot of non-observation), and she couldn't remember the name either, since it had been so long since it was disproven.
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newbiePA

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2011, 05:20:30 PM »
I am not a lawyer, but I am a former grad student. Something else your university has to consider is the fallout if this student does enroll, and ends up in classes. I assume the program rejected sone students, and academia is a small world.  If I was not accepted into your program, and I found out about this arrangement, I would NOT be happy. This could have long term implications for your university's program. Admin. should tread very carefully.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 05:22:10 PM by newbiePA »
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NutMeg

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #50 on: September 14, 2011, 09:35:14 PM »
As someone who is desperately trying to get into her dream graduate program, the OP is so depressing. If you can't do the job, then you can't do the job. In my opinion a reasonable accommodation is if you can change a non-essential part that will make it easier for the individual with a disability, that still captures the essence of the original task. If you can't handle the essence of the task, then you have no business pretending that you do.
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Spoder

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #51 on: September 14, 2011, 10:23:21 PM »
As someone who is desperately trying to get into her dream graduate program, the OP is so depressing. If you can't do the job, then you can't do the job. In my opinion a reasonable accommodation is if you can change a non-essential part that will make it easier for the individual with a disability, that still captures the essence of the original task. If you can't handle the essence of the task, then you have no business pretending that you do.

I completely agree.

I will also say, at the risk of sounding selfish, that it ticks me off when substandard students are allowed to graduate from a course when they really haven't been able to fulfil the requirements. It's unfair to the other students. I don't want these people graduating from the same institution, with the same degree, as I have. It downgrades the value of *my* qualification if the university is clearly handing them out to anyone who can wheedle/finagle/bully their way into passing.

Lisbeth

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #52 on: September 14, 2011, 10:39:54 PM »
Oh, brother.

I think that in addition to documenting everything involving Nazir, the university is also going to have to have its own legal counsel standing by to deal with all the crap Tariq and his mother are going to throw at it-all because they won't face reality and admit that Nazir can't handle the requirements of graduate school.

It makes me wonder how he got that bachelor's degree-did Tariq bully the school that issued it with legal threats?
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Spoder

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2011, 10:48:23 PM »
Oh, brother.

I think that in addition to documenting everything involving Nazir, the university is also going to have to have its own legal counsel standing by to deal with all the crap Tariq and his mother are going to throw at it-all because they won't face reality and admit that Nazir can't handle the requirements of graduate school.

It makes me wonder how he got that bachelor's degree-did Tariq bully the school that issued it with legal threats?

Heck yeah.

KimberlyRose

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2011, 10:48:49 PM »
It makes me wonder how he got that bachelor's degree-did Tariq bully the school that issued it with legal threats?

That was probably part of it, but since Nazir was living with his family at the time, they probably "helped" him a LOT.

Spoder

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #55 on: September 14, 2011, 10:57:01 PM »
It makes me wonder how he got that bachelor's degree-did Tariq bully the school that issued it with legal threats?

That was probably part of it, but since Nazir was living with his family at the time, they probably "helped" him a LOT.

And this is one of the reasons that assessments at university are so exam-heavy. Not because exams are the best way of testing in-depth understanding of the topic (they're often not), but because exams are the only way they can be sure that students are actually doing the work themselves.

Because, y'know, it would be so useful to get a degree on the basis of work that was actually done by your brother / your mother / your tutor / some random person off the internet.  ::)

shadowfox79

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #56 on: September 15, 2011, 02:42:51 AM »
I am not a lawyer, but I am a former grad student. Something else your university has to consider is the fallout if this student does enroll, and ends up in classes. I assume the program rejected sone students, and academia is a small world.  If I was not accepted into your program, and I found out about this arrangement, I would NOT be happy. This could have long term implications for your university's program. Admin. should tread very carefully.

On this one we're safe, because this particular course is always under-recruited, although I see your point. It may be more likely to get negative feedback from the students on the course if it becomes obvious that Nazir is being coddled.

Gyburc

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #57 on: September 15, 2011, 06:16:43 AM »
Shadowfox, I'm in a very similar job to yours, and I have to say I relaxed quite a bit as soon as I heard that you had got the Dean and the other higher-ups involved. That was going to be my first and most urgent piece of advice.

I agree with the PPs - document absolutely everything - and more than that, make sure that you inform the 'chain of command' of everything that happens. This sounds like an absolute nightmare.

I'm horribly cynical, but I rather think that Nazir's family are expecting either someone else to do his work for him, or your university to hand him his degree on the grounds of no work at all.

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Twik

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #58 on: September 15, 2011, 09:56:58 AM »
Oh, brother.

I think that in addition to documenting everything involving Nazir, the university is also going to have to have its own legal counsel standing by to deal with all the crap Tariq and his mother are going to throw at it-all because they won't face reality and admit that Nazir can't handle the requirements of graduate school.

It makes me wonder how he got that bachelor's degree-did Tariq bully the school that issued it with legal threats?

Yes. What struck me is that Nazir does not seem able currently to cope with what he'd need to do to get and keep a job, even if he is handed a degree. His family should be concentrating on therapy to enable him to be more self-sufficient, without worrying at this time about him getting a degree that he probably would not be able to use. I sense that the family is in deep denial about his level of functionality.
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shadowfox79

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Re: S/O Aspergers - autistic student
« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2011, 03:59:21 PM »
Yes. What struck me is that Nazir does not seem able currently to cope with what he'd need to do to get and keep a job, even if he is handed a degree. His family should be concentrating on therapy to enable him to be more self-sufficient, without worrying at this time about him getting a degree that he probably would not be able to use. I sense that the family is in deep denial about his level of functionality.

Given that the few family members I've met include a woman on the Board of Governors and a Ph.D lawyer, I suspect he comes from a family of over-achievers who refuse to accept that his upper limits may not be the same as theirs.

Although I do wonder, given the amount of help they must have given him during his first degree, why they allowed him to get into such a state with his masters. I'd have thought they'd at least have asked him about his coursework.