Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

FarmerJohn
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Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby FarmerJohn » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:08 pm

I've been battling with the LSAC for the past couple months in attempts to get extra time on the LSAT for cognitive impairment resulting from ADHD. I went through $700-$1000 worth of psycho-educational testing and letters from doctors per the LSACs requirements. Both doctors with whom I consulted confirmed the diagnosis of ADHD and recommended extra time be granted because the impairment substantially affected my ability to demonstrate ability under a standard testing environment. To summarize: reading comprehension, measures of memory, speed and focus were all between 1.5 and 3 standard deviations below verbal and non-verbal reasoning scores. The impairment was obvious, at least in my mind and those of my doctors. However, the LSAC cherry-picked a couple of high-scores that were unrelated to skills tested by the LSAT such as writing and vocabulary, and claimed that my 6th grade reading comp scores (jumped to GE 18.8 with double time) were still within an "average" range. They denied my request and also pointed to the fact that I had scored well on a number of standardized tests while failing to recognize the disparity of results between tests that measured long-term memory (ie knowledge based tests) and those that required short term memory and speed like the LSAT. Subsequent to their denial, I submitted a ten page letter citing case law and academic sources that thoroughly upheld my request along with a letter from the second doctor who disputed their basis for denial and offered additional findings as to how this impairment "substantially limited abilities" (vague phrasing from the original ADA that the LSAC hides behind). It was ignored and I was told to see their original letter as reason for denial of my second claim. Nice.

It's my opinion, based on extensive research and consultation with an attorney who sued the LSAC on behalf of someone with similar experience, that the LSAC immediately denies claims related to ADHD. Is there anyone out there who has found otherwise? How did you do it? Does anyone think that the ADA amendments taking effect on January 1st will force the LSAC to change their ways? I plan to reapply after January 1st but remain doubtful that they will follow the spirit of the Act until someone forces their hand (they routinely denied accommodations to paraplegics before the DOJ settlement). If I am denied again and there are enough other people out there in similar circumstances, I am willing to organize and take action whether by a battery of complaints to the ADA or potentially a class action suit.

Allow me to say that I do not enjoy playing the victim. I'm not looking for an unfair advantage on this test. It would be a lot cheaper and less stressful to take another prep course or hire a tutor. The problem is that after 5 months of study, I still can't get past the 11th question in any section in the 35 minutes allowed. My accuracy has gone up, but time stands still with or without meds.

Please share your experience with or your knowledge of this matter. If there's enough of us out there with solid grounds for accommodation that are being denied, there's no reason to let it persist.

Thank you,
John

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vasiok
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby vasiok » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:47 pm

FarmerJohn wrote: The problem is that after 5 months of study, I still can't get past the 11th question in any section in the 35 minutes allowed.


No offense, but what do you do while doing the section? I'm just wondering... does your mind start to wonder around, etc?

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Dead Ringer
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby Dead Ringer » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:13 pm

:idea: medication. Fuck adderall try a sedative or being severely hung over. I am sure you have explored this option so I am just being a dick. Seriously though there has to be a way to beat your problem. Vasiok is quite right in wondering what you are doing with that time. Have someone stand over you with a horse whip and hit you if you don't do each question in the allotted minute and a half.

kflyer
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby kflyer » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:21 pm

I think part of the problem is that the LSAT is designed so that most people can't finish all the questions in each section. So, when your complaint is that you can't finish the sections on time, if there is any indication that you are able to take tests at all (like the few examples they cherry picked) they are going to be reluctant to grant you extra time because really you are just falling into the design of the test. That being said, it does sound like your case may be more extreme, and it especially sucks that you spent all the money on testing only to be denied. I don't know of anybody who has ever successfully appealed for special accommodations though.

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vasiok
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby vasiok » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:24 pm

Another thing... if your problems are so severe what will you do when you actually get into a school?

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Rocky Estoppel
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby Rocky Estoppel » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:25 pm

I can relate, but you just have to have more mental toughness than the average joe (the plumber). Practice, practice, and more practice will get you to recognize the symptoms creeping up and get you to focus when you need to. Remember, this isn't about the test being fair or equal to everyone else, it's about how well you can overcome adversity due to your condition. You can do it, it just will require hard work and dedication. I'd still use medication if you have to but the bottom line is when you find your mind wandering figure out a way for you to get it back on track.

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Dead Ringer
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby Dead Ringer » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:35 pm

In fewer words than everyone else said it: unless you can figure out how to solve the problem on your own, this test isn't for you.

FarmerJohn
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby FarmerJohn » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:41 pm

Dead Ringer wrote::idea: medication. Fuck adderall try a sedative or being severely hung over. I am sure you have explored this option so I am just being a dick. Seriously though there has to be a way to beat your problem. Vasiok is quite right in wondering what you are doing with that time. Have someone stand over you with a horse whip and hit you if you don't do each question in the allotted minute and a half.


Without spurring a new forum about the symptoms of ADHD, suffice it to say that motivation to do well on the test is more than enough to keep me going as quickly as possible. It's not as though I'm day dreaming about ponies or who's gonna win the superbowl. I would describe it more as the necessity to re-read the material over and over until it sinks in and then process that material efficiently without again losing it. I've tried the whole mind-over-matter bit, telling myself that I do not need to re-read the material but that's akin to telling a paraplegic that he can walk, at least in my mind.

Kflyer, that is an astute point and while I can understand the LSAC's argument in light of other scores, I would also expect that they be able to understand the intricacies of this impairment and how they relate to this test, especially when the LSAC is charged with making such accommodations. If they mandate these thorough evaluations, why ignore the findings? Why not just ask for a record of previous test scores?

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vasiok
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby vasiok » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:47 pm

^^ Sounds more like you suck at reading comprehension then ADHD...

Don't worry, I suck at RC too :cry:

tram988
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby tram988 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:49 pm

FarmerJohn wrote:

It's not as though I'm day dreaming about ponies...


God this made me laugh

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jdhopeful11
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby jdhopeful11 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:48 am

I was just exploring this idea and stumbled across this old thread (gotta love the search feature). I have a friend that has ADD, and although she can complete all but probably 8 total questions on the test in time, can she make a compelling case for getting 5 extra minutes awarded to her for each section? She was diagnosed with ADD only 9 months ago, so she has never tested with accommodations before, but surely there's a first for everything. Will this also blemish her law school apps in any way if the request is not granted?? Is it possible to gain approval for a request for the October test?

whymeohgodno
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby whymeohgodno » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:54 am

jdhopeful11 wrote:I was just exploring this idea and stumbled across this old thread (gotta love the search feature). I have a friend that has ADD, and although she can complete all but probably 8 total questions on the test in time, can she make a compelling case for getting 5 extra minutes awarded to her for each section? She was diagnosed with ADD only 9 months ago, so she has never tested with accommodations before, but surely there's a first for everything. Will this also blemish her law school apps in any way if the request is not granted?? Is it possible to gain approval for a request for the October test?


Absolutely no chance in hell.

9 months ago? People have trouble getting accommodations when they have carefully recorded data of ADD since middle school....9 months ago will have no shot at all whatsoever. You have a better chance of winning the lotto.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Has anyone been granted accommodations because of ADHD?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:56 am

At this point threads are becoming fully redundant; new thread here:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=130855




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