Tuesday, June 19, 2012

NPR Audio: Coping With College And Mental Illness

Entering College (with Autism, ADHD, and Depression)

 An Autistic Student's Journey To College : NPR

On Morning Edition, a great story about managing in college when one is diagnosed with mental health issues.  In this story, a student entering college talks about registering with Disability Services on-campus when he's dealt with several long-term illnesses from a young age.  He mentions planning to register with the office, even though he doesn't feel as if he needs services now -- he wants them to know that he comes with diagnoses and that now at the school.

It's smart to register because you get to learn about possible services that can be of immense help and you also have a contact to guide you through the process, who can also step in if   They talk about making the transition from home to school and necessary steps they need to take to make his experience successful.

Many students either don't know they have a mental/behavioral health disorder, or are in the dark about how to get help or the fact that they deserve support int he form of accommodations.  However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures that a wide variety of accommodations are available for people with all types of disabilities (or, rather, different abilities from the majority) that help everyone to exist on more level playing field, and, in effect, increasing social justice in our culture.

Too often, work flow proceeds in a traditional way that no one questions because they have no trouble following those practices.  It's always been (done) that way?  But, discerning critical thinkers realize that these are just as socially created as "work" is itself.  There are a million different ways to do most tasks and to be productive.  Using the resources offered by the ADA is a way of celebrating the rights of all people, even those in the majority as far as abilities go.