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ASD and exam accommodations

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Chrysanthemum, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Chrysanthemum

    Chrysanthemum Active Member

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    So something I have wondered is for people diagnosed with ASD who have standard scores in the normal range or above in areas such as reading speed, reading comprehension, writing speed and legibility, processing speed, numerical calculations etc, do they usually not get any exam accommodations (in secondary school, university, professional exams etc)? The only reasons I could think of that a person diagnosed with ASD (and no other condition) and having standard scores in the normal range or above in all areas and subareas may need extra time or other accommodations are to filter out sensory input, perhaps lose concentration on an exam, or (I don't know if the following are be directly related to ASD) if they need to rest between questions or experience mental fatigue. Perhaps there are other reasons but just something I have wondered.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  2. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I would think that anyone who asks for accommodations would get them. Are you asking if they would typically want them?
     
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  3. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My child has been granted written accommodations by the exam board allowing her to wear earplugs, which are checked, and sit in a small quiet side room with a few others in a similar situation. The school had to formally apply and specifically request what she asked for. She had to provide a copy of her written diagnosis in order to have her request considered.

    Self diagnosed or anyone else asking for accommodations will not have them granted. The kids that do have them granted have to show their exam board letters to the invigilators as proof, and a copy of the letter is placed in the child’s file in case it is lost or forgotten etc. It doesn’t entitle her to any extra time.
     
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  4. Chrysanthemum

    Chrysanthemum Active Member

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    I don’t believe that anyone asking for exam accommodations would get the accommodations they are asking for. For example, there are official written guidelines for accommodations for GCSE, A-level and IB exams (including explicit “standard scores” criteria for students asking for e.g. extra time, reader, word professor, scribe for students with specific learning or other more non-physical/non-sensory/non-medical disabilities (seems like in some scenarios especially if it’s more of a medical/physical disability a doctor’s letter may be accepted). I am asking if there are situations where a student is diagnosed with ASD but not “entitled” to any exam accommodations, especially as ASD itself is not considered a learning disability so it may very well be that some students diagnosed with it have processing speed, reading comprehension and speed, writing speed, maths speed etc standard scores all in the normal range or above.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  5. Chrysanthemum

    Chrysanthemum Active Member

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    That's great that your child has been granted that accommodation. To be clear I was not referring to anyone self-diagnosed but only people with an official diagnosis.

    Here are the JCQ and IB exam accommodation guidelines (including standard scores rendering eligibility for certain accommodations for a student with a diagnosed condition): https://www.jcq.org.uk/Download/exa...rangements-and-reasonable-adjustments-2019-20 http://karmelicka.edu.pl/ib/IBO documents/IBO_document_Candidates_with_assessment_access_requirements.pdf

    I am diagnosed with autism and got/get extra time in exams (during secondary school and now during university), but I got it because of slow reading speed (though I don't know that reading speed is directly related to ASD). That's partly why I was wondering about this (as ASD is not specifically a specific learning disability so some students may actually have normal range or above scores in all test and subtests on standardized tests). I could see how earplugs could be useful for someone who benefits from them to manage sensory input (personally I never had that as an accommodation but wouldn't need it anyway, but I am not every person diagnosed with ASD).
     
  6. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I should have been clearer, when I mentioned the situation for people who self-diagnose it was directed towards the comment @Fino, made not your initial post -

    My daughter is an avid reader and I don’t believe she has any issues with speed, which is perhaps why she hasn’t to my knowledge requested additional time which seems a reasonable accommodation. I will ask her though later just to be sure, and out of interest, I don’t want to be inaccurate about that.

    She does now score well above average in all tests/exams, thus demonstrating that an ASD diagnosis with accommodations should not be an obstacle to anyone doing well at school.

    The earplugs however are essential for her, and literally the different between good or poor results. She previously had some very upsetting experiences as she complained she couldn’t concentrate properly. She felt bombarded by a cacophony of sound from the clock ticking, chairs scraping, papers shuffling, pens clicking, coughs, people tapping pens while thinking, invigilators footsteps etc, it was just too much and she would become very stressed and overwhelmed. She is much happier now with earplugs and a small sub room rather than a large exam hall.
     
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  7. Starfire

    Starfire Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I just sent her a text and asked, this was her reply - “I get “rest breaks” so if I need a break I’m allowed to stop my allowed time and take a breather. I’m allowed as many of those as I want. Extra time is for dyslexic people they get 25% longer”
     
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  8. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    I would like to apply this to my life, work, shopping. Lol. Good for you accommodating your daughter. Thanks!!
     
  9. Butterfly88

    Butterfly88 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I was in college I got 50% extra time on tests, a distraction-free testing environment, and I was allowed to type essays instead of hand-writing them (ASD has caused issues with my motor skills). Basically in college the distraction-free testing environment meant I could take the tests in the testing center as opposed to having to take them with the whole class.
     
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  10. Chrysanthemum

    Chrysanthemum Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering if you were allowed to type for short-answer exams as well, or whether your only option was to handwrite for those even though you were allowed to type essay exams? Did you have to submit tests of handwriting or not to be allowed to type essay exams?

    May I ask if you know why you got 50% extra time (only if you are comfortable answering this)?