Narrative-Based Research for Social Change
Edited By Ahmet Atay and Mary Z. Ashlock
Chapter Seven: Caught in the Rhetoric: How Students with Disabilities Are Framed by DSS Offices in U.S. Higher Education
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Caught IN THE Rhetoric
How Students with Disabilities Are Framed by DSS Offices in U.S. Higher Education
KATHRYN GOLSAN AND KYLE RUDICK
I was not officially diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) until I was 23 years old. My late diagnosis was due, in part, to my family’s inability to afford health insurance and partly because I never stayed in a school system long enough for a counselor to diagnose me. I was constantly switching schools because my single, economically impoverished mother moved from place to place to stay ahead of debt collection agencies. I had no idea that I learned differently than other students. I never felt like the way I thought or processed information was a disability until I reached college. There I had to learn content through large lecture classes and long standardized exams. I felt overwhelmed by a system of learning that everyone else seemed to be able to negotiate naturally. I began to lose the motivation to go to classes because I did not think that I was smart enough or worthy to be a college student.
I decided to go to the Disability Support Service (DSS) office to talk to someone about receiving accommodations for my learning disability. After waiting nearly an hour, I got the chance to speak with a doctor about ADD/ADHD medication. My inquiry was immediately responded to with what I interpreted as...
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