So I came from college to do some fall tradition things with my family and went over to a friend’s house. I started talking to her mom about how she was doing at school, and that led to how I can tank a test and still know the material.
During junior year, I did worse on a Chem retake than the original, and after failing a lot of tests, I was asked if I got anxious during tests. In Trig, after having failed three things in a row, I was placed in the Math lab office and got a 91. After failing the first test of Pre-Calc during my senior year, the teacher asked if I had an learning disability or testing location issue.
These are just a couple examples of times I did poorly on a test, even though I knew the material. My friend’s mom, after having heard about my OCD and TS a couple times, asked why I never got an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for testing locations. It was clear that I got so worked up over tests that I psyched myself out.
Plus, with the diagnosis of TS junior year, I was always restless and wiggly during tests. I tapped, made noises and normally ended up moving the table. On top of that, I have always had issues learning in an auditory manner to a point. I have noticed in college that unless I am constantly kept busy with notes, I have to play on my cell phone in order to stand a chance at recalling anything.
My friend’s mom works with the special education program for our local elementary, so she knows what she is talking about. Since I have TS and OCD (it has gotten better, but tests definitely make me nervous at times), she said I probably could have been given an IEP under OHI (other health impaired).
I could get extra time to take tests and take them in an alternate location. That way, I could afford to get up, stretch, take a walk in the hall, let all my tics out, and not have to worry about disturbing others. She said that I wouldn’t have to use it all the time and it couldn’t hurt.
As I prepared for college in high school, my mom was always a great advocate talking to teachers about my testing issues. She wanted me to get an IEP so that special arrangements could be made to prevent a meltdown during a test. I foolishly never wanted one.
It is common knowledge that kids with a label are stigmatized. I didn’t want to be that kid who had to take tests in another room and didn’t want anybody knowing about my TS and OCD. I want to become a doctor and felt that if they saw the IEP with my file in med school, that would hold me back.
I struggled so many tests with my OCD, using the maximum time required because I was afraid I hadn’t been careful enough with my answers. What made me succeed was continuing to go to school on days when I knew I would soon sit in my desk in fear of a simple tests that I knew I would do well on.
So when junior year and the failings started up again, I had already been through it all before. I knew what I had to do to get over this. I was used to feeling this way and it had gotten much better and my grades had never been impacted. In fact, I had a 4.04/4.3 GPA.
So my doctor never saw a reason for me to get an IEP either since my grades weren’t impacted. I am very good at suppressing my tics, so it doesn’t impact me too much in class. It is annoying to have to make a conscious effort to make sure I am quiet though.
So I guess what I am asking is whether you guys think I should have gotten an IEP for my OCD and tics? I feel like at this point I have struggled and conquered through so much I am just used to it. I don’t even know if I can get an IEP now that I am in college or if it will impact my medical school career? What do you guys think?