Psycho-Academic "Syndromes" of College Students with Learning Disabilities

Fresh Start Syndrome:
"My learning disability is all behind me.  I don't have to deal with it anymore.  No one needs to know about it."

  • Denies Learning Disability
  • Does not seek help.

I'm No Different Syndrome:
"I can compete on the same terms.  I can take just as many units and engage in just as much extra-curricular activity as any other student."

  • Take too many units.
  • Spends too much time participating in social functions.
  • Is employed too many hours per week.

Bail Out Syndrome:
"There's just too much to do.  I can't do it.  I've got to get out."

  • Drops into a cycle of learned helplessness.
  • Stops doing academic work.
  • Stops going to classes, but does not officially withdraw from them.

Everything is O.K. Syndrome:
"I'm doing fine in all my classes.  I'm not having any problems at all."

  • Reports are inaccurate.
  • Does not want to admit that he/she is having difficulty.

Bail Me Out Syndrome:
"I really got myself into trouble.  I need you to get me out."

  • Requests that the Disability Services Office contacts professors and gets them out of their mess.
  • Usually waits until the last few weeks of the semester.

Change My Grade Syndrome:
"I'm not worried, I can get the instructor to change my grade."

  • Has developed strategies for convincing professors that they deserve a better grade.

They Don't Understand Syndrome:
"It's not my fault.  The professor just doesn't understand."

  • Blames instructor for difficulties in class.
  • Does not accept responsibility.

I Can't Do It Myself Syndrome:
"I can't do it.  Can you or someone else do it for me?"

  • Overly dependent on others.
  • Attempts to get others to do the work for them.
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