TL;DR I'm planning to take the GRE Subject Test in Math on Saturday October 29, 2016 in [Country A] to boost my profile for PhD applications. I have ADHD, which I discovered in August 2015 and am planning to request reasonable accommodations for the GRE Subject Test in Math. I have recently moved to Country A from Country B. ETS has advised me to submit documentation from both psychiatrists. My Country B psychiatrist is amenable to writing me the disability documentation, but my Country A psychiatrist is not. I am unluckily the recipient of one of those doctors who (practically) doesn't believe ADHD exists. I am not likely going to get another psychiatrist in time to submit the required documentation (disability documentation takes 6 weeks to review; I am planning to submit on Saturday September 3, 2016).
How can I appeal to ETS for reasonable accommodations without disability documentation from my current psychiatrist?
Any advice on my dilemma would be highly appreciated.
Through this question which is of academic origin but somewhat medico-legal in nature, I hope that I may get advice.
I wanted to keep myself anonymous, but it looks like I will have to reveal aspects about myself in order to get advice.
I am a citizen of Country B and a permanent resident of Country A: I was born in Country A and lived in Country A for sometime until I moved to Country B (my parents are originally from Country B) for some time because we could not afford the cost of living in Country A. Eventually in 2013, we were able to afford the cost of living in Country A again and so we moved back to Country A. However I stayed in Country B to complete my master's degree which I finished this year (June 2016). I moved back to Country A last month (July 2016).
I was not treated for ADHD until last year: I was diagnosed by a psychologist in Country A in January 2000 but started treatment only in August 2015. I was not taking any classes at that time; I was in Country A having online consultations with a psychiatrist in Country B. At the same time I was under the care of a psychologist in Country A.
First time in school as an ADHD student: In January 2016, I went back to Country B to resume my masters studies and was under the care of a different Country B psychiatrist from January 2016 until July 2016 (6 months). At the same time, I was having online consultations with my Country A psychologist. This was my final semester as a masters student of mathematical finance and the first semester where I appealed for accommodations.
I was granted accommodations in my university: I submitted documentation from my Country B psychiatrist and my Country A psychologist to support my appeals for reasonable accommodations. While my university doesn't have a disability office, I was granted accommodations of using a timer while taking exams and taking an exam in a separate room; I was assessed by a third party psychiatrist (to substitute for not having a disability office) to qualify for extra time on examinations and projects. Specifically, I requested and was granted 1/3 extra time on exams.
My current dilemma:
I moved back to Country A in July 2016 and am living with my family. I have been under the care of a new psychiatrist in a public hospital and my original Country A psychologist.
The hospital in Country A where I am currently going for consultations does not treat ADHD (or "hyperkinetic disorder"). I was told that they treated only "mild" mental disorders. So when I moved to Country A in July 2016, I was immediately referred to a different hospital. Unfortunately, I can't start having consultations until October, 2016.
Not having time to ask about the GRE in my last visit, I asked my current (Country A) psychiatrist just today if he would have problems writing me disability documentation. I explained to him my exam difficulties that led me to be assessed as qualifying for 1/3 extra time by the third party (Country B) psychiatrist, and showed the documentation from my own Country B psychiatrist, my Country A psychologist and the third party (Country B) psychiatrist. The Country B psychiatrist indicated he would have a problem writing me disability documentation. From what I remember, the opinion is that granting reasonable accommodations applies mainly to primary school/grade school students, not so much to secondary school/high school students and almost never to adults with ADHD. His view is that my difficulties are shared by normal people and that everyone gets distracted, anxious or has time management problems.
To be absolutely clear, it is not the case that my current (Country A) psychiatrist acknowledges the need for reasonable accommodations for people with ADHD and deems me as not qualifying for such.
Rather, my current (Country A) psychiatrist does not acknowledge the need for reasonable accommodations for people with ADHD.
I asked to be referred to a different psychiatrist and was told that I already had been. The most he could write for me was a note certifying my diagnosis.
I believe I do not have the time, money or probability:
- to have an appointment with a private psychiatrist,
- to be referred to a different psychiatrist in my current hospital,
- to move up my appointment in my soon-to-be-new hospital,
- to make successful complaints to my hospital or to the Hospital Authority of Country A or
- to be allowed to submit disability documentation from my (Country A) psychologist
If I was living in Country B, I would just submit the documentation from my Country B psychiatrist who saw me for 6 months and that would be it. Unfortunately, my discovery of the GRE Subject Test in Math was in June 2016, I moved from one country to another and I again unluckily was the recipient of one of those doctors. Technically, the Country A psychiatrist is not one of those doctors that doesn't believe in ADHD, but might as well be. I have to put up with this for about two more consultations.
Anyway, I have to submit the documentation soon (again, Saturday September 3, 2016). How can I appeal to ETS given my situation? The only thing that comes to mind is explain what I just explained and then ask for the possibility of the following:
To submit documentation only from my Country B psychiatrist who saw me for 6 months (January 2016 - July 2016)
To submit documentation from my Country B psychiatrist who saw me for 6 months (January 2016 - July 2016) and my Country A psychologist
Again, any advice on my dilemma would be highly appreciated.