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KEIM

Would you include a story about learning disabilities on your SOP?

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Would it be wise to mention something like ADHD and how you learned strategies to overcome it on your SOP/letter of intent? To show how you've grown despite your diagnosis. I'm wary of discussing it because I know a lot of people who don't even believe that ADHD is legitimate. Should I just talking about overcoming a learning disability? At the same time I don't want admissions to label me with a "disability" and not cut out for a grad program. Or should I just leave it out completely?

Edited by KEIM

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Most grad. school statements of purpose should focus on your research interests and how they connect to the faculty's in that department. They're much less personal than undergrad.college essays. It's not necessarily that they don't believe ADHD is legitimate  (which would be rather ignorant), but if they ask you to describe your research interests and you make the essay personal(even if it's connected to your interests), you'll probably be rejected. I learned this from experience. With that said, if they specifically asked you to describe overcoming an obstacle, then you may be okay. Good luck!

Edited by desertwoman

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8 hours ago, desertwoman said:

Most grad. school statements of purpose should focus on your research interests and how they connect to the faculty's in that department. They're much less personal than undergrad.college essays. It's not necessarily that they don't believe ADHD is legitimate  (which would be rather ignorant), but if they ask you to describe your research interests and you make the essay personal(even if it's connected to your interests), you'll probably be rejected. I learned this from experience. With that said, if they specifically asked you to describe overcoming an obstacle, then you may be okay. Good luck!

For most grad programs (i.e., Ph.D. programs or others with a strong emphasis on research) this is the case, but for a clinically-oriented field research is not the primary focus. CSD programs typically do want to hear some personal stuff in the SOP: why we're interested in the field and what skills/qualities we have to offer. @KEIM, I would suggest talking about how your personal experience with ADHD helps you understand some of the struggles that children (and adults for that matter) go through. 

Also, the admissions committee will definitely not think ADHD isn't legitimate--I'm still in grad school and I've already talked about and seen enough ADHD to know that it's real!

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17 hours ago, desertwoman said:

Most grad. school statements of purpose should focus on your research interests and how they connect to the faculty's in that department. They're much less personal than undergrad.college essays. It's not necessarily that they don't believe ADHD is legitimate  (which would be rather ignorant), but if they ask you to describe your research interests and you make the essay personal(even if it's connected to your interests), you'll probably be rejected. I learned this from experience. With that said, if they specifically asked you to describe overcoming an obstacle, then you may be okay. Good luck!

Thanks for your advice. I don't even know where I want to focus my research interests. I feel like undergraduate classes have only scratched the surface and I don't feel like I enough to go on to make a choice. I'll have to do more research. I'm surprised that you feel that grad essays are LESS personal than undergrad essays. Literally, everything I've read has stated to try to "hook" the reader with a compelling story in order to grab their attention. I mean, if the essay prompt is "Why do you want to become an SLP?" why wouldn't a personal story as to how you came to that conclusion be appropriate? I'm confused. 

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8 hours ago, bibliophile222 said:

For most grad programs (i.e., Ph.D. programs or others with a strong emphasis on research) this is the case, but for a clinically-oriented field research is not the primary focus. CSD programs typically do want to hear some personal stuff in the SOP: why we're interested in the field and what skills/qualities we have to offer. @KEIM, I would suggest talking about how your personal experience with ADHD helps you understand some of the struggles that children (and adults for that matter) go through. 

Also, the admissions committee will definitely not think ADHD isn't legitimate--I'm still in grad school and I've already talked about and seen enough ADHD to know that it's real!

Thanks so much for your input. I'm glad most people think ADHD is legitimate. I have had a psychotherapist who didn't ADHD was legitimate. They felt it was being overdiagnosed. Another psychiatrist told me ADHD is only for people who are in school. I probably have HORRIBLE luck with professionals in the mental health field. A grad student recently told me they have been trying to convince one of their professors that it's a real diagnoses, by showing them research articles.  I've had people tell me not to accept the label because ADHD isn't real. That's why I was apprehensive about  mentioning it. It's comforting to know that there are people who actually accept that it's real! 

I'm also confused by the advice that grad essays should be impersonal when everything I've read has suggested the opposite. Who knows what they are looking for. 

Edited by KEIM

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4 hours ago, KEIM said:

Thanks for your advice. I don't even know where I want to focus my research interests. I feel like undergraduate classes have only scratched the surface and I don't feel like I enough to go on to make a choice. I'll have to do more research. I'm surprised that you feel that grad essays are LESS personal than undergrad essays. Literally, everything I've read has stated to try to "hook" the reader with a compelling story in order to grab their attention. I mean, if the essay prompt is "Why do you want to become an SLP?" why wouldn't a personal story as to how you came to that conclusion be appropriate? I'm confused. 

You're welcome. It may be different in your program. I'm applying to history programs and most of them ask you to describe your research interests. If the prompt is "Why do you want to become a SLP?," a personal response seems more appropriate. Sorry for any confusion...Good luck!

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1 hour ago, desertwoman said:

You're welcome. It may be different in your program. I'm applying to history programs and most of them ask you to describe your research interests. If the prompt is "Why do you want to become a SLP?," a personal response seems more appropriate. Sorry for any confusion...Good luck!

That makes sense for a history program. Sorry, I assumed you were referring to SLP grad programs. Good luck to you too. 

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