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Learning Disability in Grad School

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Okay, I've gotten some acceptances, done a bunch of visits, and think I know where I'm going to attend for my PhD (Physics major).  I have questions that I haven't been able to find fully answered out here, though.

I have a learning disability (non-verbal learning disability, also slight ADHD).  I have never medicated, but always got time and a half on exams in high school and undergrad.  I still worked crazy hard in college because I went to a school with a tough reputation and grade deflation, and my homework always took me longer than most of my peers because of my disability (extra time on exams is very helpful, but it doesn't make all those problem sets any easier!).  But I came out with an okay GPA, great LORs from 3 professors, and solid GREs.  I was diagnosed in 2nd grade, and have additional diagnosis documentation from high school and first year of college, so I think I am covered for documentation. 

So now I am trying to figure this out for grad school.  I emailed the department secretary at my first choice department where I have been accepted and visited, and she directed me to the college disability office.  No concerns there, I know how to work with them.  But what I am really thinking about is:

- My undergrad profs appeared to have no issues with my accommodations as long as I gave them the formal info from the disability office and advance notice that I needed extra exam time.   Does anyone on this forum have LD accommodations for their grad school classes?  Any issues with it? (Profs giving you a hard time, etc?)

- I am wondering if anyone has experience with getting accommodations for quals exams.  I assume I will ask for them.  This is a little complicated by the fact that my first choice gives us a shot at one of the quals exams in August before starting in the fall, and it doesn't count against the two attempts you get before passing.  I'd like to take that shot, but it also means my very first interaction with the department academically is asking for accommodations on quals.  I think I still need to do it that way -- I don't want to give up the "free shot" (I have time this summer to study), and I think it would be a problem to show up after taking a shot and ask for accommodations for future attempts.  But wondering if there is anything I am not thinking of in this scenario.

Maybe I am overthinking, but was wondering what other experiences people have had.  Thanks!


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Hello I am in the same boat. I have a learning disability and ADD (my learning disability I was diagnosed when I was in 3rd and ADD when I was 20 year old).  I hope the grad schools I am applying to accept my documentations. 

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The grad programs do accept students with disabilities. I have profound hearing loss ( which is both visible and invisible disability), my university have special accommodation plan e.g extra time on assignment, exams, interpreters etc. I am sure if you will talk to grad advisor/grad program director they will provide accommodations. They are legally obligated to provide you accommodations. My only suggestion is if you need accommodation do not ask at last minute...try to explain it to instructor/advisor before time.

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