• Mixed-Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder, which limits her ability to comprehend language, express language or recall material.She apparently learned of these diagnoses in 2003, and received "a 100 percent time extension for [high school] exams; a 100 percent extension on the SAT; and a 200 percent extension on the ACT." Princeton, however, was unwilling to follow suit (pun intended). That, frankly, surprises me.
• Disorder of Written Expression, which leaves her ability to communicate in writing below the level expected based on age, intelligence or life experiences. When she writes, she has to repeatedly re-check what she has composed.
• Developmental Coordination Disorder, which leaves her ability to spell, punctuate and form sentences below the level expected based on age, intelligence or life experiences. She needs to read material several times over, isolate key words and highlight them so she can locate them again. Also under this disorder, her visual-motor processing skills are in the sixth percentile, "far below the average person, let alone the typical Princeton University student." She also suffers eye strain when taking tests and needs periodic breaks because of the way she reads passages over and over.
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which limits her ability to focus. When reading, any distraction requires her to go back to the beginning of the passage.
After all, refusing accommodations in a case like this invites a costly (and potentially successful) lawsuit by the student. Many schools would conceivably prefer to err on the side of accommodation as a matter of course--especially where there's a well-documented record of medical need.
That said, such approaches (and, in some circumstances, the pursuit of the accommodations themselves) draw the ire of students--particularly law students--who feel competitively disadvantaged. Of course, whether that sentiment is warranted hinges on the extent to which the accommodation in question is truly needed to put the accommodated student on equal footing.
Maybe a lot of the student discomfort I perceive relates to a latent belief that all (or at least most) testing accommodations are medically unwarranted. That seems to me an unfair presumption. But maybe I'm mistaken? I'd love to hear our reader's thoughts on this...