Psychiatric Disabilities

Some Considerations

  • Trauma is not the sole cause of psychiatric disabilities; genetics may play a role.
  • Psychiatric disabilities affect people of any age, gender, income group, and intellectual level.
  • Disruptive behavior is not an attribute of most people with psychiatric disabilities.
  • Eighty to ninety percent of people with depression experience relief from symptoms through medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. Depression is a variable condition that may fluctuate during a person's lifetime.
  • Common accommodations for students with psychiatric disabilities are time extensions, distraction reduced testing environments, note takers and taped lectures.

Instructional Strategies

  • Allow the student to tape-record lectures.
  • You may be asked to help the student by identifying an effective volunteer note taker from the class.
  • Clearly define course requirements, the dates of exams, and when assignments are due; provide advance notice of any changes.
  • When in doubt about how to assist the student, ask him or her.
  • Allow the student the same anonymity as other students.