How should I get the ball rolling, or is it worth it?

Miles Farmer

Filing Flight Plan
Joined
May 6, 2020
Messages
3
Display Name

Display name:
flyingmammatus
Hi. I'm a Senior in HS thinking about becoming a CFII. I have several otherwise disqualifying conditions though. When I was 4 years old, I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. I was also diagnosed with ADHD at 8; but I believe that I was misdiagnosed seeing as how it is hard to distinguish between the two (though there are several key differences). I also am unilaterally deaf (right ear); but am considering a cochlear implant. My questions are:
How would I get my ADHD diagnosis "undiagnosed"? And how does the FAA view cochlear implants. I have no intention of holding a 1st class medical either, only 3rd or 2nd class.
 
Use the search function of this forum. Both Aspergers and ADHD have been discussed in depth over the years.

Look specifically for responses from Dr. Bruce Chien, aka @bbchien

Some additional information can be found on the FAA.gov site under their medical certification section.

Additionally, www.aopa.org might provide some background info.

Something to be aware of.... if this is possible at all, it will not be simple, easy, nor low cost. Expect a journey that might take a year or two, and a very large amount of money. And even after that time and financial expense, no immediate guarantee of success.
 
Use the search function of this forum. Both Aspergers and ADHD have been discussed in depth over the years.

Look specifically for responses from Dr. Bruce Chien, aka @bbchien

Some additional information can be found on the FAA.gov site under their medical certification section.

Additionally, www.aopa.org might provide some
Use the search function of this forum. Both Aspergers and ADHD have been discussed in depth over the years.

Look specifically for responses from Dr. Bruce Chien, aka @bbchien

Some additional information can be found on the FAA.gov site under their medical certification section.

Additionally, www.aopa.org might provide some background info.

Something to be aware of.... if this is possible at all, it will not be simple, easy, nor low cost. Expect a journey that might take a year or two, and a very large amount of money. And even after that time and financial expense, no immediate guarantee of success.

I have seen this published piece from the FAA, and makes me wonder; if I can get rid of the ADHD diagnosis, could I still get a 3rd or 2nd class medical (again 1st class is strictly off the table)
 

Attachments

  • autism.pdf
    156.6 KB · Views: 951
Really now, where can I learn more?
14 CFR 61 and 91.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-i...&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:2.0.1.1.2&idno=14

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:2.0.1.3.10&idno=14

You can download lots of material here

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/

Start with Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, aka the PHAK
Airplane Flying Handbook
Student Pilot Guide

But you really need to contact Dr Chien for advice and direction FIRST!
 
I have seen this published piece from the FAA, and makes me wonder; if I can get rid of the ADHD diagnosis, could I still get a 3rd or 2nd class medical (again 1st class is strictly off the table)
Of the approximately 29,000 members of PoA, 99.9% are not qualified to answer your question. Many will provide guesses and opinions, but no answers which can become proper guidance. Following opinions and guesses on medical certification issues will just confuse and frustrate.

Instead of asking questions of random unqualified people on the internet, you need to be seeking the real world guidance of a very experienced AME such as Dr. Bruce Chien or Dr. Lou Fowler. Only professionals such as these can aid in getting the certification train underway and on the proper track.
 
Last edited:
Do it. I had the same problem even with a bull**** Aspergers (now ASD) diagnosis. Spent about $3800 in the end and I'll hear back from the FAA in the next couple months (or weeks if this coronavirus isn't affecting FAA that much). If you are truly passionate about this, ADHD is easy as cake to clear as long as you a certain you don't have it. The trouble is with ASD. As of now, I saw Dr. Gary Kay (The man who made the cogscreen) for my neuropsychological evaluation and he concluded that I don't have ADHD or ASD. I asked my AME about needing a psychiatric evaluation and he said he hasn't noticed any symptoms of ASD and Dr. Kay hasn't noted any either (even stating I don't show symptoms of ASD in the conclusion about his neuro. evaluation). Since Dr. Kay and my AME are well known by the FAA, the FAA should hopefully be ok with the report coming from my AME and Dr. Kay. If not I'll have to get a psychiatric evaluation for however much it will be, though again it shouldn't be a problem since I don't have ASD, it's just more money we'd rather not spend.

To make it short, get cleared of ADHD and ASD if you are certain you don't have it. Don't spend $2300 on a neuro. eval while guessing whether you have ADHD/ASD or not. Broken down I have some important notes
  • There is no such thing as being a pilot with ADHD. The FAA considers you either to have ADHD and unsafe for pilot duties or without ADHD and being safe to fly. There is no middle ground of "well he has ADHD but he seems ok". Its either you get cleared of your ADHD diagnosis or you don't fly.
  • DO NOT fill out a MedXPress without getting a consultation with the AME you are working with. Get a consultation with the AME and they will tell you where to go from there.
  • The AME you use has a big impact. Since I'm using the top Senior AME on the east coast, his name means a lot and when it lands on the desk in Oklahoma City, they'll trust him more than another Senior AME on the east coast. Do you research about finding a strong Senior AME
  • A neuropsychological evaluation is required. Depending on who you use, it could cost between $1,750 and $2,300 (when I asked around). If you can get to Dr. Kay in Washington D.C., do it. He is the best man to make a report for you. If not, your AME will find one to go to.
  • A psychiatric evaluation may be required depending on the severity of your ASD. Since in my original ASD diagnosis when I was a kid the doctor that administered even noted I had no signs of ASD up until that point, they noted the diagnosis was questionable. My case is easy to deal with since before and after the ASD diagnosis my pediatric checkups showed no problems with friends.
  • Be aware that you have to pay the AME you are going to not only for every consultation you have, but also the physical (which will cost more than the consultations). Prices range so I can't give an estimate, I got $250 for consults and $465 for a physical.
  • If you do have a psychiatric evaluation, expect another $1,200 - $2,000 added to your total cost.
  • Total cost without psychiatric evaluation should be around $3,300 to $3,800.
  • Total cost with psychiatric evaluation should be around $4,300 to $,4800
I can't answer your hearing problem, that is a question for your AME.

Please send me a message if you want to talk about this. I was devastated last July when I found out about my pilot career being shot down. Its a lot of money, but its a drop in the bucket compared to flight training. I hope to help others who are slapped with ADHD and ASD diagnosis.

Pete
 
Last edited:
$465 for a physical? Come to Colorado. Going rate around here is $90-150.
 
$465 for a physical? Come to Colorado. Going rate around here is $90-150.
It may have actually been $465 for both my consult and my physical since we went for a consult after my neuropsych. eval and then my physical a week later. So I think it was $250 for the consult + give or take $250 for my physical. Either way, the guy has been doing this for 30 years so I don't have a problem with it since it will secure my future.
 
DO NOT fill out a MedXPress without getting a consultation with the AME you are working with. Get a consultation with the AME and the will tell you where to go from there.

OP, if you take only one thing away from this thread, let it be this.

You currently have options to fly, at least sport pilot and gliders. If you start down the official path without knowing how it will end, you may limit those options. So get all your ducks in a row first, and don't fill out that form unless and until you know the FAA is going to say yes.
 
Really now, where can I learn more?

The medical requirements for CFI / Light Sport are the same as for Sport Pilot. Basically, you have to have a state driver's license, abide by any restrictions on the license (eyeglasses, etc.), and not fly when you're unfit to fly. You're also advised to discuss with your physician whether it's safe to fly with any of the myriad conditions that would otherwise be disqualifying.

There are people who like adding stuff on to those requirements, but this is what the FAA says. It's vague, perhaps intentionally so; and if you call the FAA for clarification, they'll advise you to talk to your doctor about it.

HOWEVER...

If you apply for a medical and are denied, you can no longer exercise SP or CFI/LS privileges. This is why people are telling you to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you even fill out the (virtual) form. You don't want to do anything until you are as sure as you can possibly be that you will pass.

So don't fill out any forms.

For what it's worth, I think mild Asperger's is an asset in any job that requires concentration. Most of the best IT people I've ever met have been Aspies. But I also think a lot of kids who are just extraordinarily focused wind up with that diagnosis, incorrectly. We're too quick to label kids who don't fit the mold as being abnormal in some way.

ADHD is always disqualifying, but most childhood ADHD diagnoses are bogus. FAA knows that and will give weight to a cog screen. ASD is more subjective and a high hurdle, but not impossible. Cochlear implants shouldn't be an issue but may require a medical checkride. I think I read that somewhere before, anyway.

So is it worth getting the ball rolling? Well, it's certainly worth trying if you want to fly. Just don't fill out any forms until you're sure you're going to pass. Talk to one of the AME's here, be honest with them, and consider their advice. But don't fill out any forms.

Good luck.

Rich

PS: Don't fill out any forms.
 
Old Thread: Hello . There have been no replies in this thread for 365 days.
Content in this thread may no longer be relevant.
Perhaps it would be better to start a new thread instead.
Back
Top