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Adults with LD

The following are past questions and answers from Dr. Larry Silver on this topic.

I think my coworker has an undiagnosed learning disability. How can I help him recognize it?

Both my husband and I work with a friend. Over the years, we've noticed things about him — very poor listening, speaking, and writing skills; poor understanding and organization of information; and poor time management, to name a few.

Lately the penny dropped with us when we noticed that he's developed quite a set of avoidance mechanisms that deflect attention from his lack of understanding or skill. In the past, he's been able to fly under the radar; but things have changed at work lately, and that's no longer the case. We're on an important project where he's in over his head. He's really struggling, the project is floundering as a result, and management is noticing.

Is there anything we can do as friends? How do you suggest to someone who is in deep denial that he may have a learning disability? He shuts down when he senses "criticism", or any kind of detection.

Your friend is lucky to have people who care about him. How did he get this far in life? How have you been able to accept his level of function or lack of function? I don't know how to break through his avoidance and get him to do something. Maybe he will have to fail and lose his job before he wakes up and realizes he has to do something. Good luck.

I have many symptoms of dyslexia, but I was never formally diagnosed. As an adult, is it worthwile to be tested?

How can an adult find help or a cure for dyslexia? I am 45 years old. I have all the symptoms for dyslexia and was never treated. Deep down inside I knew I had a disability. For many years I have struggled with the sounds of words and just couldn't hear them right. I barely talk because I always make a fool of myself when I mispronounce a word. Please help!

It is unfortunate that you have had to struggle for so many years. The first step would be to clarify if you have dyslexia, another form of a learning disability, or some other problem. To do this, find out where you can get formal testing designed for adults (psycho-educational or neuro-psychological testing). The results should help you clarify what can be done at this time to be of help.

What resources are available to help learning disabled adults find success in the workplace?

I am an adult with a learning disability, and I'm trying to further my education in a field that I am well suited for. I'm not quite sure where I would best be suited, although I have several interests. How can I, and other learning disabled individuals, figure out what type of job opportunities align with our abilities and disabilities to get the right fit? And how, as an adult, do I get the resources I need to obtain the accommodations I may need in my future profession?

There are vocational guidance professionals who are familiar with learning disabilities. The focus is on the individual's strengths and weaknesses as they relate both to the training needed for a field of work and as would be found on the job. Then the task is to build on strengths while trying to compensate for the weaknesses. Try to find a professional familiar with vocational training and with special education. You might contact the Division of Special Education within the Department of Education at a university near you or contact your state's Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. Often there are agencies in cities that do such counseling.

LD services seem mainly geared toward children — where can a struggling adult find help?

Dear Dr. Silver,

I am 39 years old and have extremely poor memorization skills. I have taken several college courses and have failed some of the easiest of courses. For some reason I can't really grasp facts for future reference. Where can I go for help with this type of problem? All the learning disability facilities in my area are just for children. Any suggestions?

Yours Truly,

Lisa

Go to the Office of Disability Services at the college you attended (or the one closest to you). Ask for names of professionals who evaluate and work with adults.

Why do I get tired when I'm trying to learn?

I am 48 and I still have the same problem I did in when I was in grade school. This problem is also the reason I didn't continue to college. When I am trying to learn (read, listen to an instructor in a class, watch a training video), I get sleepy. Almost like I'm going into at trance. I have poor comprehension and recall.

It has always bothered me and I feel like it kept me from reaching my full potential. I have many books and training materials but give up on reading or viewing them after I start.

I have a technical job that is changing at a rapid pace and this is causing me to fall behind my peers. What is this type of problem called? What can I do to over come it?

Your descriptions sound like you have a learning disability that impacts reading comprehension and possibly reading retention. You would have to have formal psycho-educational testing done to validate this is your problem. If confirmed, you can request accommodations on the job under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Try to find out who does this type of testing with adults.

As an adult, how can I determine if I have dyscalculia?

How can I go about determining if I have dyscalculia? Do you know of anyone who can make this determination in an adult in the San Antonio, Texas area? I have always had difficulty with math but now that I am in intermediate algebra in college, it's impossible.

I use a tutor two hours a week, the professor is wonderful, and I still don't get it. As they explain it one-on-one to me, it makes sense. Twenty-four hours later, I might as well be looking at Japanese writings. It does not make sense. I can't even look at the examples given to figure out a solution. A friend suggested I may have dyscalculia. I thank you in advance for your assistance.

Dyscalculia, or difficulty learning and applying math, is considered a type of a learning disability. If you have never had studies done to answer your question, you should do so now. Go to the Office of Disability Services at your college and ask how you can be evaluated for your math disability.

How can I prove to my workplace that I have a learning disability if my high school records don't indicate a diagnosis?

Hi and thank you for taking my question. I'm an adult male in my late 30's. I was diagnosed with a learning disability in the early 1970s. I was in special education classes from elementary school through high school. Just recently, I put in a request for my high school to send me copies of my transcript to see if they had me listed as an LD student. They responded by saying that at that time, they didn't use the terminology of a learning disability. My high school transcripts show that indeed I was in special education classes, but do not list a learning disability.

I want information about my diagnosis because I want my workplace to know that I have a learning disability. I have no other record about my disability and I know my workplace will want something in writing or on file. Any suggestions about what I can do to prove my case?

Thanks for your advice,

Gerald

Gerald: You are correct in needing documentation if you are to use the Americans With Disabilities Act to request accommodations at work. The federal law that established a formal need for special education services was not passed until the mid-1970s. Thus, your school may have provided special education services without the formal documentation needed today. Also, many schools kept a formal record on each student that could be read and released to the proper people and a confidential record that contained any testing or evidence of a disability.

Most important to you is that when you request accommodations based on the ADA, you need evaluations that are not more than three years old. Thus, you will have to find out who does formal studies, known as psycho-educational evaluations, for adults with learning disabilities in your area. The professional who does these studies will help you document your disabilities as they relate to work.

I have a learning disability and suspect my 7-year-old daughter does, too. I want to get her tested but my husband thinks we should wait. What do you suggest?

My daughter is 7 years old and young for her second grade class. As a past special education teacher, I am pretty sure I have a learning disability (never formally diagnosed) and I'm pretty sure my daughter has one, too. She struggles in school. And after reading the information on visual processing, this seems to fit my daughter and me perfectly.

We've seen her problems increase since preschool - difficulty with writing, flipping of letters (I still do this!), finding relevant information in reading, writing quickly, and judging distances. Teachers have noticed her problems but have always brushed them off because she is young. My husband wishes to wait to see how she does in three years.

My problem is that I know how hard school was for me and I don't want my daughter going through the same thing. To make things more complicated, she also has strabismus (a vision condition in which the eyes are misaligned) and juvenile diabetes. Should I push to have her tested at the very least? Or wait as my husband suggests? Thanks!

Your daughter has real problems and needs help now. Your history only reinforces this fact. Try to explain to your husband that the "wait until she fails" tactic not only delays getting her the help she needs now but does a real number on her self-esteem. (If this does not work, get a copy of my book, The Misunderstood Child: A Guide for Parents of Children With Learning Disabilities, and ask that he read it.)

She needs a formal assessment that might include psychological, educational, and occupational therapy testing. These data will clarify the areas of difficulty and the types of interventions needed.

Don't give up. Push for a formal assessment to clarify her areas of difficulty and the types of services needed. If you are not successful with the school and you cannot afford private testing, seek a private educational consultant to advise you on your rights.

I have LD and ADHD and struggle to regulate my emotions. Could I have Aspergerís Syndrome, too?

My name is Rachel and I am 23 years old. I was diagnosed with combined-type ADHD and a learning disability when I was 8.

As a child, I had a delay in fine and gross motor skills, I had trouble expressing my emotions, trouble communicating with others, and threw constant, severe tantrums when I didn't get my way or for no reason. During these severe tantrums, I would slam myself on the ground kicking and screaming, and I would rock and bang my head. I also did not know how to make friends or keep them.

As an adult, I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Do you think I have Asperger's Syndrome, too?

Rachel: I am so pleased to hear you describe your problems. All too often, I see young adults who spend all of their time blaming others for their difficulties. You are correct. Something is not right in the way you regulate your emotions. Plus, there are other learning problems.

What you describe does not sound like Asperger's. If you have not done so as an adult, ask to see a psychiatrist for a comprehensive assessment. (Even though you are an adult, you might find that a child and adolescent psychiatrist would be best. These professionals are trained to work with adults as well. And, they are more likely to know about the types of difficulties you describe.) Don't give up until you have answers and a treatment plan to help you.

How can I get an accommodation at work for my difficulty with handwriting?

I'm a 28-year-old male and am currently a head of department at a school of media and design. I suffer from a form of dysgraphia (at least I think that's what it is) in that I have terrible handwriting. I actually draw the shape of the word rather than spell it out (my spelling is terrible) and I cannot control the placement of capital and lowercase letters if I write by hand (though with a keyboard I don't have a problem).

I've recently enrolled in an advanced assessors course where all the work submitted has to be hand-written. It takes me hours to write out a single page, which is then only mostly illegible. And although each sentence starts with a capital letter, extra capitals crop up throughout the sentence.

I just wanted to know if there is a specific name or diagnosis for this so that I can plead my case.

Thanks in advance,
Guy

Guy:

You need appropriate accommodations — possibly permission to use a computer to write responses. First, you must document your motor-based writing disability. This can be done by a psychologist who does psycho-educational testing. Once documented, you are entitled under the Americans with Disabilities Act to such accommodations.

Meet with the Office of Disability Services at the institution you are attending. Explain your problem. Possibly, they can arrange for such studies. If not, they can direct you to the right person to do this assessment.

What should be done for an underemployed adult with a learning disability?

In second grade, my son was held over and got his first private Ed Evaluation at SUNY, which diagnosed him as dyslexic. He had a resource room and vision training at SUNY. His behavior and verbal ability was better than average, but his reading and math especially continued to plummet as the work advanced. He struggled through an alternative high school, attended N.Y. Film Academy and excelled. He did internships for a few years which did not lead to steady employment.

His academic struggles have negatively impacted his life. Currently, he is a substitute paraprofessional in the day and a substitute janitor for the Board of Education of New York. He loves children and would love to teach; he has 15 credits from KCC, but failed the CUNY Assessments in Math and English. He has friends and socializes, but it's hard to get into a serious relationship when you cannot realize your full career potential because you don't have the tools to succeed in college.

He is now 27 years old and, unless something changes for him, he'll have to settle for a mediocre "job." Even civil service tests are a challenge for him. He scored a 70% on a Transit Authority Painters Test. Help! The system has failed him and countless others.

Yes, the system has failed him. I agree that something must be done now. Find a professional who understands LD in adults. An updated assessment will help to clarify if specific interventions might help at this time as well as whether better compensatory strategies can be developed. This assessment will also help to clarify what career/job potentials he might have and what types of training might be needed.

There are programs to help adults like your son and laws (American's with Disabilities Act) to help in the work situation. Perhaps you could contact the programs that assessed him as a teen and find out where you could go to get help for an adult with LD.

Is it necessary for a psychiatrist to contact the parents of an adult to make a diagnosis of learning disabilities?

I was seeing a psychologist, and he recommended that I have an Adult ADHD assessment with a psychiatrist. I met with a psychiatrist, and after an hour-long session of explaining my "symptoms," he thought I should continue with testing. He also asked to speak with my mom regarding my childhood behavior. While this is understandable, given the relationship with my mom, I said that I was not comfortable with that. He said that instead I could give him a few of my report cards, which I did. I was then given two tests, one that was for attention testing and one was more of a personality/behavioral profile.

At the end, the psychiatrist (who was very rude and condescending) told me that the report cards did not have enough comments written on them, so he could not make a diagnosis without talking to my mom. He never gave me the results of the tests, except to say "one test did show some attention problems." He did not discuss any options for help with me (behavior modification, counseling, etc.)

I am so frustrated! When the psychologist first mentioned ADD and I read up on it, I felt like something clicked, and I felt like there was an explanation for the rapid-fire of thoughts that goes through my brain sometimes! I thought I was going to get help, but now I just have a big bill, and I don't know where to turn.

I'm 28 years old - can a general physician or someone else help me, without consulting my mom? I understand the need to establish ADHD behaviors in childhood, but the relationship I have with my parents just does not make this an option. Do you have any recommendations of how I could still get help?

I cannot explain or justify the actions of the psychiatrist. To make the diagnosis of ADHD, it is necessary to show that the behaviors present as an adult (hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity) are chronic and pervasive. Chronic means that they existed before age seven. If the patient is comfortable with the suggestion, the psychiatrist might speak with a parent to confirm that the problems are chronic. Teacher comments from elementary school might help. However, if you did not want your mother to be contacted, some other way of confirming the chronic nature could have been tried. The psychiatrist might have had to rely on your memory. "I remember being like this in grade school or middle school."

Don't let the doctor-patient style of this psychiatrist prevent you from getting help. Yes, you can speak to your family doctor. Or, you could seek another psychiatrist. Often a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist (who also sees adults) is the best option since he or she would be very familiar with ADHD.

Can LD be unrecognized until a student goes to college?

Is it possible for a learning disability to go unrecognized until a student first enters college? I struggled intensely my freshman year of college to keep up with the readings and writing papers. It is difficult for me because the vocabulary I tried to develop over the course of high school seems like it has left me. I used to memorize vocabulary words and use the thesaurus a lot in high school to help me but it seems like new and complex vocabulary words don't stick.

I am also a very slow reader and the ideas and concepts I'm trying to understand are difficult to remember after reading. It seems as though I can't quickly process the information. I end up highlighting passages like crazy and going back to re-read them again and again. It makes it difficult to remember what was read and summarize it.

It is also difficult for me to do mental math which limits my computational skills. All of these struggles actually led me to become so frustrated that I attempted suicide. I am now in recovery for depression and anxiety but still wonder if all of my academic problems are directly related to depression only.

Most people are telling me that since I was never diagnosed with any disability earlier in life, it would be impossible for me to have one. But I definitely remember struggling in high school to keep up with my peers. School was pretty much my life. Are there any tests which could be done to investigate this further?

I am sorry to hear of your problems. First, may I comment on your emotional difficulties. Anxiety and depression might be the result of adjusting to college or to the frustrations resulting from poor academic performance. However, more often, they are the current expression, maybe more intense, of a chronic problem. That is, I suspect that you have had periods of anxiety or depression since childhood. It is critical that you continue psychological help beyond getting through the acute phase.

Yes, it is possible to have learning disabilities and not be recognized until college. There are several possible reasons. Perhaps a parent or both parents provided much support with homework and projects during school, covering up any areas of difficulty. You might have gone to a school that cared enough to adapt their teaching to fit your abilities to perform or that provided much support and assistance during school. You graduated with a sense of competence that might not have been there.

What ever the reasons, meet with someone in your college's Office of Disability Services. Arrange to receive the necessary testing to either document your learning disabilities or to clarify other possible problems. Based on these findings, seek appropriate help plus accommodations.

Note from LD OnLine: For more on diagnosis, see What Do You Do If You Suspect Your Child Has a Learning Disability. For more on the social and emotional problems, see Social and Emotional Problems Related to Dyslexia. Good luck.

Could the long hours it has taken me to do well at my studies be due to an undiagnosed learning disability?

Throughout school, I have always tried to be a good student and would constantly put in a tremendous amount of effort to keep up with the material of my classes. I'm 20 years old and recently had to withdraw from my classes at University of Wisconsin-Madison due to my frustration with school. I've been put on medication for depression and General Anxiety Disorder although I'm not certain it is helping.

Ever since this has happened, I've been re-examining my past as a student from grade school all the way to high school. I would get good grades but I would have to put in many extra hours to keep up. It seems like I would memorize the information required of me through constant repetition, take the test on the information from the class, and then forget all the material after. I could never remember details from books and would constantly have to highlight almost every sentence and then return to it through repetition until what was read was ready to be spit back out on an exam.

My social life suffered because I always seemed to be studying and never found very much time to discover what actually interested me in life because my nose was hidden in a book.

Here are some of the problems I'm discovering about myself: inability to do mental math; difficulty understanding percentages, decimals, fractions, measuring, and financing; difficulty remembering numbers; difficulty retaining information that I've read; difficulty concentrating in a noisy environment; inability to understand abstract concepts; poor vocabulary; difficulty with writing and expression; difficulty reading maps and poor sense of direction; difficulty trying to navigate and remember directions/street signs while driving; and the list goes on. Is it possible that I may have an undiagnosed learning disability?

Emily Whitlock

Emily,

Yes, yes, yes. Sadly, you describe someone (yourself) who has had to struggle with unrecognized and untreated learning disabilities. Find a way to be evaluated. Then, find out how to get help. Should you return to college, these studies will open the door for better services and accommodations. Don't give up. Find out what the problem is and act.

How do you distinguish between ADHD and the inattention and impulsivity that can come up as people age?

Do you have any knowledge or experience in diagnosing the elderly (80+) with ADHD? What is the best way to differentiate between undiagnosed ADHD symptoms, which appear to have become more acute with age, and Alzheimer's disease in the elderly?

ADHD is a neurological disorder present at birth. Thus, the history of hyperactivity, inattention, or impulsivity has been noted since at least age seven. If the inattention is due to Alzheimerís or a related disorder, the behaviors noted would not have been present in the personís life until the time of onset of the problems noted.

How does a person with a learning disability handle emotional trauma caused by LD?

Iíve had trouble reading and writing for as long as I can remember. I always did well in school and even enrolled in gifted classes. I managed to keep up with the work, but at the same time I struggled with my disability. I felt ashamed and stupid. It was a secret I had to hide and I was terrified that someone would find out.

I learned to cope and hide my disability and consequently I never received help throughout grade school. I believe my fear of reading out loud has developed into a phobia, which has triggered panic attacks.

In college as an engineering student, I insisted on being tested for a learning disability, so I could receive help for my writing classes. After testing positive for a learning disability, I discovered that the aid being offered by the school was not helpful. In addition, my high school study habits of doing the minimum amount of work was no longer cutting it. I eventually stopped going to school and started seeing a therapist.

After dropping out of school, I sunk into a deep depression. I may have other problems I have not been able to pinpoint yet. Despite seeing a therapist for a long time, I have not been able to get back on my feet. I currently live with my parents. I have no job and no social life. I have little will to work on my problems and become anxious thinking about taking steps to work on my problems. I have not been able to get myself to do much of anything for about two years now. Iíve had a few therapists and a psychologist diagnose me with emotional trauma.

I wonder if you know of any resources concerning emotional trauma caused by learning disabilities. I would also appreciate any wisdom you can send my way.

Your problems are serious and I am sorry you find yourself where you are now. It is possible that your depression is the result of your years of frustration and failure. If so, this might be the theme of the therapy. Or, it might be that the same disabilities that prevented you from being successful in school continue to impact on your ability to work or handle life skills. Or, the depression might be a disorder often found with individuals who have learning disabilities.

What ever the cause, medication can help to minimize the depression. Talking therapy often does not help as much as seeking an educational or vocational counselor to help you pick up the pieces and get on with your life. Included in this help would be any remedial work for your learning disabilities as well as helping you develop compensatory techniques. The focus will also be on vocational initiatives and knowing what accommodations you might need.

Does a university student need a medical assessment to receive accommodation for learning disabilities?

I always did very well in school, but I always suffered with writing and presentations. My anxiety level has always been high, and I was diagnosed with GAD. When I reached the university level, I asked to be tested, but didn't have the $800. I completed two degrees after this, and when I was in the last semester of my third degree, I was told by a disabilities office that I could be assessed by a graduate student for a small amount.

I was assessed and a learning disability was confirmed, but the assessment was very vague and did not give a specific diagnosis. Now I am completing a Master's degree and am falling far behind. I showed the University the letter confirming my disability status that I received from the disabilities office, but they insist that it must be a medical assessment. I cannot afford further testing. I am working and studying. What can I do?

Jane

First, my deepest respect for your perseverance. Wonderful. If the earlier testing was comprehensive and confirmed LD, you should not need additional testing. If the concern is the wording of the report, contact the person who did the testing.

Explain your problem and ask that he/she edit the report and send you a new copy. If this is not possible, you might need updated testing.

A medical assessment would be needed if you request accommodations based on your Generalized Anxiety Disorder or if you had ADHD. There is no need for such an assessment if your disability is a learning disability.

Can you suggest ways to ease the job interview process for someone with a learning disability?

Is there a specific learning disability that refers to someone who has trouble getting information from his head to the paper? He can learn well in a lecture atmosphere, but is working to read, study, and write. My son spent 14 years in the school system and never graduated. He has been working in a pretty good job for some time now, but the company is making some changes and I am worried that he will be laid off. Job searching, especially the interview process, is impossible for him. He is now 25 years old. Do you have any suggestions?

What a failure on the part of your school system that he spent 14 years and never graduated. I wonder if he was ever evaluated or if he received services during his education.

Learning Disabilities might involve reading skills. Some individuals have difficulty learning to decode and read. Others might have difficulty understanding what they have read (comprehension). Still others might have difficulty retaining what they have read and comprehended (fluency). Same thing with writing. Some may have difficulty forming the letters correctly and getting the words onto the page and in the proper place. Others might have difficulty with what is called ďlanguage arts,Ē spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.

Still, others might have difficulty getting the thoughts and words needed to respond in writing pulled from memory and organized. These students have difficulty organizing thoughts and getting them onto the page (writing fluency). The more difficult the task, the more difficult organizing oneís thoughts and writing is.

Many students might also have problems with math. They might have problems recognizing and using the number symbols and/or getting these symbols onto the page in the proper place. Some might have difficulty learning such concepts as addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Others might have difficulty reading and understand the word problems. And, still, others might have difficulty retrieving from memory the necessary math concepts, applying these concepts, and getting the steps written on the page (math fluency).

In order to get accommodations from your sonís employer, it will be necessary to document the disabilities. It might be necessary to have formal psycho-educational testing done. Such testing will clarify why he has difficulties. With this new knowledge, he might want to think about taking the GED with accommodations as well. LD OnLine has information on taking the GED tests and requesting accommodations.

What can an adult do if they think they have Asperger's Syndrome?

When I was in elementary school, I was diagnosed with a Visual Spatial Non Verbal Learning disorder and ADHD. I am now 25, and I have recently read a book about Asperger's Syndrome. This disorder would make a lot of sense. For one, I give people very off putting eye contact, which has really caused major employment issues. Would it be worth getting a professional diagnosis? Is there anything a professional can do to help?

Matt

You should see a mental health professional who is familiar with adult Asperger's Disorder. He or she should be able to clarify if you have this disorder and suggest ways to help you. You can find more information on the Online Asperger Syndrome Information & Support website.

How can I help my learning disabled son who is having trouble finding a job and getting into college?

My son is 19, and has been diagnosed as ADHD/LD when he was in Kindergarten. Over the years he has taken Ritalin, Adderall, and many others, nothing really helped. His neurologist said that the learning disabilities were outweighing his ADHD and thatís why the medication hasn't helped. His math disability is the worst, he never could retain much of the basic math facts they learn in grade school.

I feel that he was pushed through school, just to get him out, not learning much along the way. Now that he is one year out of school, he can't go to college because he can't pass the entrance tests, and cannot get a job as every job requires taking some kind of test, experience, certification, or schooling.

He is getting very depressed because he can't find a job. I feel lost because I have tried everything to help him find one and to help him cope with all the other things that go along with ADHD. Should he see another doctor?

Sherry

Your story is sad to hear. It would be important at this time to have your son evaluated. He needs a psycho-educational evaluation. These studies will clarify if he has learning disabilities and, if so, what help he needs. The results will also be part of reassessing if he still has ADHD and if it should be treated.

All is not over. Most community colleges will accept students like your son. The initial courses might be remedial, getting him ready to take college-level courses. There are also vocational training programs designed to help students like your son. Good luck.

Where can an adult be formally diagnosed with ADHD?

I have been diagnosed with adult attention deficit. I am currently taking Concerta. Where can I take a diagnostic test? Is it a formal test in which I can take so I can seek professional help? I just retired from the military and I would like to be able to go to college and able to really learn and not only pass a test.

I am getting ready to go to college this fall and I am assuming they would like some type of formal evaluation, test type documentation. The more a read about ADHD the more I see myself back in my early age.

Thank you,
William

The formal criteria for diagnosing someone of any age with ADHD is in a diagnostic manual called the DSM-IV.

The first step is to confirm the presence of hyperactivity and/or inattention and/or impulsivity. Then, it is necessary to show that these behaviors have been present since childhood (chronic) and that they exist in many aspects of your life (pervasive).

Finally, it must be clear that there are no other disorders that might explain the problems. A physician makes the diagnosis. Check around to find out which physicians, often psychiatrist, are knowledgeable about ADHD.

Do you have any helpful hints or tips for adults with LD that struggle with test anxiety?

I have a question concerning the NYS Teacher's Certification Exam. I am an adult with a learning disability and I am struggling to pass these exams. Do you have any helpful hints or ideas that I might be able to try?

I am not a test-taker and often "flip out." Part of me doesn't know if it's my learning disability or test anxiety.

Thanks
Megan

Under the American's with Disabilities Act, if someone has a documented disability, any testing program must provide the appropriate accommodations.

If you have Learning Disabilities, you will need current test data to document this. You will also need to have a professional define how your specific disabilities will interfere with the specific material and style of questions in the exam. Only with this data can you request the accommodation of extended time.

If you have an anxiety disorder that flairs up in test situations, you need to discuss this with a physician who can prescribe medication to use prior to taking the test.

So, go to the website for the exam, click under accommodations, click under your disability, and download the requirements to request accommodations. Then, try to address this list.

If everything fails, you will need to do practice exams until you are dizzy. You must learn to be efficient with the types of questions and types of problems you will be asked to know.