I’m a 20-year-old girl, and have recently been diagnosed with a learning disability.
I have suspected for a while that something just wasn’t right with me, so a couple of moths ago, I decided to get tested for dyslexia. Although the test confirmed that I am not dyslexic, it also confirmed that I do have a learning disability.
My main problem is reading comprehension and processing written information. I can read, but cannot understand what I have read, so therefore spent ages re-reading paragraphs of text, just to understand what I am reading.
I am employed, and my employer is an Equal Opportunities employer, so I am reassured that if I was to disclose this learning disability, I wouldn’t be treated differently, however…
In the next couple of weeks I will be promoted and because of the nature of the work (which will involve case working, reading information on file, and coming to decisions based on what I have read) I will have to disclose my LD. Also with this work I will have targets and deadlines to meet on a weekly basis, and I know (from my experiences at school and sixth form college) that I will not be able to meet these targets, because it takes me such a long time to read and understand information.
As I have never had to disclose my LD, (because I have only just found out that I have one!), which is the right way to go about doing this?
Please help, all suggestions are welcome.
No quick fixes, no miracle cures, but here is something you can try:
When you have to read something for work, read it *out loud*. Try this at home at first and read at full voice. Go *slowly* and *listen* to yourself speaking. Often this helps a lot with comprehension -- many people in badly-designed reading programs in schools develop a disconnect between reading and the spoken language, and this can cause a disconnect with comprehension.
If this helps, continue doing your reading at home out loud at full voice for at least a month. Once you are getting it, you can read at work saying the words softly to yourself in your cubicle or office. If anyone sees you and makes fun of you, tell them a language teacher told you to do this as a way to improve memory; you don;t have to mention reading problems as such.
Another thing for comprehension: *after* reconnecting the written and spoken words as above, start doing critical reading. Pretend the author is in the room with you and start asking questions after each paragraph or section: What do you mean by that? Can you summarize? How do those ideas connect? What makes you so sure? Who says so? Where does all this lead? If I don't agree with you, how are you going to try to convince me?
Then read over what you have already done, and read the next paragraph or section to see how these questions are answered. Ask again and do the next, and so on. Once you are actively interacting with the reading, you will comprehend and remember it much better.
A *good* reading tutor (not someone who just pushes you for speed) can do a lot of this work with you too.