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researching adults with learning differences


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Joined: Aug 08, 2004
Posts: 7
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Posted Apr 24, 2005 at 12:19:40 PM
Subject: researching adults with learning differences

I am interested in researching adults with learning differences. However the population I want to study are those that have their PhD’s or higher levels of education.
Do you have information on someone who is may be doing this type of education or someone who is interested in this population?
It seems that most research on LD is on children or adults that are having problems getting though the system. However during my earlier research I found there is an entire group of adults on higher levels that have advanced degrees alone with high level positions. I would appreciate any direction you could offer me.

Thanks,
:D

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bgb
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 330

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Posted:Apr 24, 2005 2:42:53 PM

I have a link on my work computer to a gentleman with a website. He is dyslexic and has a PhD in something or other. I'll post it Monday.

I only scanned his site, meant to get back to it and never did....anyway, he definely is interested in LDs and higher education. He has a whole FAQ on it, although it looked like it was mainly for BA and BS degrees. Worth a check though.

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bgb
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 330

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Posted:Apr 24, 2005 2:50:00 PM

Never mind...I found it.

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/E/Bradley.D.Elder-1/

The thing is, its not been updated in years. I don't know if the contact info is still correct. I tried goggling him and didn't find anything more current. : (

Barb

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Jerry
Joined Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 67

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Posted:Apr 24, 2005 3:06:18 PM

I think you may be under a false assumption on exactly what LD is. You have to think about cause and effect along with severity and degree of impairment..

What exactly does LD mean to you? How do you define it? If you define it in broad catch-all terms you will reach the same niave conclusions most everybody else does. Lumping people with this brain based disorder under the errant umbrella of LD will lead you to seemingly logical conclusions that will ultimately be wrong.

It is claimed that Einstien and Winston Churchill were LD or perhaps dyslexic and unfortunately the Mary Sunshine's of the world lay their passive agressive guilt trip on us because we can't seem to get past square one.

What you need to research from the get go are the cognitive difference between different LDers. To do that you would have to do intense psycho-metric testing of a large group of LDer's. You will also need to have some knowledge of adult learning theory. Youe would need to be an expert on cognition.

If you aproach this with a social worker type mentality you will simply be wasting your time and you will end up discovering nothing. What you will end up doing is observing and reporting and tou will be observing and reporting incorrectly. Any conclusion you will reach will be wrong.

I would suggest that you compile tons of psychometirc data and when you understand exactly what it all represents and you compare it with different control groups such as those labeled normal, gifted, dull normal, LD, TBI, ect... then you will be taking a step in the right diretion. However if you base what you are doing on supposition you would be wasting your time.

Secondly, before even embarking on an investigation like this you need to ask yourself whether you have the mental horespower and education to do it.

BTW, what are your credentials?

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victoria
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

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Posted:Apr 24, 2005 3:06:37 PM

You are going to have your work cut out for you identifying this population. These are by definition people with impressive coping skills. Many have never been formally identified with LD, either because they didn't want the label, or because people wouldn't believe it.
Let us know how it goes.

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Jerry
Joined Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 67

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Posted:Apr 24, 2005 3:31:40 PM

Quote 2b732389c6="victoria":

You are going to have your work cut out for you identifying this population. These are by definition people with impressive coping skills. Many have never been formally identified with LD, either because they didn't want the label, or because people wouldn't believe it.
Let us know how it goes.

I agree. Perhaps you can narrow down and catagorize LD by severity and whether there are any cognive deficets common to all LDer's. I think the lable often does more harm than good sometimes. It is almost llike calling people with lung cancer, emphysema, hayfever, black lung, influenza, and the common cold chronic coughers.

Where i would part company with Victoria's opinion is that tremendous perserveriance in some individuals can virtually overcome the cognitive disfunction that cause LD. This assumption is entirely baseless and cruel because it assumes that many LDer's just don't "try hard enough."

Perhaps Victoria is trying to needle me a bit but unfortunately I think she she believes what she is saying and though there is certainly some truth to it, in my opinion most LDer work much harder than most and end up achieving far less. When you take things like processing speed, POI (perceptual organization index) memory impairments, mental fatigue, and the psychologcal effect of repeated failures and the put downs associated with it, to my way of thinking Victoria's anecdoatally based assertions are rather baseless and silly.

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gisele
Joined Aug 08, 2004
Posts: 7

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Posted:Apr 24, 2005 4:23:23 PM

One of my main interests at this time is how supposedly high functioning adults with LD cope. I did research for four years in this area. (For my dissertation) While it is very challenging to find subjects that will talk with you once you do its interesting. (Especially people that have prestigious jobs) At this time I want to find others who are interested in research regarding adults. Most research seems to be focused on children or adults that are not as high functioning. I am not really interested in diagnosing etc. That can be done. Even though many of the adults I spoke said there was little help for them after they were diagnosed. Most said that they had to figure out what to do on their own. Many came very close to losing their jobs especially if they were promoted and of course had to deal with more responsibilities. For example one person was promoted to assist dean. However when he began sending out campus wide emails his writing was so bad he came close to losing his job. He had to learn how to work with this. Now he realized that he was different but was not formally diagnosed with LD until he was 40. With the information I put together I have been able to help many adults and teens with LD. However, I now want to go further and gather more info and update than what I have.

Thanks,

Gisele

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Jerry
Joined Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 67

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Posted:Apr 24, 2005 5:14:12 PM

How do you qualify a person who is "LD" from other disorders?

I think you could do the LD community some good if you could refine and or redefine the parameters of who is LD.

Again, I ask, how do you define LD? Personally I think the LD lable sucks. It is too broad for one thing and languistically inaccurate. It is also loaded with connotaions and false assumptions as well as interpretations.

If you want to know what it is like for most adults with LD I think sucks pretty much sums it up. Even in Beavis and Butthead understand what sucks means. Then again Beavis and Butthead don't have advanced degrees in the disproven theories.

I have a suggestion live with an LDer for a few months or have some LDer's keep a journal of thier trial and tribulations. Also take you everyday forgetfulness and multiply it by 20. Then you will get a feel for what it is like. Be one paycheck away from the street while you are working a suck job that you can barely do with little or no chance for advancement. Live everyday knowing that the American Dream is what other people achieve. Try pushing a rope. Live your life know that your best will never be good enough.

If you get your paper published send it to every member of congress.

You may want to talk to the famly members of LDers. You may want to find out how much higher the suicide rate is among Lders. You should also go into a state prison and test a sample of the population for LD.

Your notion that educational level or job status denote "higher functioning is as big a misnomer than the term LD itself. I have only been able to do suck jobs but I can tell you that myverbal abstract reasoning is in the 99th percentile and my use of common sense and judgement in in the 98th percentile. My arithmetic and processing speed are in the 2nd percentile. Perhaps in your research you may want to figure out how discrepency like that will effect someone.

I just hope your work will be long on science and short on conjecture and false conclusions.

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Joe Tag
Joined Sep 18, 2014
Posts: 102

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Posted:Apr 25, 2005 5:25:37 PM

Gisele ---
My name is Joe Tag, and I have a part-time office job at Kean University in Union, NJ http://www.kean.edu . I have been tested 5 times in my life for LD issues/problems. My first testing and diagnosis in first grade was Dysgraphia. I was tutored in cursive writing for several years, until 6th grade. Also, I started to typing, and especially in 8th grade.
I am 42, and was in first grade in 1969. In 1976 my family moved to Westfield, New Jersey, and I was put in regular classes, except for one structured "study hall/Resource Room" . This study hall was conducted by a Special Ed. Teacher. My typing activities in doing homework were endorsed. Math homework was always a problem ( quality, then quantity). I graduated from HS in 1981. I've attended 3 colleges, and have had to drop out. I am pretty good on the PC, and have web-authored departmental and professors web pages at Kean U.
I have owned a car. But living independantly is still a problem at times; especially paying the utility bills ( not the rent ) . I get a govt. subsidy, plus my earnings at Kean U. My parents shoved most of the support issues onto the shoulders of the Public Schools and the Colleges I attended. ( Davis and Elkins College, WV; Union County College, NJ ; Kean University, NJ ) . I have owned and maintained a car; that was difficult also. There is a big challenge for all agencies to work together with the client student. University of Virginia and University of Richmond are doing great work. Young Adult Institute in NYC had little to offer me.
I pay some bills by using my banks website. I have paid off SallieMae.

~~~~~

Good luck with your research.

P.S.: My second boss uses a "scribe" to do his email. He doesnt' keyboard. I also have to do the data-entry for grades at the end of the
semester for him on the Grades machine.

-- end --

Quote "gisele":

One of my main interests at this time is how supposedly high functioning adults with LD cope. I did research for four years in this area. (For my dissertation) While it is very challenging to find subjects that will talk with you once you do its interesting. (Especially people that have prestigious jobs) At this time I want to find others who are interested in research regarding adults. ...many of the adults I spoke said there was little help for them after they were diagnosed. Most said that they had to figure out what to do on their own. Many came very close to losing their jobs especially if they were promoted and of course had to deal with more responsibilities. For example one person was promoted to assist dean. However when he began sending out campus wide emails his writing was so bad he came close to losing his job. He had to learn how to work with this. Now he realized that he was different but was not formally diagnosed with LD until he was 40. With the information I put together I have been able to help many adults and teens with LD. However, I now want to go further and gather more info and update than what I have.

Quote "gisele":

Thanks,

Quote "gisele":

Gisele

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gisele
Joined Aug 08, 2004
Posts: 7

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Posted:Apr 25, 2005 5:39:18 PM
Subject:Thanks Joe

Thanks for sharing your info with me. If you are interested in talking to me further please let me know.
Its amazing the different skills that we use to survie in this world today. While Adults with LD have their hands full they also have so many skills that are not given credit.

Thanks,

Gisele

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Jerry
Joined Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 67

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Posted:Apr 26, 2005 12:19:57 PM

Gisele, please take this in the spirit of which it is intended. I don't think you should presume that LDer's have special sklls as a result of being LD. Some of us depending on the severity and area of our impairment have been able to adapt, adjust and compensate.

Again, before you go off and publish some paper on LDers learn what LD is from a neurological point of view. If you were to study the psychometric test results of LDers you may end up stumbling upon something new that might raise some questions for furhther study. So far the LD dx is not very useful.

I can tell you why some LDers achieve and some don't. Mostly I would say it depends on the levels and areas of impairment. The thing that I think you maybe wanting to pontificate upon would be their level of motivation to achieve based on their upbringing and life experinces. In doing so you would ignore the most important part of the LD puzzle.

I also hope that you stress in your report that LDers are like snow flakes in that there are no 2 alike. If that is the only thing you stress you would be doing us a huge favor.

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Joe Tag
Joined Sep 18, 2014
Posts: 102

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Posted:Apr 26, 2005 3:48:11 PM

Giselle, Jerry, Victoria, others.....

>> Jerry, you are write. We are all different. I got a "C" in
English 2203: Landmarks of World Literature.

>> Giselle, fortunately all of my *full-time* professors have voicemail (saves time taking messages) , we have a fax machine, also. The
adjunct professors (with one exception ) have personal email.
The full-time professors have email, also (saves my time ).
I have taught professors how to order books for the students on the
university's bookstore site. I hope to be re-hired for the summer.

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PT1
Joined Mar 07, 2005
Posts: 34

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Posted:Apr 26, 2005 9:52:17 PM

<<Most research seems to be focused on children or adults that are not as high functioning. I am not really interested in diagnosing etc. >>

Hi,

As a person with NLD, Dyslexia, ADHD and god knows what else, I am surprised that you have found any research on adults. We still seem to be an afterthought as all the posts I have seen on various LD boards asking for research participants want kids. All the articles I have seen on LD and adults are several years old. I would love some links to updated information if you have them

To pick on Jerry's point, one reason I don't react too strongly to the phrase "highly successful LD adults" is alot of those folks were diagnosed with Dylexia. When I read the book, "Exceeding Expectations" about high acheiving LD Adults, only one of them possibly had the NLD profile.

Not to do a "poor me" routine but NLD affects a whole ot more areas than dyslexia does. I am not saying that people with Dyslexia have it easy because they don't. But Jerry is right, you need to be more specific as to exactly the group you are studying because if it is folks who primarily have Dyslexia as their learning disability, that's going to have little meaning for someone like me. Yes, I have Dyslexia in addition to NLD but it is not one of my main problems although I wish I didn't have it.

Finally, if you do end up doing this type of study, please be specific about your results. One of the things that bugged me big time about "Exceeding Expectations" was that it kept saying the reason these folks were successful was because they learned "such and such". Well, I would have loved to have known how to do that but it was never spelled out for me. Maybe that's my NLD but since I assume that the book is geared towards adults with LD, I am surprised that wasn't taken into consideration.

In other words, if all you are going to say is that these folks have a positive attitude and related type of comments, that is going to be a big turnoff to me. I need information that is alot more tangible.

PT

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Jerry
Joined Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 67

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Posted:Apr 27, 2005 3:26:40 PM

The study needs to be steeped in neuroscience. Anything else will be the same old same old. We don't need sociological conjecture. We need scientific facts.

I generally have very little respect for the field of psychology. On the suface studying the mind seems like a good thing but we are not even clear on exactly what the mind is. It is a very abstract concept.

Comparative analysis of brain function between brains of LDer and other brains.

Success depends on many variables. Things like opportunity, good fortune and support cannot be measured.

Speaking from personal experience I am a classic over achiever but to an outside observer I'm quite a disapointment.

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