Adults with LD or ADHD

Can LD be Learned from childhood?

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Joined: Jun 13, 2005
Posts: 34
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Posted Jun 15, 2005 at 10:13:15 AM
Subject: Can LD be Learned from childhood?

Can a person "Learn" to have a "Learning Disability" from tramatic childhood experiences?

After I lost my last job, the art director was good enough to give me some pointers. He told me I would enter into new projects in "panic mode."

When I was a child my parents always screamed at each other, especially when trying to help me with homework! I would panic!
Today whenever I have a project I kind of panic.

Is this possible? Is it possible that I don't have as much as LD as I do bad learned behavior?

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Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

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Posted:Jun 15, 2005 3:39:15 PM

I think there is a lot of learned behaviour involved, especially if you have emotional reactions.
If I start working with a kid with reading problems in Grade 1, we can often get back on track in a couple of months; in Grade 2, six months; above Grade 2, a year of hard work and it never gets as easy as it shoud be -- the student has learned to be a non-reader, at the most impressionable time of life.
The kids I have had the least success with are the two who had temper tantrums (and that is a mild description) every time they faced something resembling schoolwork; you can't solve an academic problem while someone is using all his energy rolling on the floor screaming. And the parents opt for peace and nicey-nice teachers rather than continue the fight. Emotional reactions affect everyone.
If you want to do something for yourself, you can make an active decision to change your behaviour. It is *very* important to realize that this is like dieting or giving up smoking; changing behaviour is not easy and you are going to make a lot of mistakes. You cannot demand perfection from yourself; people who do that make one little mistake and then give up on themselves and continue the cycle of failure. Instead, pick on one small thing and work on that: Today I will get out of the house before noon and walk for half an hour. Or, today I will read the job ads online and I will send in *one* application to something I can really do. Or, today I will go out and try to say something positive to at least five people, and practice developing better social skills. If you keep doing this kind of thing every day until the new behaviour becomes a habit, you can make a real change over time.
If you can find a good counsellor -- and I've had some problems with counsellors myself, finding someone who understands and doesn't pigeonhole you is not easy -- you should talk things over and get as much help as you can find. But it has to come from yourself anyway.

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Joined Jan 16, 2004
Posts: 74

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Posted:Jun 16, 2005 10:12:59 AM

Now what about this problem? You think this could be a matter of behaivor, LD, or both? There's a lot of people(including relatives) that think I do not have any LDs that my problem is from low self esteem as I was verbally abused by my third grade teacher as I couldn't learn my times tables fast enough. Also being teased by peers for being "slow" didn't help but still I can't get my family or some people to realize there was something actually wrong with me and it's not a result from an emotional problem. Even at school I had my teacher from my first remedial math class say when she saw my twelfth grade math homework said "You see I was right! You just had a self esteem problem and not an LD. I think most people with problems with math just have low self esteem and not an LD." Well she didn't realize the constant tutoring I have to go through and having to choose teachers that allow notes with tests as I can't remember some concepts as well as the untimed testing I have to do with math.

Even my mother thinks that I don't have LDs it's just if I felt better about myself as a kid my math would have been better. Well all my self esteem problems were because of my LDs. She also says if I have LDs how come I have a B+ average in college since most LD people flunk school. Anyway I've read studies that high self esteem has nothing to with academic success and that countries that scored lower on the self esteem scale actually had higher academic scores.An example of this is that Asian countries such as Japan and China scored lower on self esteem but high in math while US students scored higher in self esteem but was one of the lowest scoring countries in math. So from studies like this I don't get why my teachers and family think self esteem is so important. It's not like I'll be all of a sudden perfect at math if I start looking into the mirror every morning and saying "I love myself, I love myself."

So what is it? Have I been taught by my low self esteem to see myself as being "slow" in math ( a learned behavior) or my undiagnosed LD's led to me feeling so crummy about myself?

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

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Posted:Jun 20, 2005 8:59:10 PM

A previous poster said, "LG, you are not in need of any psychological counseling." BUT One does not need to be "insane" to benefit from counseling. In fact, those of us without mental illnesses probably benefit the most from an objective, insightful counselor who can help us look at what we do to ourselves. Understanding why can be helpful, but it is more about what to do instead of beating yourself up constantly. Some counselors specialize in coaching - a theraputic way of helping us over difficulties, help up assess situations and have some solutions in mind if certain roadblocks arise. Feedback can be very helpful in keeping us honest with ourselves. If you have not seen Richard LaVoie's Fat City video see it and have people in your life see it too. It will help them understand that LDs are real and how they affect those who have them. Perhaps those social service agencies have referrals. They want you to work and be independent. It is OK to ask for help. It is smart to ask for help!


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Joined Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1845

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Posted:Jun 21, 2005 12:24:14 PM

Yea, what she said :-)

We all try to understand the world in our own way. If somebody hasn't actually walked in your shoes they will see things through their windows and organize things their way. I have to realize that some peoples' advice just won't do me any good -- that an awful lot of "foolproof" ways to help memory and organizing just haven't run into this particular fool. (Depending on the role of the person, I may have to at least try their ideas -- if that's what the boss says to try, I'll try it with an open mind... but not be disappointed if it doesn't work. And I *will* try anything once or twice, and confound it if sometimes it's the seven-times-seventh time that something kicks in...)

Sue J, webmastress www.resourceroom.net

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