Adults with LD or ADHD


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Joined: Jan 29, 2006
Posts: 1
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Posted Jan 29, 2006 at 4:23:28 PM
Subject: Finally!

Hello everyone, I'm new here. Allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Katrina. I'm 24. I went through grade school and a year of college labeled as "highly gifted." Then I flunked out. I floated for a few years, then joined the Navy, and now I'm trying to go back to school, but not without addressing the problems that caused me to fail in the first place.

It's hard to get your problems recognized when your objective performance is above average. Nobody can tell that you're compensating. My parents are both teachers (one of them even specializes in special education and learning disabilities) and even they couldn't tell. But my university's LD office referred me to an outstanding LD specialist and we figured it out.

Now, after 24 years of everyone telling me I was underperforming because I wasn't being challenged enough, 24 years of my difficulties not being noticed because I tested too well, performed too well, grasped concepts too easily, I *finally* got diagnosed! I'm not just lazy anymore!

I have ADD, CAPD, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. I compensate for CAPD by reading everything, guessing accurately, lipreading, and asking ridiculous numbers of questions. My dyscalculia is rendered invisible by my verbal reasoning ability (I do math in words in my head). The dysgraphia was actually noticed, though not diagnosed, in elementary school, but since then I've successfully hidden it by developing slow but textbook-perfect printing (achieved by "drawing letters") for tests, and otherwise essentially not writing anything. And my ADD is self-medicated with caffeine and nicotine.

The system works great up through sophomore-level college work. But eventually I ran into classes that went too fast for me to remember everything, math that couldn't be adequately verbalized, professors that taught concepts that weren't in the book, homework assignments that actually needed to be done, essay assignments that had to be longer than a few pages. Ack.

So...now I'm getting Adderall, a notetaker for all my classes, and a math professor to tutor me through my third iteration of Differential Equations. Here's to competent LD professionals! :)

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