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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

a newbie with 17 year old daughter


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Joined: Nov 18, 2006
Posts: 3
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Posted Nov 18, 2006 at 2:39:51 PM
Subject: a newbie with 17 year old daughter

My 17 year old , almost 18,was never diagnosed with LD but more and more she shows symptoms. She has had 3 employments, all easy enough positions. 1,cleaning dog kennels at vet office, 2 working cash register at a small fruit stand, and recently, cash at a grocery store (very small, we live in a tiny village), but all 3 jobs were a disaster. The later lasting only 3 hours. She just can't follow instructions, complete tasks or absorb information to learn the job. She is in complete denial she has a learning disability. She simply shrugs everything off to be "their fault". Even when the employers tell her what she is doing wrong or that they know she will never catch on, she still maintains it is them not her. But she so wants a job so we know she isn't just a lazy person.
Her social skills are not improving at all as she reaches the end of her final year of high school. She is always on the fringe of social groups, desperatley trying to fit in with the people who simply don't want her friendship. Even when she manages to beak thru, she doesn't take the hint when they try to let her down gently. ( I must admit the kids at her school are very patient and nice, I think they sense a difference in her they can't explain) They have called her the stalker or air head and she just thinks it is cute and that it means they like her. She is one of the prettiest girls at her high school and often I think she get's by on her looks alone, yet she has never had any boy call on her. She gets drunk at parties and gets very out of hand. I think she believes this impresses her peers, even though they stress to her it does not. Our education system failed us long ago. With a major effort and struggle she has managed to fool them and has passed each year( her marks are around 50% in most subjects but the low mark is alwasy put down to lack of usefull classroom time, not her ability to learn) She is wonderful at faking it. Somehow she gets the marks but if I ask her a simple question she never knows the answer (pertaining to school work that is) But ask her anything about any movie star for the past 10 years she can rhyme off names, dates and information , so she can retain things if she wants too or if they interest her. How does one get another person to come to terms with their disabilites and stop blaming the others for their own failures?
We try to encourage her on. She has studied for her driving liscence since she turned 16 almost 2 years ago but is afraid to go write the test. We have encouraged her but she tries it on -ine every week and just can't past the practice test but always claims it was not her fault. It never is in her eyes and until we can get her to come to terms with her own
limitations we'll never be able to help her through the transition of school to work. She talks about being a vet, a weather reporter, a school teacher and we would like to see her acheive her goals. She forgets daily basic things and although we would never tell her in away to hurt her self esteme, she can't be trusted to cook when we are not home, I have shown her how to thread a needle and tie the thread nummerous times but she still can't do it, etc....Not that she has the skills to cook anything other than a fried egg at almost 18 anyway. So sending her off to college or University on her own doesn't sound possible at this time. Our nine year old son is more self sufficient than she is already and even he notices the
lack of abiblity to do what others her age can do , he refers to her as strange. Does anyone have any suggestions of how to get her to accept herself for who she is and accept the help of a career counsellor or at least accept it is her, and to stop blaming others? Is there any books or pamphlets I couldleave out for her. Because the schools have never told her she has a disabilty when we try to reach out to her and offer her help (such as with the 3 jobs) she gets deffensive.

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
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Posted:Nov 19, 2006 3:15:59 PM

Has she ever been tested? Has she ever talked to a psychologist or therapist? Maybe having testing done under the guise of career planning might allow you to get some answers and a third party involved.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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jacklee
Joined Nov 18, 2006
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Posted:Nov 20, 2006 10:35:53 AM

When she was in grade 3 we had her tested by a doctor in phycology, who simply put it as this after 3 long sessions .."did you ever have one of those classmates in your childhood that was simply slower than the rest of the class and was always pegged as a little odd, well Allisha is just one of those children".
That was from a professional and obviously it didn't help much in getting her extra help through the school board. It never trully answered the question of LD or any other problems we could determine at the time.
How do we go about getting her some sort of career counsilling? OUr biggest problem is she doesn't see her difficulties herself. She continues to blame others or anything she can find to point out it is not her with the problem. She trully thinks she is fine. The teachers are stupid or her bosses were just mean ....
We find we can't even trust her good judgement to babysit her 9 year old brother. He in fact ends up being the responsible one who notices when she leaves the burner on, or leaves the door wide open, or alomost walks out into traffic. When you point out any thing to her to see if there is a way she can get on track or try to remember things, she just rolls her eyes up at us , holds her hand up and says"what?" in a very snotty way. We have dealt with this all her life but now that she is ready to go out into the working world and perhaps be on her own someday we are very concerned. We always thought she would grow out of it with maturity. We have lived in this same area all her life but if asked for directions from someone to a place within even 10 klm she wouldn't have a clue how to get there. It is almost as if she doesn't observe or take in regular day to day things that any one else can.

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jacklee
Joined Nov 18, 2006
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Posted:Nov 20, 2006 10:36:06 AM

When she was in grade 3 we had her tested by a doctor in phycology, who simply put it as this after 3 long sessions .."did you ever have one of those classmates in your childhood that was simply slower than the rest of the class and was always pegged as a little odd, well Allisha is just one of those children".
That was from a professional and obviously it didn't help much in getting her extra help through the school board. It never trully answered the question of LD or any other problems we could determine at the time.
How do we go about getting her some sort of career counsilling? OUr biggest problem is she doesn't see her difficulties herself. She continues to blame others or anything she can find to point out it is not her with the problem. She trully thinks she is fine. The teachers are stupid or her bosses were just mean ....
We find we can't even trust her good judgement to babysit her 9 year old brother. He in fact ends up being the responsible one who notices when she leaves the burner on, or leaves the door wide open, or alomost walks out into traffic. When you point out any thing to her to see if there is a way she can get on track or try to remember things, she just rolls her eyes up at us , holds her hand up and says"what?" in a very snotty way. We have dealt with this all her life but now that she is ready to go out into the working world and perhaps be on her own someday we are very concerned. We always thought she would grow out of it with maturity. We have lived in this same area all her life but if asked for directions from someone to a place within even 10 klm she wouldn't have a clue how to get there. It is almost as if she doesn't observe or take in regular day to day things that any one else can.

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Vik
Joined Apr 13, 2007
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Posted:Apr 19, 2007 11:10:30 PM

Everyone at some stage in their lives are in complete denial,that is if we are a parent and masking a "disorder"to our siblings,Those who know any kind of LD will quickly be defensive and concerned whats happening close to us.I can only suggest that you(an obvious caring person)SHOW her this site.theres a lot of us out there.:)

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SoccerFreak
Joined Dec 09, 2007
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Posted:Dec 09, 2007 9:03:11 PM

cash register is not easy! I work at a restaurant and that was the hardest thing I ever had to do. You have to listen to the people and then you have to find the button on the machine (it's ALOT harder than it sounds) and then you have to count the change. NOT EASY I sympathize with your daughter that i also cannot do register. I much prefer cleaning or watering.

I may be strange maybe even CRAZY but there's never a dull moment

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:May 07, 2008 7:03:29 PM

Hmmm... I found this thread interesting. I have never heard of anything like this...

I think, the person you took her to for an evaluation, was just a decent human being, seeing a young child with a whole life ahead of them. Who knows what the future can bring? Once you are labled, you are labled for life. Often that includes medicine. If you are a child no one has to hear anything from you to make a diagnosis. When it could be you were just mad about something and holding a grudge.

Here is my thought, which is only the thought of someone who doesn't know your daughter your family, your home town etc... If infact shge was really as bad as it sounds, it seems the school would have taken serious action by now. Also, you would have taken serious action by now... I know i would have, and i don't even believe in having children labled. But i think too, that there must be some form of intelligence there. In that, if there wasn't.... Someone would have done something by now. I would guess maybe there is some activity she really enjoys or some subject or something which for whatever reason.... Makes her seem gifted or almost gifted. Clearly she exhibits some higher intelligence or no one would hire her to begin with.

As for jobs, I am labled up one end and down the other. I have never had difficulty holding jobs. Those jobs would include jobs in management. I worked through highschool, and went to school. I have a baby sister, that actually calls me mom, to the horror of our mother. I have had the odd social problem. Who hasn't? Visual signals don't always make it through. I am an auditory learner. Someone must tell me what they want or orally sometimes give me direction. All and all though, i have few social issues and am probably in a normal range there... I am 27 engaged to be married living a million miles from home with my boyfriend. At the present, because we are not in the usa, i can't work. So instead i am studying Egyptology at a university level. Presently. i am really very happy. I love my life.

There were times though when i was younger, that i had some very real difficulties. I think, she probably feels victimized and likely doesn't trust you seeing you as very critical. Just a guess. Remember i don't know her i am not an expert i am just a person that is learning disabled guessing at a mind set of another person who could be.... Parents do that. They don't mean to but they do it anyway. I think she is less happy than she wants you to believe. I would guess, socially being on the fringes is very very hard. Having others view you as other, weather you are fairly socially correct or not is difficult for anyone. We all yearn to be close to other people. It is actually part of our DNA makeup, this reaching out to others. They have even located the gene. Perhaps, she has stopped caring about herself? Perhaps, she feels she isn't worth anything? the criticisms however kindly put can over time eat away at a person.... And the social distances.... Again, i am just a learning disabled person who has been through alot, and had alot of baggage for many years trying view it from a perspective other people may not consider.

As for driving, My father was a joy to be around. He was normal according to everybody who ever knew him. But they didn't know he was violent. They also don't believe it when i tell them this professional man a vice president of a corporation and a spiritual leader once left me on one side of the road so he could talk to strangers, for hours. I called and called for him he was in charge. I was 5. Finally he turns and he says to me "if you want me so bad come get me." then his back was to me again and so i looked both ways and started to cross out of nowhere came this old woman in her late 90s. I got hit. I spent months in the hospital. Years in physical therapy. Even when my mother tells people that they have trouble believing it. We all make some rather messed up mistakes. Sometimes the 'normal' ones make bigger errors than those of us who are viewed as intellectually inferior. I don't drive. If i accidentally hit a child.... That would be it for me.

What you say about difficulty taking in information, is troubling. The fact that they call learning disabilities disabilities, is i think highly misleading. Sometimes, more creative means or a different style needs to be taken with us. But not a one of us is actually unable to take in information and learn. On or off medication. Example in point being my auditory learning style. Some, like my kid sister are far more kinetic. or like my mother, are very visual. She wouldn't have survived for 18 years if she were really as devoid of ability to take in information as it sounds like. Everyone can learn and retain information you just have to figure out how her brain is wired and what the strengths are and play to them. I hate that term learning disabled.... I think it is more correct to consider it more, Learning Differenced.

As for holding a job, I find it doubtful losing all three of them was entirely her fault. I would guess at 1 or more she had atleast some small amount of help. Though lack of accepting any personal responsibility for any of it.... well... Most LD kids i know are very responsible even when they don't know they are learning disabled. Even if they don't accept they have weaknesses they do tend to think highly of their strengths and recognize those. Their minds tend to be very very very creative in that overcoming such a non level playing field at times and with some things can be very very hard. They use their strengths often in abnormal ways, ways people wouldn't typically think of to be responsible. Because, they don't like to displease anyone any more than a 'normal' kid does.

To me it sounds like something rather different... But then my knowledge is limited to primarily my own disabilities. I have not studied all disabilities. Being lonely and a teenager is really hard. That she is having trouble understanding what people are trying to make her understand, like desire to not be around her.... Sounds maybe more like something else altogether. Not accepting any responsibility like she can do no wrong.... Also sounds like something else all together. But again i am just a learning disabled person that really knows nothing about anything simply using my own experience to offer some insite.

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BehaviourSkills
Joined May 02, 2008
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Posted:May 09, 2008 7:09:51 AM

Hi,

just a few quick thoughts.

Firstly, though certainly no one can or should diagnose a persons behaviour from a brief description here or anywhere else, from the challenges you describe, your daughter's issues sound very similar to what a person with Asperger's faces. In fact a young man that has been referred to me just a few weeks back has a very similar attitude in regard to 'its everyone else's fault' with his challenging behaviour, a common way of thinking by someone with Asperger's (though to be fair also common with many teenagers that age!). Of course getting a diagnosis, whether Asperger's or something else isn't a solution to her challenges, though it can sometimes be the start of a process that brings about acceptance and understanding.

In regards to her having more success with her jobs, I would encourage you to suggest to her when she first starts a new job she sits down with you and you write up a step by step plan for each of her tasks. Breaking a semi-complex task into easy small steps, even using some visuals (photos or even sketches) may prove extremely helpful to her in doing the job. Also suggest she accept a 'coach' for her first one or two weeks at a new job, I am sure most employers would be fine for her to have someone with her helping her learn the job to start with (if she is worried about being stigmatised by this, if she accepts the helper as just a "buddy" rather than a support person, she may be more comfortable).

Don't limit your daughter with what she would like to do, in fact encourage her to talk about what her goals/dreams are. Whether it be to become a competent shop assistant or a veterinarian - great either way! But - then break that goal into steps. For example, to be a veterinarian - "Wow, what a great goal! So - first you need to do a lot of study, which means lots of reading, so hey lets see what we can do to help improve your reading skills." That is the sort of track to go down, she will feel happier about accepting help if it is working towards her goals and dreams, rather than accepting help because she is 'different'.

Also, talking about her goals and dreams, will help you get to know her better, and show her you are interested in what she wants to achieve, rather than her thinking you are just focusing on what she can not do. That is, focus on what she does do well - everyone has things they are great at, even if its putting a smile on other peoples faces, that's a great skill to have! She needs to accept this - know what she does well, and be proud of it, again rather than focussing on what she maybe can't do.

Hope this is helpful,

Trevor
www.behaviourskills.com

'Behaviour Skills For Parents and Support People' available from www.behaviourskills.com

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:May 09, 2008 6:27:58 PM

Aspergers??? Yeh i would never have thought of that... It just didn't sound like hmmmm.... anyone i know who had one of the more well known and common forms of LD...

But i do think parents *can* be overly critical when speaking of their kids even when they don't want to be, *because they love their kids.*

To give you some hope for your daughter, i am gonna tell you a bit more of my story, because it is interesting and in this case maybe... hmmm.... Worth sharing....

They started diagnosing me at age 4. They often got it half right. But no one got it all right. After my teens i refused to see therapist and psychiatrists for MANY years, because they forced the wrong medication on me over and over again in that time. For Over 15 years were spent trying to figure me out. No one ever did....

Until i was visiting my mother a few months ago. And, i got very depressed. I couldn't get up i spent 2 weeks on the couch.... In my dirty pajamas....Not really sleeping much..... Finally i decided that as all the other docs had just messed up my head with their drugs being messed up would be preferable. I called a psychiatrist at random. Anything for a drug any drug.... Just for a whort time till the depression passed was the idea.

Only i found this incredible doctor!!! He sort of specializes in 'complex.' where as for 15 years i had been seeing the best of boston.... So i went to see him... He said 90 minutes later in the meeting, that he knew what was wrong with me. I was shocked and expecting same old bullox as always same old medications.... But no... Something different....

He said i had ADHD and that i have something called disthymia! He said they were related so if one was treated the other would balance out pretty much all on it's own! I said yeh... roight..... He said to give him an hour and he gave me a drug. I took it. An hour later My life was entirely different in a *GOOD* way! I had had no idea of what a mess i was until then! But now i am back in school working on a degree in Egyptology.... At a university level. I am very very very happy. (Well, not too happy....) But healthy. The reason i tell you all this... Is because, my ingeniously brilliant doctor... Has Aspergers. Don't lose hope, and if it is that... well, once you know you can figure out the best way to communicate and teach....

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clovermaid
Joined Jun 04, 2008
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Posted:Jun 05, 2008 7:43:25 AM

I think your daughter has nonverbal learning disorder (NLD) Itís what I have and it makes everything difficult. NLD is thought to be a problem with the brainís white matter (the nerve fibers and their myelin sheathes) It causes signals to transmit less efficiently and it effects complex functions like abstract reasoning, the reading of social cues, organization visual processing and fine motor skills.

Things that most people pick up naturally slip right by us with NLD. We have to work harder to untap our potential. Some strengths we may develop to compensate are good short term memory and impressive verbal abilities. We bamboozle people this way into thinking we're smarter then we are.

Your daughter sounds so much like me. The last few years before I left for college I was so fed up with being irresponsible I couldnít stand it. I wasnít a child but I couldnít function like an adult. I HATED being taken care of and nagged about things I should have managed independently. I wanted mom to leave alone and let me work things out. Thankfully I got my wish, My parents sent me away for college and Iíve survived. It hasnít been easy. Nevertheless I prefer to make mistakes on my own rather than hide under Motherís wing.

Another struggle I seem to share with your daughter is that I donít pick much up visual information. It doesnít matter how many times Iím driven someplace . I canít learn the rout unless I learn the verbal directions. Iím slow reading non-digetal clocks, and I can read a word a countless times without learning to spell it. This presents some difficulty but Iím learning more and more that I can compensate with auditory memory.

Iíve had to work really hard to get through high school and basic college math. Nevertheless, as my playingfield of logic expands I find that I have an unusual potential to ask questions and design experiments. My curiosity has often made me teacherís pet but I was still surprised when I caught the attention of a science professor in college. He said I had something he didnít come across too often and I should try a harder class. He really thinks (as did my science teacher in high school, my family and my friends) I have potential as a biology major. I switched majors last semester and canít wait to start again in the fall.

Iíll probably always process things slowly and Iíll never learn well through visual means. Still, everything else I undertake improves with practice. Academically I have yet to reach a dead end. People come to Hillsdale College from the top of their class then find to their horror they get Bs and Cs. I was below mediocre the first semester but I came away from the second with an A, A-, and a C. I might have to be a 5th year senior but I know Iíll finish strong.

Allisha may be in denial about her struggles but it seems more likely that sheís being defensive. You naturally want her to excel and get frustrated with her poor performance. She wants to know you believe in her. The process of learning with NLD is humbling, arduous and often unrewarding at first. I need constant encouragement to keep me going. Your daughter probably does to.

My biggest challenges today are with social problems. This is not the fault of my disability but because of self consciousness and anxiety. I never had any problem until high school. Though I made social mistakes, nothing was unforgivable. I loved everyone and they responded by loving me back.

In highschool, I encountered more trouble and gradually lost my confidence. Things got worse at college. I always had a few close friends but I still felt weird and repulsive. Almost every time someone was nice to me I worried they just felt sorry for me, now I realize I pushed people away who might have been genuinely interested. I have begun to consider everyone whoís nice to be a friend and not question their reasons.

I think its good that your daughter assumes people like her. She might often be wrong but at least sheís not withdrawing from society. If thereís someone who you think could better appreciate her friendship, encourage her to be friends with them. Only, let her continue to love people without being self conscious.
--------------
A man whose legs are tied together is not going to accept his limitations. Heís going to hop around until he finds a way to cut the ropes. Your daughter, as long as she has hope will be the same way.
If she were really stupid, she would no doubt be happy to aim low. As it is, it sounds like she has a taste of an intelligence she has not yet been able to grasp. Donít give up on her! Get her diagnosed and find her the help she needs.

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concerned08
Joined Jun 18, 2008
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Posted:Jun 18, 2008 12:51:04 AM

Mandi and Cloverleaf,

OMG, I can't believe how thoughtful and extremely helpful your posts are.....

How UN-selfish of you to put so many of your personal experience here so others can benefit.

You are amazing human beings, and I am thankful I cam across your post.

You have given incredible insight to the person who started this thread!

Now she can view her daughter in a more complete way.

Then like you said, find a way to get testing done (hopefully Allisha will agree if she senses this new attitude toward her...) and help can be on its way.

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concerned08
Joined Jun 18, 2008
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Posted:Jun 18, 2008 12:53:34 AM

Ooops sorry I got names wrong....that's B/C you can't see the thread you're posting on, while you're posting.

Not trying to be a goof head, or insult anyone.

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Mandi
Joined May 05, 2008
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Posted:Jun 18, 2008 3:25:23 PM

No worries.... Please understand one simple thing though, no one with a learning disability is really different than anyone else. Atleast that holds true for ADHD and for the dyslexia i have. I am still a person. As is every other human being with these disabilities and even some others, that i have heard of. We think and we feel. Our minds do function in their own way.

Reacting to a learning disabled person sharing what is our life's experience as being this exceptional thing.... It isn't. We have eyes. We hate to see human beings suffering. I can be rude. But i find so often, that my very humanity is viewed as secondary to the lable i wear. I don't feel that it is. I find some things so very ignorant of other people to say or to be freaking out 'oh my god my kid just got labled ADHD!!! OH MY GOD!!!!' Wow... 1 in every 5 kids has ADHD these days. BIG DEAL! Your kid is still the kid you have always known and always loved. What else matters??? Having your kid called ADHD, doesn't really even mean anything is wrong with him/her. ADHD, does not mean stupid. It does not even necesarily mean hyper. There is just sooooo much ignorance from society when it comes to learning disabilities and certain trendy diagnosis. While there is actually no unrefuted organic evidence of many of these LD's everyone is diagnosed with and tests have proved that theiŕ brain functions and structures are no different from anyone else's. So, maybe the kid has a crappy personality. I will openly say that i do! But most of that developed post label as a reaction to all these attacks on my person with the assault weapon called label. We are not exceptional when we try to ease the suffering of others. We are nothing more than human and we are nothing less. If that is the only lesson on LD that anyone ever learns i think as someone who is labeled, it is the only lesson that really matters.

There is nothing wrong with anyone with LD. Nothing wrong or different they can prove about a large number of LD forms, and same for differences in chemical and electrical functioning in the brain. However, many with LD seem to have a rather errr... Unique and often creative view of things. However, reality is reality LD and delusional are also not the same thing far from it. Learning how to teach our unique minds, seems a prudent thing to do. In some cases, even necesary. Calling us Leaning Disabled.... Is actually kinda cruel when you think of the implication of that statement and what is encoded in it. Maybe, 'learninf differenced' would be a better and more accurate way to put it.

And for the record, dyslexics for example, are actually more normal about reading and writing than the rest of the english speaking world. Learning to read by memorizing visual images of words.... But lacking an understanding of how to actually phonetically put the word together... That is just daft. What if you find a word you don't recognize??? Then what??? As for those with dyslexia who are taught phonetics and then spell words they don't know phonetically.... Well... That is what society tells us to do. Words are designed to be spelled the way they sound. That is the rule. The first rule. It is a total crock of BS too! Labeling someone because society doesn't follow it's own rules is just assinine in my opinion. Maybe we should change the spelling of things so we are really giving accurate facts to our young kids just learning??? Rather than 'phonetic' foe-net-ick. Its all ridiculous. In ancient cultures, best example Egypt, Their hieroglyphs are written from top to bottom bottom to top or straight across right to left or left to right and which way the hieroglyphs point is equally as lacking relevance. Though some things mean more than one thing and so they actually add or pre add something else to clarify their meanings. Our society should take a lesson from them! Much of their hieroglyphic writing is also based on sounds attached to symbols. And guess what? They actually 'spell' in accordance with how it sounds! Yeh, dyslexics would do just fine way back when in Egypt. We could rule the world! That is if we were not in that 98% of the populace that was never given enough education to be at all literate.

The point is, maybe something is flawed with society and maybe people like me just learn a bit differently. Many anyway are not lacking in intellect. And, we see and recognize human suffering just as anyone else does. And it affects us. We care. Just like anyone else would. We can empathize we are not sociopaths. That is something else entirely. So when we share and reach out and express that, we are not special. We are not exceptional. We are just humans, being human.

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