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Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Visual-Spatial problems?


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Apr 20, 2001 at 9:19:35 PM
Subject: Visual-Spatial problems?

I don't know if this is the right place to post this but I'd really like to get some advice...this is very long, but I'm desperate for advice.
First off, I have a learning disability in math. The doctor said it's to do with "visual/spatial relationships".I always had huge problems with math in school. I can't remember the rules for anything...can't "see" the numbers in my head. I have to either count on my fingers or do the problems on
paper. My teachers thought I was careless and unwilling to learn. I would study the rules and try to memorize them but then I'd forget again. We didn't find out about the L.D. until I was in college and had finished my math courses.
After I gradutated I got a job at a public library. I loved it but it was very much a "learn as you go" type of position and I kept making mistakes, even after I'd been there for months. We did the same things over and over every day....like filing out cards for books put on hold...but I couldn't remember how to do them from one day to the next. I kept getting those cards wrong even when I'd filled out hundreds of them. I *knew* what I was supposed
to do but I forgot....and writing it down didn't help. I eventually got fired from that job because I didn't improve.
Now, I have a job as a copy editor/layout artist, but the same problems are cropping up. I forget to do things even though I do them every day, I can't "see" the mistakes I'm supposed to be correcting...my eyes just seem to skim right over them. The other day my supervisor had to resize an ad on one of my pages after it had gone to press, and found 10 other errors that no one had caught. I had worked especially hard on that page so that I wouldn't
mess it up. I dread going to work and finding one of my pages taped to my computer monitor with the errors circled in red. They've been firing alot of people recently and I'm afraid I'll be next.
I've tried writing down what I need to do, but it doesn't help if I don't remember to look. I have no problem reading books very quickly and memorizing whole passages...it's nothing to do with words themselves, I think.
Does these problems sound related to a visual/spatial type of learning disability? Is there anything I can do about it?

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 13, 2020
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Posted:Apr 21, 2001 6:33:31 AM

They could be related to a visual/spatial learning difference. They could also be related to other kinds of learning differences. For some people, sequential directions are very hard. It's hard to keep sequential directions in the right order for some people and hard to "lay down the pattern of it." For others yet, seeing details can be a problem. Proofreading for small errors in ad copy is not something I could not do well at all.

Do you like your newer job? It can't be fun to be worried constantly that you might make a mistake. Would there be other employment opportunities in this company for you if you wanted to explore less detail-oriented work?

If words are no problem but tiny details and long lists of directions are, you might consider working directly with people. Working with people is more concept than detail oriented and always involves words and language. Rather than following directions, when you work with people, you should be following the lead of their needs.

I worked in a bank for my first year after college. It was not a good match for me or the bank. I don't work well with numbers or enjoy it much but I do enjoy working with people.

I find in working with people when they've been given a great challenge especially a significant learning differences such as you might have, they usually have also been given a great gift to compensate for that. After years of working with kids with learning differences, I see that Nature often "evens herself out". Some of my students with significant learning differences in social skills, is extraordinarily gifted in math. Another who struggles to read is gifted verbally. Yet another who can't sit still in a chair is a truly remarkable artist.

School won't let those children "find themselves" yet because it keeps insisting all students need to do the same things as everyone else. You got through school and the good news is now you really do have the freedom to find yourself. What is your gift for whatever it is, the world can certainly use it.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 13, 2020
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Posted:Apr 25, 2001 9:52:58 AM

Hi Kim,

I also learned (officially) about my math/visual/spatial LD when I returned to college. Like you, I often have trouble keeping numbers in my head long enough to actually DO something with them, which makes some kinds of reasoning very hard for me. Regular math is not a problem, but higher math and algebra are painful and pretty much a lost cause for me. I can't find my way out of a paper bag, either, which means when I drive to new places I need lots of verbal information in order to find my way. Forget showing me a map! Actually, I can get lost in an office building and may have trouble reorienting myself when I approach places from a different angle, street, etc. Does that sound familiar? I know anyone reading this who is not familiar with NLD will think that last part sounds very strange.

Anyway, I was wondering, how were you evaluated for your LD. Do you have some scores that show you where your strengths and weaknesses lie? You owe it to yourself to talk with your psychologist about your difficulties, and you may need some help in selecting a more appropriate kind of work (for you) or professional help in advising you about working around your disability. Color coding, notes, etc. may work if you can figure out when and where to use them. You might be able to get "reasonable accommodations" at work. What those might be would depend upon your specific needs and what would be "reasonable" for your employer. Another possibility would be finding employment that allows you to focus on strengths, not your weakest areas of ability. As Sue Thompson points out in her writings, people with NLD have to translate a great deal of information into words before they understand. We don't always automatically "see" how something should be done...we need to have things explained verbally, or work our way through things using words. That can take a LONG time. Your employer may assume you understand something or know to apply information to a new situation when, in fact, you don't.

Non verbal learning disabilities (NLD or NVLD) are finally getting the attention they deserve. NLD is a significant disability. It can worm its way into areas where you don't see it coming...like trying to organize things (including thoughts!) in time and space. If you have not done a search for NLD information and websites here on LDonline, please do so right away. Read anything you can by Sue Thompson, and order her book on NLD. (Just put her name in the search engine and you can find what you need in order to get started.)This will help you understand yourself and your needs. Good luck! JJ

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 13, 2020
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Posted:Apr 25, 2001 11:38:27 AM

Just a short question, I am having an eval by the psych. for ADD, she gave me an abbreviated wisc to rule out ld's. I haven't gotten the final results yet but informally when we looked at the result, I had 121 on the verbal part but an 80 on the performance part. I have always been terrible at math and boy howdy those blocks just made me dizzy, also if there was a pattern I'll be darned if I could see it on the math pattern part. Anyway, if this was a kid would you consider this a red flag for a possible math ld? Just curious.Thanks!

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Anonymous
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Posted:Apr 25, 2001 1:31:19 PM

40 points is a big difference. You might look under NVLD as suggested above to see if you can find yourself.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Apr 26, 2001 7:31:13 AM

Hi Amy,

If you were my child, I sure as heck would keep working with a professional until we sorted out how that huge discrepancy was affecting your life. It has to be having an impact. Just because a person with NLD looks and sounds ok (well, most of the time anyway) does not mean that person isn't struggling. That is one thing that makes this kind of learning disability so frustrating. We get so good at speaking and sounding so bright, that our teachers and families have a hard time believing we aren't just being lazy or seeking attention. I'm sure you've heard it a zillion times..."You're just not trying!" Right?

Have you read the articles available right here on this website by Sue Thompson? Please take time to read them. You will learn so much, and I wouldn't be surprised if your psychologist would fnd them very interesting as well. Best wishes. JJ

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