Adults with LD or ADHD

Do I have a LD

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Joined: Oct 21, 2008
Posts: 1
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Posted Oct 21, 2008 at 11:55:50 AM
Subject: Do I have a LD


Iím posting here because Iím wondering if Ė perhaps Ė I might have some sort of learning disability and (more importantly) to learn how I might correct the problems that Iím experiencing.

Before I describe my symptoms (and the reasons that I suspect that I may have some sort of impartment), let me tell you about myself. Iím not the sort of person anyone would suspect of having a learning disability. Iím highly intelligent and have always been successful in school. I graduated high school with a 3.86, scored a 31 on my ACTs, and tested in the 99 percentile on the pre-SATs. Iím musical and artistic. Iíve played cello semiprofessionally and do professional web design on the site. Iím skilled writer and hope to be published some day. In the midst of all this, Iím a high school Algebra teacher Ė Iíve taught chemistry, physics, and philosophy as well. In grade school, I was scoring post-high school in reading since third grade, and in almost all categories from 4th or 5th grade on.

Iím not writing this to brag: Iím writing this to provide context. In the midst of all this apparent success, Iíve noticed a few areas where Iím profoundly weak. I have the talent to hide these weaknesses or laugh them off, but I feel as if Iím being by my continual compensation.

As I said, I always test well in reading and reading comprehension. Yet Iím terrible at reading aloud. I stumble over simple words, skip lines, mispronounce words that Iíve seen a million times before. In fact, mispronunciation is a common theme. I cannot Ė for the life of me Ė sound out words properly. It seems as if they always come out wrong. I can recognize them in books but I cannot seem to pronounce them.

A pristine example would be the word ďnovelĒ Ė for years I pronounced the word with a long Ďoí sound instead of the Ďahí sound. Even now I have to stop myself from pronouncing it incorrectly Ė and it takes me several moments to determine which pronunciation is the correct oneÖ each and every time. When I was a child Ė that is, older grade school Ė I was convinced that the American Civil War was the Silver War. Thatís how I read the word, it took me a while to discover the proper name and only because I deductively concluded that ďSilver WarĒ made no sense, since I could find no evidence of silver as a motivator.

Again, this is despite my large vocabulary and reading skills Ė my mother has a tape of me as a three year old talking about my being ďenamoredĒ with Scooby-doo! My dad, Iíve noticed, also has trouble with pronunciation. He continually makes mistakes pronouncing the same words, and has for years.

I have trouble understanding people, at times Ė especially when thereís the burble of conversation around me. Just today, a student asked me a question Ė and I couldnít understand the word he was using. Itís not that I couldnít hear him. (I donít think Iím deaf!) The word reached my mind as gibberish. I had to ask him to speak the word three or four times Ė and ultimately had to deduce what he was saying, since I never really understood him. It often happens not only to single words but to entire sentences. Perhaps this happens to everyone; I donít know. But it happens frequently enough to me to be worrisomeÖ and, not only that Ė someone can pronounce a word to me (a name, perhaps), and within a few moments Iíll pronounce it wrong Ė or forget it!

Pronouncing foreign languages is very difficult. My mind feels like it ďfreezesĒ Ė like Iíve hit a barrier and I cannot proceed past it. The word sits there. I know what it means, but I canít make the sound without a great deal of effort Ė and generally it comes out with the accent in the wrong place or a sound pronounced incorrectly.

In speaking, I find myself repeating the same word multiple times in the same sentence and struggling to connect the feeling of what Iím saying with the actual words. (ďLetís look over this problem because this problem is a problem for many of you.Ē) I have trouble explaining myself, verbally. Give me a piece of paper (as you can see) and Iím much better off.

It seems as if Iím functioning reactively, using my analytical skills to compensate for these flaws. Iíve always been more of a skimmer than a reader, despite my comprehension skills. Itís very difficult for me to slow down and read in a linear fashion. It gets overwhelming. I tend to skim and pick out key words and make the logical connections for myself Ė slowing down and letting the author make the connections is very difficult for me. If I slow down and try and read, I get lost and confused. But if I go quickly and hit key words, my comprehension increases. Itís all very odd. (Obviously, this only works for simple material Ė more complex material becomes overwhelming.)

Iím hoping that someone here can provide me with a bit of insight as to whatís going on! I feel (when reading, thinking, and talking) as if Iím facing a bottleneck Ė like Iím trapped in my own head and that (despite all appearances) Iím compensating so much that I canít use my skills to do more then survive. I know that Iím surviving at a higher level than most and perhaps I shouldnít complain. But I feel trapped by my own head! Ė and more effort doesnít help me. Trying harder to pronounce things properly doesnít help. I need help!

Any thoughts about whether Iím struggling with a learning problem and what that might be would be helpful Ė as well as methods for resolving the problems Iíve been facing. Sorry for the length!

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Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Oct 21, 2008 11:43:36 PM

It sounds like you are just insecure. No, i have doubts you have an LD. If you did you would know it not wonder about it. You would be here asking, "What the hell is wrong with me here are the symptoms." Not "could there be something wrong with me, here are the symptoms."

Seriously, you sound fine take a deep breath and don't be afraid. You sound like a smart rational guy. (Not enough like you in this world.) Like everyone, you have some weak areas, and i know because i live with an unbelievably intelligent man that those who things come easy for the few things that don't floor them twice as hard as they do the average person. Sounds to me like you are just a bright well adjusted guy with maybe a little too much intelligence so that you over analyze the few weaknesses making more of them than they actually are. Take a deep breaqth and relax and go play your cello. I will acompany you on the harp, the piano, the dulcimer, a cello of my own, the kantele or the harpsichord i built myself from scratch when i was 15. (Yes i actually am learning disabled... Dyslexic... But i read fluently in western music notation as well as that of the ancient greeks.) Sooo You pick the piece and we will do some classical or folk jamming any day you like.

The only way problems become problems is if you allow them to get that big and out of your control in your mind. Remember these issues are *yours* and are therefore, under your control.

Good luck!

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