tagline
WETA

Search LD OnLine

Get our free newsletter

advertisement

Forums
Postsecondary Education

I can't make them understand!


Author Message
Joined: Feb 16, 2013
Posts: 3
Other Topics
Posted Feb 17, 2013 at 1:38:16 AM
Subject: I can't make them understand!

I can't seem to make my professors, and even friends and family, understand how challenging some tasks are for me. I'm in school to become a special education teacher, so all of my professors, and most of my peers, are in the education field, yet they seem to be clueless when comes to understanding learning disabilities.

I have a reading & writing ld, ADHD, and OCPD (extreme perfectionism). I struggle with reading or writing anything, but I feel like nobody truly understands how difficult it is for me to get through my assignments. The truth is, and please forgive me if this comes off as vain, but my finished product is usually quite good. I also have no trouble in holding a conversation with a room full of professors discussing Education matters, so my professors (and even friends and family) tend to think that my assignments come easy to me. Honestly, a huge factor in my success is due to my perfectionism and the passion that I have for the field of teaching and special education.

A recent homework assignment, for therapy, had me detailing every minute of my day. It was through this activity that I realized just how long it took me to read a chapter; roughly 2 1/2 pages an hour, so after 16 1/2 cummulative hours I had finally finished reading chapter 4, although I hadn't even started the assignment tied to the chapter. I've tried talking to my professors, but it's like they just can't comprehend that someone could actually take that long, especially since I come off as so "gifted." I should note that I have audio books for this class, but they are proving ineffective in helping me through the particular textbook-linked assignments due for this class. I've also managed to luck out when it has come to all my previous classes (I'm a senior now), as I've either been knowledgable enough in the material or haven't had textbook-linked assignments that would force me to actually have to read the textbooks.

How do I get them to understand? I'm not wanting to get out of my assignments, but I do want to come up with a plan that will allow me to be successful, while still completing all necessary work.

Back to top Profile Email
Marycv
Joined Jan 23, 2013
Posts: 13

Other Topics
Posted:Jul 17, 2013 1:29:08 PM

I am sorry how things aren't working out for you, I too have a disability, and have difficulty have people understand. People think because a person seems smart that they don't have a disability, they don't realize in other areas they struggle with. It is difficult for people to comprehend when they are healthy, don't know anybody who has difficulty, and aren't knowledgeable about it. Many people I've encountered think someone should be physically challenges (not intelligent, or in a wheelchair). There are quite a bit of celebrities that had challenges, and if it wasn't mentioned, I would not have known.

When I use to attend college, there was a disability department. They help individuals who struggle in their classes, offer tutoring, and write tests in another room. Does your college/university offer that? You should find out. As for people in general not understanding, I would find information on disabilities online (particularly what you have). Print it out and give it to those people. This will hopefully get them to understand. Good luck!

Back to top Profile Email
Speducator
Joined Feb 16, 2013
Posts: 3

Other Topics
Posted:Jul 17, 2013 10:41:12 PM

Yes, you are so right; having a disability that can't be seen definitely has its challenges. Sometimes I wonder whether I would be better off just forgetting about using spell/grammar check/audio playback and even purposefully hold back on the quality of my work, just so that they can "see" what I am trying to tell them. I actually let my professor see my recent assessment results (as the course was all about assessing students). She took one look at the gifted areas (VCI & PRI) and quickly came back with an "I'm not surprised", but the minute she saw the very low WMI, PSI, and achievement scores her jaw dropped and she said how surprised she was. - This is exactly what I'm talking about...why is she so surprised?

I actually am registered with Student Disability Services, and I make it a point to meet all of my professors ahead of time so that I can explain my challenges, in fact, I have even provided a "fact sheet" on my OCPD (perfectionism) to many of my professors - as this is not a commonly-known disorder. It is just so frustrating trying to tell my professors how overwhelmed I am, and have them come back with the assumption that I "need to learn to prioritize". This kind of response only feeds into my perfectionism and leads me to pull all-nighters just so that I don't feel like I'm not using my time wisely.

Back to top Profile Email
eoffg
Joined Sep 28, 2011
Posts: 99

Other Topics
Posted:Jul 18, 2013 7:56:05 AM

On another forum, someone recently asked the question:'Would you rather have a visible rather than invisible disability?'
Where people with invisible disabilities, often think that having a visible disability would make it easier dealing with other people.
But the only real difference, is that people don't question whether someone is really, blind, deaf or paralyzed, etc.
What isn't different, is the lack of understanding.
For example, people who are Blind, often complain that people will speak slowly and loud to them?

Where the problem with many visible disabilities, is that people really have little understanding and often make wrong assumptions.
So that a visible disability only removes the 'burden of proof'.
But it doesn't help with a lack of understanding?

Back to top Profile Email
Speducator
Joined Feb 16, 2013
Posts: 3

Other Topics
Posted:Jul 19, 2013 12:31:14 PM

@eoffg, you're absolutely right, there is definitely a lack of understanding regarding disabilities. As much as I say I dislike contending with an invisible disability, I also appreciate the repercussions of having a disability that is visible. It's a bit of a catch 22.

Back to top Profile Email