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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Parents with LD's


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 17, 2002 at 2:01:28 PM
Subject: Parents with LD's

My husband has undiagnosed ld's in reading comprehension, decoding, organizing. In tenth grade when he no longer could get away with it, he went to spec. ed & told them he couldn't read. This was in the late 70's. In the early 80's when we married and I was pregnant, his company offered free tuition for college. He said he couldn't do it, I didn't understand what he meant. I had some extra time & told him I'd promise to help him. That was 14 years ago & we laugh about it now, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had to show him how to do outlines, every tip & statedgy I knew to memorize, etc.and basically reteach everything. He followed me everywhere with his book, notes. We went over & over & over the material. It got to the point that I knew the material by heart - I didn't need the notes - (this helped when he'd sit on the floor in the bathroom while I tried to escape to the tub !) I learned more about marketing and business than I ever wanted to know! I wasn't always as patient as I should of been, but he didn't care - he was persistant - Thank God. He was a young father of 3 children and was motivated to provide for us. He had alot of self-confidence(except academics) and great social skills. This combination motivated him to give an extrodinary amount of effort and time to learn. It still is difficult out there in the American Schools for kids with LD's, but most parents, like my husband, just went undiagnosed. I'D Like To Hear From other parents with ld's, What motivated You ? How did you get through it?? My son went to an elementary school with a '70's kind of attititude. He was going to be a throw-away kid. We got him out of there, but damage has been done- Especially to his self-motivation to put that extra time into studies. I'm not sure its going to happen until something "re-sparks" him. I'm looking for a little hopeful stories and insight. I know my husband did it, I know others never come through it.

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 16, 2014
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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 2:48:42 PM


I have 2 chlidren that are ld the 1st was easy to diagnose because she had problems at birth, the second one I fought the school district for years and I am still fighting them but she will get the education my tax money pays for, and at the same time helping parents that do not know their rights.

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 16, 2014
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Posted:Feb 17, 2002 5:57:46 PM

What a neat story. Thanks for sharing!

I probably had undiagnosed LD's too, and I just gave up and decided I couldn't face college. That's the bad news. The good news was that in real, non-academic life, I did very well. I started in retail banking as an entry-level teller. I left the bank after 13 years as an AVP in charge of several large departments. I then started and ran my own mortgage servicing company, which was eventually sold to another bank.

I am now the mother of two young boys, (one LD, one suspected ;-) in the middle of a second successful (part time) career as a freelance journalist, and editor of a small magazine.

I know that for me, what is important in overcoming my difficulties is a passion for what I'm doing. If I really, really care about it, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to learn what I need too. If it's hard AND I'm not interested, it's a deadly combination.

Help your son find something that he loves, and build from there, no matter how unlikely his interest seems. I have a friend who loved D&D as a teenager. She never finished college, but is now a successful writer and publisher in the roll-playing gaming industry. Who woulda thunk that D&D could lead to a career?<g>

Karen

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 16, 2014
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Posted:Feb 18, 2002 9:06:23 AM

The more and more I read about my daughter's LD, the more I realize that I have similar disabilities too, but it was never recognized. I struggled all through school. Math and English were my worse subjects. I even dropped math in high school and starting in grade three I found it difficult to help my own kids with their math homework.

But somehow I made it through highschool with average grades and even went on to study Geography in University. I am sure I would never be accepted in Univeristy today, the standards seem so much higher, then in the early 1980's.

I remember having a very patient room mate who would proof read all my assignments in University. I remember failing miserably on a multiply choice exam, even though I know the subject material extremely well. I went and saw the professor afterwards and he gave me an oral test and was amazed at my answers. I just explained I could never do multiply chocie tests, I had no idea it was due to a disability.

Even today I never read novels, I try but loose interest quite quicky as I can never keep track of the plot and the characters. ( I use to hate that question in job interviews: What was the last book you read. I would jsut make it up. I don't think they ask it much lately but it seemed like the thinkg to do a decade or so ago).

It is interesting to look back on my past academic history, with what I know now. Things seem so much clearer.

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 16, 2014
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Posted:Feb 18, 2002 10:20:49 AM

I pretty much went thru the younger grades always being put in the "slower" half of the class; this happened whenever the class was too large for one teacher. Go figure. Anyway, survived high school with b's & c's for the most part. Had to study real hard, including daily tutoring from my math teacher to survive algerbra & geometry. Typing class in 9th grade (Mr. Sylvester) freed me from the traumas of handwriting long papers, plus it made my work legible. Had a miserable excuse for a guidance counselor who encouraged me to apply to schools that really weren't appropriate for me. Got accepted and actually made it all the way thru one semester of college.

Dropped out and took my part time job at school into full time, and enrolled in that famous school of life, major was existance. Could never stand the IRS forms for taxes, used to give my roomate a bounty for filling out my taxes (my wife does it now). Ended up working in the health and fitness field for quite a while, always keeping a second job in construction or something else. Ran gyms and health clubs until I got a job at The Golden Door (health spa in southern ca). Was told at the interview that they never hired anyone without a college diploma; asked if they would interview me anyway to see what happens. Ended up working there for a little over 5 years (no man ever lasted longer than about 8 months prior to me). Circled the world on the first cruise ship with exercise (QEII). Started my own business as a private trainer, built a mobile fitness center with a silent investor, and did that for a couple years. Due to circumstances beyond my control, gave up the business and ended up in the building and development industry working for one of my clients. Started in general labor pool and moved all around the company, doing many different things. Now, I'm a senior superintendent, I run multiple jobs at the same time, help out with other areas of the company, and am rarely bored. I have 2 cell phones, a lap top computer and stay pretty darn busy most days. Funny thing is many who have gotten to know me say that what I do would drive them nuts. I honestly have more fun than I should, and although it is not easy, I thrive on the challenges that confront me every day.

Funny thing is I keep a log/diary of work to track what is going on. It is almost impossible to read what I write in the book. I also track what goes on with a digital camera, with date/time posted on the photos. I am probably severely dysgraphic, and ADD as well. Outside of periodic bouts of seeing that I am writing a letter in reverse, mentally knowing I am doing it, and still not being able to fix it (weird), I survive the continued teasing about my writing by my peers and employer. People are pretty nice most of the time, and don't mean to hurt feelings. Often I just ask the tellers at the bank to fill out the deposit slip, and they always oblige (I don't explain anything). My memory is pretty sharp, I rely on my wit and people skills. By the way, picked up spanish along the way in high school, so being fluent in spanish in the construction industry of southern ca has been a huge tool.

When we went thru fighting with our school district over our son in the elementary school years, it really became abundantly clear I had ld issues. It took one of the psychiatrists evaluating our son to point a finger at me and tell us "without even testing you, you are as severe or worse than your son regarding ld matters". Well, in an ironic sense, the district deserved me. I was incapable of accepting matters as they were, and we proceeded to battle for years. As most of you know, all the way thru Federal Court, with no lawyer. Sometimes the ld factors can be an advantage, but hindsight certainly has taught me more than I ever imagined. Trying to stay on task, follow procedures etc. was a real tough one for me. Researching the laws, networking and trying to find help came a little easier; although, help was not easy to come by.

Parenting, as an ld parent of an ld child has had it's challenges too. Fortunately, my wife has a closet full of referee shirts (ha ha), and the ability to sense when our ld's tend to cloud the issues and can somehow help clear things up.

So much for the history lesson. You wanted to know about other parents with ld's... here I am.

Our son is almost 20 now. He's in local jc and working almost full time. Seems to have many of the same issues I did, but really has a love for the school where he is (proper placement makes a huge difference). So, although he is still at home (with periodic threats of moving out), here, we have 2 semi-adults with ld, one happens to be the parent :)

Andy

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 16, 2014
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Posted:Feb 18, 2002 11:44:07 AM

Wow, what a great story. I see myself and my husband in many things that you say as well. It is too bad for us older adults that we had to go through school as the "slow ones" without much assitance but most of us have been successful by adapting and working around our disabilities even though we didn't know we had them. Luckily for our children things can be better for them because we can identify whats going on with them most of the time. Congratulations on your successes and good help with your son.

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 16, 2014
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Posted:Feb 18, 2002 11:59:17 PM

What motivated me was caring for my children. I knew when they failed their failure would be blamed on them by their schools. I also knew they, like most children, don't want to fail.

What motivates my son is beyond my understanding. I think he drives himself because he doesn't want to find his limits. He doesn't want to be dyslexic and dysgraphic and if can do well in school, he can keep telling himself it doesn't matter that he is.

School isn't for everybody. There have been great minds who never went to school or never did well in it. Bill Gates is a college dropout. Aristotle never had a Ph. D in philosophy. In these modern times, we act as if school has a monopoly on learning but it doesn't. People can learn outside of school and some, perhaps many, learn even better outside of school than in it.

Einstein hated school and did poorly at it.Not all scholars need to go to school.

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 16, 2014
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 11:30:10 AM

"In these modern times, we act as if school has a monopoly on learning but it doesn't. People can learn outside of school and some, perhaps many, learn even better outside of school than in it."

Amen!

Karen

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 16, 2014
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Posted:Feb 19, 2002 2:31:51 PM

I am impressed with all the success stories! Thank You very much. You all represent alot of strategies that you've used to succeed. I also believe LD's can be an advantage. It can steer you down roads that others who have learned to "conform" (brainwashed) with an education, won't risk traveling.
My oldest son, (who I posted re: homework) reminds me of the mindset alot of you writers have had . He has a stubborn nature - good & bad. Whens he is interested He gives 150%. He has the charisma of a successful politian. He has tons of friends, including teachers, coaches. He rarely gets into trouble at school because if he does anything wrong, He'll sincerely apologize, then maybe wink & smile. He has been referred to as "Mr. Middle School".
Although he is small in stature for his age, he has loved sports since he was 2 years old. He in an incredible golfer, who received special awards in middle School and made the varsity team in HS as a freshman. (1600 student population - hard to make any team!!) In middle school, height prevented him from making the Basketball team so for 2 years he was the "announcer" for the games. With LD's in decoding, He read every name into the microphone in front of hundreds of people. - he may not of finished his homework on those nights but I always felt he was exceeding himself in other ways. I envied his calmness in front of these crowds & the way he handled himself. He is intelligent but mainly gets D's on his report cards. I believe he can could do better but the price of his great spirit was not worth it.(that does not mean I'm giving up on homework/studies totally - but look at it from a different perspective). I've always said He'll know someone, who knows someone to get a job if He was ever desperate. If he is interested, they'd never want him to leave. If He wants to get through college, we'll find a way.
Also Exciting ... His Sped. Teacher this year is early 20's. She called me to introduce herself stating, "I am your sons Sped. Teacher but want you to refer to me as his Sped. Advocate. I am here to help him learn to advocate for himself and here for you if you need anything. If he wants to go to college he will, there are ways. I am dyslexic with ld's in Language Arts areas. I graduated from college with a degree in English & communications. I'm going for my masters right now in English. " How times have changed and hopefully continue to change. Having Educators with open LD's is a big change from 20 years ago, what value can be added!!. Heres to the what the next 20 years will bring !! Thank You All for not giving up !
PS . My husband still feels "alone" sometimes, with the teasing he gets (-only he understands his organization, spelling,etc.) - but he still managed to become an owner of his own company and with over 2 million in sales. He is not afraid to ask questions and comes away from conversations with information I could never get. He lets issues role off his back, and moves forward. His motto is to just keep going. His LD's have been a blessing, its made him stronger and not afraid to be a risk taker. --the cell phone is his means to everything, I've told him I could get some velcro and we could stick it to his head, if it would help find his wallet, keys, folders,coffee, phone numbers ! ha ha

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