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Does this sound like LD?


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Mar 06, 2003 at 9:09:07 PM
Subject: Does this sound like LD?

Greetings, I am in third year electrical engineering at Ottawa U. I am worried that I might have a learning disability. This worry is supported by the following evidence :

1) Bad Marks
I've been getting bad marks since before I started in University. It takes _all_ of my effort to even get a good enough mark to get by. Now that im in my third year of studies, I desperately want to break this pattern, because I am studying all the time, and not retaining what I am learning well enough.

2) Muddled Thinking
Very often my friends will comment on how my thinking doesn't make sense, I'll lose track of things easily and not be able to follow through with points well.

3) Genetics
My father had some mental illnesses, and though myself and my siblings are "normal", all of us have difficulty in school.

My bad marks are not the result of stupidity. I have at least an above average intelligence, as reported by many IQ tests (some online, two from early and middle school) but my marks still remain bad. My question is, if I do have a learning disability, what could it be, how could I identify it, and rectify it? Is there any help for people who have learning disabilities, or do they just "work around it" ?

Thank you for your time.

Charles.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 26, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Mar 07, 2003 12:12:07 AM

Charles,
It sounds like it would be of benefit to you to investigate further whether you have an LD or maybe ADD. (I wasn't diagnosed until my third year of college, when I just could not compensate any more by taking more time -- I ran out of time.) I felt a lot better when I found out what was causing my difficulties.) Does your University have a learning disabilities services? If so, I'd contact them first. They may be able to talk to you about your specific difficulties, and tell you more about whether it might be an LD, and they can recommend someone who can do the testing. Testing involves doing an IQ test, and some other tests. If there is not an LD services, ask through the health system for a referral. There is no pill for LD, but there are some study strategies you can learn to help you retain information better, and you may be able to get accommodations that can help you -- for instance, extended time on exams, a reduced course load, and maybe a learning tutor or academic coach to help you learn and practice strategies that will help. If Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a problem, there are medications that can help. (LD and ADD/ADHD often occur together.)
If reading is a problem, there are some software packages that use OCR and voice synthesis (text to speech) to read electronic text aloud to you while it highlights the text being read on the monitor. They also have other study and writing tools. Most are expensive (around $1000) because they combine so many software tools, but there is one simple package that is a free shareware version you can download, with a range of features available for purchase. I've found the freeware a bit ackward to use, but you might want to try it to see if it helps. The downside is that it requires getting files into electronic text form, which proably means scanning a lot. You can get demos of all the following software packages to see if they help you. Look at the websites for:
.
Kurzweil 3000 ($1100; you can request a 30 day demo CD for free) -- Has the big advantage of being able convert image files (such as .pdf files) electronically, without re-scanning the material. Settings are easy to work with.

WYNN (by Freedom Scientific; about $995) -- Versitile, many tools, easy to use, and very easy to adjust settings to your preferences. Can't yet read .pdf files, but (like Kurzweil) can scan two columns of text, or books, and rotate images. You can request a demo CD, or download it from the website (but it is a very big file)..

Cast -- I haven't tried this one yet. You can download a demo at their site.

ReadPlease, by Text Help, has the free version available by download, and various packages combining different levels of features for purchase.

Find out about testing. LD has nothing to do with intelligence, and is not a mental illness.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 26, 2014
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Posted:Mar 07, 2003 9:52:28 AM

THere's help, it's worth checking out :)

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 26, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Mar 08, 2003 4:20:35 PM

Sure sounds like it could be an LD. There is help available! Do yourself the favor of finding out. It is worth the effort, and you deserve it. Be encouraged! You can get the help you need to make your marks better and your life less stressful. Go find out. And let us know how we can support you.

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Anonymous
Joined Nov 26, 2014
Posts: 69138

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Posted:Mar 16, 2003 11:18:06 PM

Charles,

Hi Charles,

I suggest you make an appointment with counseling services in your school, to discuss your concerns and to get a referral to someone who can evaluate your learning needs. Who have you talked with so far about your academic trouble? Have you talked with your professors?

I'm curious about something: What is happening when your friends tell you your thinking "isn't making sense" ? Are they referring to your approach to solving an academic problem? For example, are you unable to hold the information in your memory long enough to actually work with it on, say, a mathematical problem? If not that, are you talking about sounding confused (to friends) in general conversation, just not following along? Do you simply not understand the topic, or do you forget to listen? It might be helpful if you could describe what happens to your counselor, just so he or she gets a feel for what you're experiencing. It must be very frustrating for you to get that kind of feedback when you are working so hard.

You're right...if you are in your 3rd year of engineering school, even if you're having trouble, you are plenty bright! How old are you? You owe it to yourself to talk to someone who can help you figure out where you go from here, so you can get back on track or maybe on a different one. Maybe you need a tutor, maybe you need to take something over, maybe you need to consider taking fewer classes each term...Are you working, along with attending school? That could sure mess with your study time! Maybe problems of another sort are getting in your way. Why not make an appointment today, and get this sorted out? Best wishes JJ

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