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Hitting Walls


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69140
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Posted Apr 08, 2003 at 10:59:00 PM
Subject: Hitting Walls

I am LD in mathematics processing, reasoning, and calculation. I am freshman in college and at my university all students must take a placement exam for language and math before the schoolyear starts. At that time, I was undiagnosed (I wasn't tested until Dec 2002) and I was placed into the lowest rememdial meth class offered at the university. I failed this class and was tested (since this class was a joke to everyone as we did "easy" things). Now that I know I am LD, I have tried to get accomodations in my math classes, but university policy is that if you test into a remedial class, you must pass the remedial class to move up. After this lowest class, I will have another remedial class and then finally a class that will count towards my degree. But, the university only offered me minimal accomodations such as longer exam time and a calculator, but my biggest problem with math is remembering how to solve the equations, a calculator can't fix that. Many of the general education courses require having completed the higher remedial math class, since I failed, I had to declare my major as a freshman in order to take classes that would count towards something. It just seems that everywhere I turn I hit a wall and there's nothing I can do about it. Its frustrating.........

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 24, 2014
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Posted:Apr 09, 2003 2:45:45 PM

If the office for disability and ld personnel at this school cannot help you, I think you should cut your losses and consider going to a university that will help you. You do not want to waste time and money and then never graduate. What school is this? I want to make sure that I do not send my son to a university like this.

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 24, 2014
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Posted:Apr 10, 2003 2:01:01 PM

Robby,

I feel your pain and frustration!!!! I am in my jr yr of college and when I first started out I went to a community college because my family thougtht that I couldnt handle a university. I as well had to take a placement test and was placed in the lowest class. I had to take 3 remedial math classes before I even got to take a math class at a 100 level that would even count on my transcript.
I had no problem passing the first two classes but the third one took me 4 trys before I passed the class. It wasnt until this past summer that I finally passed the class. The college could only offer me extra time on tests due to laws. There are no laws that allow accomodations for those with processing disabilities in subject matter. I know that it is very frusterating and does a number on your self esteem. Beleive me I spent many nights troughing my book across the room and in tears. My best advice for you is to find a tutor, if your school has a math center take full advantage of it. I have even asked friends who are good in math to help me. Also talking to the professor helps alot too. Some are more then willing to work with you to make sure that you pass their class. Feel free to email me anytime with questions or just to vent... I know exactly where you are coming from. doe316@hotmail.com. Hope that you dont feel so alone anymore... Keep trying you will get there if you just put your mind to it.
Amy

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 24, 2014
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Posted:Apr 13, 2003 3:53:37 AM

Robby,

Both June and Amy give good advice. I think if I were you, I would give serious thought to finding a college or university willing to work with LD students in a more constructive and helpful way. I know how really frustrating and infuriating all those double-binds and catch-22s are, but also how hard it may be to think about trying to start over somewhere else, let alone do the research to find the right college, and go through applying again. (I 'm thinking I most likely will not be back next year at the school I'm at now because the LD office is so bad.)

It really depends on how determined you are to stay where you are. Despite a lack of support from the LD office, I have found individual professors, instructors, and teaching assistants willing to work with me if they know what's going on, and in some classes this has made all the difference. I've started giving each prof/instructor/TA a copy of my LD documentation, including detailed discussion of specific problem areas. It seems to help them grasp my LD in more concrete terms, "get" that it's "real," and even think about different approaches (sometimes specific to the material) that may help me. But this is a personal decision, and different profs and the atmosphere of your school may make it more or less appropriate.

If you want to stay where you are, I'd definitely work closely with professors and TAs. Make sure they know what's going on. Show up at their office hours often, prepared to go over the material, so they know who you are and how determined you are.

(My freshman year I was such a regular at the early morning office hours of my math TA -- who was always eating breakfast when I arrived -- that after a while he started bringing coffee and doughnuts for me as well. Besides the free breakfasts, it paid off in my final grade . After all those hours of discussing the concepts and working through practice problems, he knew I understood the material, but just couldn't get through the calculations without errors. On the final exam I got half-way through a big problem, and I knew I had the numbers all tangled up. So instead of continuing the calculations using numbers I knew were wrong, I wrote an essay explaining what I would do at each step (if I had the right number), and why. The TA knew my pattern, and gave me almost full credit based on the conceptual understanding -- the essay -- even without all the actual calculations or the expected numerical answer.)

But even if you find good professors/TAs, if you aren't getting good support from the LD office or university administration, it gets really frustrating and tiring to always be at the mercy of each new professor, and of people who make and enforce Catch-22 rules that exclude anyone outside the norm. Think about how you are going to feel after 4 years at this school, given the level of support you can expect, and weigh that against. what it would take to find a more supportive environment and to make a move. There's nothing wrong with deciding that this school just isn't the best match for you. College is supposed to be challening, but it's not supposed to be hell.

Don't put yourself through torture that isn't necessary. There are good schools with good support for LDs. Lots of earlier messages on this forumn discuss good (and bad) schools, and ways to find information about them, so browse.

Good luck.
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Anonymous
Joined Apr 24, 2014
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Posted:Apr 16, 2003 2:38:28 PM

I go to the UT Chattanooga, the disabilities office is a joke unless the student is physically disabled. I have called around other universities in Tennessee but all have mediocre disabilities accomodations. Unfortunately for me, I come from a working class family and I have no choice but to attend a state school. I hope your son has better luck than me.

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Anonymous
Joined Apr 24, 2014
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Posted:Apr 19, 2003 1:09:15 PM

I understand what you are going through. There may be a solution and that is the program that Lindamood-Bell puts out called 'On Cloud Nine', this program helps you visualize numbers and then you can visualize steps for multi-step problems. It is worth a try. Go on their website and learn more.

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