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Three Questions About Being A Learning Disabled Adult


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Jul 19, 2002 at 7:29:49 AM
Subject: Three Questions About Being A Learning Disabled Adult

<HTML>Hi, I have three questions about being a LD adult:

1. Am I the only one left who still considers ADD and/or ADHD to be a learning disability?

2. Am I the only one who thinks that the whole "specific disability" thing is dangerous?

3. Am I the only one who is worried about the trend to call our disability "learning differences"?</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Jul 19, 2002 1:01:42 PM

<HTML>Rob,

I'm a stickler for accuracy in language. LD pisses me off too. Learning difference is also inacurate because there is no real evidence that we learn any differntly than anyone else. Hence learning difficulty or learning impaired would be more accurate.

Being the mistrustful paranoid type that I am I see a more sinister motive for the stupid Mary Sunshine like nomenclature. If it's not a disability in the legal sense the denial of benefits is next. Learnig differences is a term that can placate parents who can't handle the fact that their kids are not on the honor roll.

A lot of terms in this industry are bastardized to the dettriment of the LD victim

If you don't know the "why" of something it usually has something to do with money.

You are right to be wary of jibberish being past off as gospel.The brain remains a mystery so what steams me is when the experts don't know the facts they replace them with conjecture.</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Jul 19, 2002 9:42:17 PM

<HTML>1. Am I the only one left who still considers ADD and/or ADHD to be a learning disability?

No! I firmly believe ADD or ADHD is a learning disability. To me,it is ludicrious to think a person with ADHD is not in need of special educational services. Of course I am coming at it from a sped advocate point of view. Ironicly I went to a conference years back,Rick Lavoie was there and his lecture was entitled ADHD/LD children,or something along those lines. Anyway I remember on a break asking the question,when is he going to talk about ADHD kids? Once back in and I resumed listening to him I realized he doesn't make a differentiation between the two,because simply said,they both are as in need of help as each other would be.But here is the catch. It doesn't matter what we think. Until the federal government see's this,until they allow an educational plan to improve outcomes for ADD and ADHD kids,it won't matter. BTW there is a huge movement,lots of state reps,and a senate bill in place to remove Other health impaired category from IDEA. This category in IDEA is the only area an ADHD kid can acquire services in public school.


2. Am I the only one who thinks that the whole "specific disability" thing is dangerous?


It can be dangerous in the sense that one would limit needs,by virtue of using specific category,this in regards again to services.

3. Am I the only one who is worried about the trend to call our disability "learning differences"?


disability,differences,impaired,whatever you call it,it matters what the attitude is behind the term. It can appear to place a sense of less importance to it,I suppose,but,when it can't be seen it doesn't really exist anyway. Just ask thousands of educators.</HTML>

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Jul 20, 2002 12:32:07 AM

<HTML>In my opinion I view ADHD/ADD as a seperate deficit but contributing deficit to LD or vice versa. The idea of specific learning disability is new to me, I assume it is a clearer diagnosis of the deficit (I.e. auditory processing). In my opinion I think that it is a large step forward to specifically attempt to pinpoint a persons difficulties vs placing a generic label on them and engage in no further investigation. (I hope I assumed right about this)

Learning difference, Learning Disability, Barney. In my opinion they are simply that - words, unfortunatley words can hold alot of power when we allow them to, I've seen and experienced it. Words only have power when we give them power over our lives and surcum to societal views and stereotypes. I have LD but it has never hindered me, maybe shaped me into who I am but not controlled me. So in my life people can call me whatever they want, I'll still be plain, old Brad.</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 20, 2002 8:32:54 AM

<HTML>Dear AA, Ball, Socks, and Brad,

Thanks for your quick response to my inquiry! Here's a bit more clarification as to why I ask these questions and as to my position of these subjects:

1. ADD and ADHD as disabilities vs. symptoms

Not only do I not understand why someone, (I don't know who) decided that it was important to make this distinction, but I simply do not understand what possible difference it can make. I feel that I am missing something that most people seem to grasp just fine. I've met plenty of people who I would diagnose with either ADD and/or ADHD but all of a sudden, this diagnosis is no longer available to me, just because some brainiack decided it no longer exists! Just yesterday I had to explain to a mother, "Your son has what we used to call ADHD." She asked, "What do you call it now"? and I didn't know what to tell her. I guess my real question is, who makes these decisions, and why do we seem to so complacently buy into them?

2. Specific learning disabilites

It is my fear that the current trend toward specific learning disabilities dissavows the notion that our symptomology profoundly effects every area of our lives, and not just our ability to function adaptively in either academia or on our jobs. In other words, it is my strong belief that a learning disability, is a learning disability, is a learning disability. To break it down into specifics may be useful in the treatment of one or more of its symptoms, but I still believe that the concept of specific disabilities runs contrary to our understanding that having a learning disability profoundly effects the totality of our lives. For example, my specific disabilities are dyslexia and ADD, but it is the fact that I am a learning disabled adult that truly captures who I am. For me, it is the difference between the weather, and the climate. The weather, (my specific disability) may describe what I am experiencing right now, but the climate, (the fact that I am a learning disabled adult), best describes me.

3. Learning differences

This is why I have such a problem with the whole notion of learning differences.
To imply that our only problem is that we learn differently, again, dissavows the impact that our disability has had on the totality of our lives, and therefore, (at least in my own mind), implies that it is we who are at fault for who we are, and that it is we who are to blame for our dysfunction outside of the academic or vocational arenas.

Rob</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 20, 2002 9:50:17 AM

<HTML>
OKAY NOW YOU LOST ME. Since when has it been said that ADHD does not exist?

In regards to the definition of a learning disability vs. ADHD I suppose we have DR. Barkley and CHADD to thank for the distinction in regards to federal rights and laws. This group worked so long and hard to convince the federal government that ADHD was a neurological impairment and in need of educational accomodations under 504. They pushed for it,and the only way to get civil rights for millions of people this was the way to do it. Other health impaired classification under IDEA was a way to help a person in school recieve not only accomodations but services to help them develop things such as organizational skills and behavior managment plans. Unfortunately due to the guru's research based opinions this effectively seperated the two from each other even more. A learning disability is a neurological impairment right? How things got confused I have yet to come up with a theory about that.

Again coming from the sped advocate point of view,these changes are reflective directly from the laws that are suppose to protect us..

Having a specific again is reflective of the laws that protect our children,or ourselves. To meet criteria for eligibilty one must or one would find it easier to recieve needed help from the public sector,if a specific was stated. BUT I am in total agreement that focusing in on a specific is definitely self limiting and does not adequately reflect the needs of the whole individual. Unfortunately many a parent has gotten totally obsessed with the concept of,this is what is wrong,pay for this therapy,or remedial program and your kid is cured.

Maybe it is from being a product of this society,of pay enough and things will be okay. In my estimation the old adage the best things in life are free,works.</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 21, 2002 8:34:19 PM

<HTML>To all who are reading this thread,

It just makes sense that any affliction that significantly hampers one's ability to achieve academically should be legally catagorized as a learning "disability". No debate no details, no word games and no psycho-babble... The proper application of common sense would work wonders. I'm so sick of the bullship.</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 21, 2002 11:22:46 PM

<HTML>1. Am I the only one left who still consideres ADD/ADHD to be a learning disabilitiy?
Truthfully, I've never understood the definitions that our law-makers have devised to refer to people who struggle in school and beyond. However, according to federal law, ADD and ADHD are not considered a learning disability (or grounds to receive special education services). The really wierd thing about the whole thing is that if you have a learning disability and ADD/ADHD you can receive services specifically to help with difficulties related to ADD/ADHD.
2. Am I the only one who thinks the specific disability thing is dangerous?
Yes! The term LD is very broad and has never really been difined because it refers to a very diverse group of people. The simple truth is that everyone is an idnividual. In my experiences as an adult with an LD and a special education teacher, I have never run into anyone who has exactly the same set of strengths and weaknesses. Sorting people into specific disabilities results in the loss of the individual. Why can't we jsut help the people who need help and forget about what we should call them!
3. Am I the only one who's worried about the trend to call our disability "learning differences"?
People in the field of special education tent to change their names for things all the time. They can't make up thier minds about what is really politically correct. Although I haven't run into too many people who who regurally use "learning differences" I do worry that its use will cause people to write off the seriousness of peoples' prodblems. LD effects the day-to-day aspects of a person's live. In this way, it is a disability.</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 23, 2002 12:08:22 AM

<HTML>What do you call 10,000 dead lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? ans.... A good start... Of course this is an over simplification. I'd like to see them all die of a sun burn. A heart attack is not a good option because in order to have a heart attack you need to have a heart. The weasels that come up with stupid oppressive laws are lawyers. It is so maddening. I took a course that studied the national electrical code. One would think that the NEC is there to safeguard lives. It does not. It helps put money in the hand of manfacturers. One would think that the lawyers and engineers that wrote it were a lot smarter than you and me. The fact is it was written by a committee of machavelian chimpanzees. The same holds true for the obtuse legal definitions we are forced to contend with.

Now take it a step further. what if in all the lables and diagnosis were accurate? Then what? Accomodation? Who will do it and how? Certianly not the festering sores we laughingly refer to as vocational rehab counselors. How should accomodation be implemented? Will anyone ask us? Hell no!! Why not? Because we know our needs.

The elegant solution for employment: Employers need productive employees but LDers aren't always as productive. As it stands now all the burden for ADA compliance falls on the employer. That is unfair. Why not ask our government before that illegally elected coup de tage police state peice of cow flop coke snortin insider trading puppet dictator brain dead disciple of the new world order and skull and bones bone-head destroys civilization as we know it, to compensate employers for hiring the handicapped.

a true patriot,

Ball</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 23, 2002 12:19:43 AM

<HTML>I think the implilcations of having a learning disability do cross many boundries (I.e. having ADD affects your ability to follow lessons in school, maintain your attention while working or foolwing social cues which in turn affects our relationshiops), unfortunatelty still today this is not the view. The real key is education of society which hopefully would lead to understanding. I think we are slowly getting there.

I do disagree with your comment about specific learning disabilities though. I think specically identifying the deficit will assist the individual in identifying their strengths and needs. I think more importantly there won't be a broad label to slap on people and cluster them into a group. Moving away from larger blanket diagnoses to specific ones is another step away from segregation. I'm not a learning disabled man but a man who happens to have learning disabilities. Big difference.

Thanks for the good questions. They really make us analyse ourselves and more importantly discuss ethics surrounding our learning disabilities, which is something usually not thought about.</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 24, 2002 9:11:13 AM

<HTML>Actually the question of learning disability and learning difference came up on my add/inattentive son's 6th grade sp.ed eval. Given all the ranges of average, low, broad, below, that were on my son's results, the computer readout came up with the sentence that my son's results indicated a 'learning difference' not a disability.
He was qualified under the ohi in 4th grade for sp.ed and in the 6th grade(new school), the sp.ed teacher requalified him under his low processing score and the history, struggles we went through to get him into sp.ed, actually arguing this to her supervisor.
Honestly, although I have asked lots of questions on the parenting bb before, I still don't feel all that comfortable with the conclusions. However, as long as he is still getting what he needs I will see what happens when we get to the next eval.</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 25, 2002 10:52:13 PM

<HTML>AA:

I absolutely agree about LD being a life impacting issue. I hate it when I tell people I have LD and they say, "Oh, but you seem so bright" or something to that affect. It's hard to tell these people that it's not a measure of "smartness". To me, it involves that we process things with more difficulty. And it's not just in school or even just at work. It affects your everyday lives, such as an interaction with a store clerk or trying to figure your way around a crowded area. I know I have a very hard time when there are lots of people around me or I'm in a small store with many display areas all about. I was retested a few months ago and I was really disappointed. Sure, it helped me figure out some of the academic difficulties, such as whjy it's hard for me to keep up with notetaking during a class lecture. However, I wish there was more help for those who also experience problems outside of school/work. If such a thing exists, I apologize for my lack of knowledge. That has been my experience. I also wish there was transitional services from college to work. Again, I don't know if this exists because I was in a relatively small school.

Sorry for the ranting. I have always believed in the treatment of the whole person for LD or for any kind of disability.

Thanks for listening!!

Christine</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 25, 2002 11:07:17 PM

<HTML>Okay, now I've got myself all confused!! I just said to AA that learning disabilities affect all life aspects. However, Brad, your point is also excellent. I'm not clear yet on the actual definition of "specific learning disability". However, it is good to know where specific problems are so that you can be helped and can get the best accommodations for you in school or work. I bet it can even help with those other daily life routines.

I'm not a professional by any means, so I don't think it's really fair for me to offer any suggestions to these professionals. I wonder if it's possible to diagnose a "specific learning disability" without ignoring the overall impact on that person's daily living.

Just a thought!

Chrsitine</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 25, 2002 11:21:47 PM

<HTML>An excellent thought and point Christine</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Sep 17, 2002 1:49:16 PM

<HTML>Overall I don't have any issues with being LD and BD. LD is cognitive and BD is emotional (in some states they have ED, but in IL they dont). I am LD and BD. The LD covers the way I learn, which I completely agree with the "learn differently" label to incorrect because no one person learns the same, but I find when I have to explain it to people (like my friends because I am very open about my disabilities) it is easier to just say "think of LD as learn differently" but then I always go into and explain how I learn differently. I explain to them that I am a VERY visual learner and if you lecture me on a subject I won't get it what so ever and my other disabilities. Now on the BD leave, I am ADD and I have clinical depression. Being ADD is not a learning disability, its a behavior that can make learning harder.

And please keep in mind that I am not a professional, I am just speaking from personal experience. And honestly my brother, mom and I have ADD and it varies between us. So you can go out and read all the books about ADD or LD you want, but you arent going to get the full picture or most of the picture until you see it for yourself and how it really varies. Just like autistism...I could read all the books I wanted but it would not help me work with the autistic child who beats me up when i go do therapy with him.</HTML>

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Anonymous
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Posted:Nov 21, 2002 2:55:08 AM

<HTML>I can't remember the three questions and am not going to go back to reread them because what I want to say fits in with the discussion, so that's what I consider important right now.

I know I have memory problems. I know I have problems with imagery, both visual and auditory. I know I have trouble dealing with several things simultaneously. One reason that I interrupt is because I can't pay attention and hold a thought at the same time. I know I have problems with coordination and with organization. I get very overwhelmed. I know I have trouble with reading comprehension when material is technical. I also know that I can't concentrate when there is talking in the background. I know that I have trouble copying movement patterns and that I've had left right confusion. I also know that I haven't worked for the past five years because I could no longer tolerate the stress. I was having many physical problems.

What I don't know is why I have the problems that I have and what I can do about them. Yes, there are things that I've done, and I am doing better than I used to do. But this isn't enough! I want to know specifically what is wrong and what I can do about what is wrong..

I'm 60 years old. Too much of my life has been wasted. I want to do productive things in my remaining years. I feel that having specific information will help me. I need to know what can be changed and how.

In some ways, I feel like I sound like a brat. I'm not a brat. I've worked hard. I have two masters degrees. They were stressful to achieve. Yet I haven't had the success in my careers that I wanted. My problems got in the way.

I am planning to have neuropsychological testing. I'm waiting for a referral which my psychiatrist is trying to get for me.

Although I have the problems that I have, I'm very bright. I'd like to write a book. I'd like to design learning materials. I'd like to use my talents, but I feel hampered by learning problems that I don't fully understand, and that have resulted in very low self-esteem.

There's something else. I've never gotten the help I've needed. Throughout school, I never got any assistance. I never had even one tutoring session, although I did take a prep class for the SATs. As an adult I've had psychotherapy and did have some learning disability help, but it wasn't enough. Most of what I've achieved in relation to my learning problems, I've struggled for on my own. And what's frustrating is how many of the problems still remain.</HTML>

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