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Throughout school, I have always tried to be a good student and would constantly put in a tremendous amount of effort to keep up with the material of my classes. I’m 20 years old and recently had to withdraw from my classes at University of Wisconsin-Madison due to my frustration with school. I’ve been put on medication for depression and General Anxiety Disorder although I’m not certain it is helping.

Ever since this has happened, I’ve been re-examining my past as a student from grade school all the way to high school. I would get good grades but I would have to put in many extra hours to keep up. It seems like I would memorize the information required of me through constant repetition, take the test on the information from the class, and then forget all the material after. I could never remember details from books and would constantly have to highlight almost every sentence and then return to it through repetition until what was read was ready to be spit back out on an exam.

My social life suffered because I always seemed to be studying and never found very much time to discover what actually interested me in life because my nose was hidden in a book.

Here are some of the problems I’m discovering about myself: inability to do mental math; difficulty understanding percentages, decimals, fractions, measuring, and financing; difficulty remembering numbers; difficulty retaining information that I’ve read; difficulty concentrating in a noisy environment; inability to understand abstract concepts; poor vocabulary; difficulty with writing and expression; difficulty reading maps and poor sense of direction; difficulty trying to navigate and remember directions/street signs while driving; and the list goes on. Is it possible that I may have an undiagnosed learning disability?

Emily Whitlock


Yes, yes, yes. Sadly, you describe someone (yourself) who has had to struggle with unrecognized and untreated learning disabilities. Find a way to be evaluated. Then, find out how to get help. Should you return to college, these studies will open the door for better services and accommodations. Don’t give up. Find out what the problem is and act.

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