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View Diary: KosAbility: Misdiagnosis: Failure to Try (58 comments)

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  •  Thanks for a good diary (12+ / 0-)

    on the topic.  As a university professor I've had all kinds of kids with different learning disabilities passing through my classroom. That "failure to try" thing is a killer, because, if anything, a lot of them are trying so hard, with so little result, that it plunges them into depression.  I formed a good relationship with the office that assisted students with learning disabilities and usually, once they were assessed, we could come up with strategies to allow them to successfully complete the work in my courses.

    And, honestly, I hate calling them learning disabilities. I honestly think differently-abled is a better description. I had students whose dyslexia prevented them from learning to read, but who could remember every word of my lectures and who were so smart about asking questions that it took me half the semester to figure out they hadn't actually cracked the book. My partner has severe ADHD, but he's a whiz at languages (including computer languages) and has perfect pitch and memory for music.  

    The key, I believe, is training teachers to recognize patterns in individual students, so that strengths and weaknesses can be measured, and students can come up with successful coping strategies that allow them to excel.

    "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

    by hepshiba on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 02:45:12 PM PDT

    •  Where were you when I was at uni? n/t (6+ / 0-)

      Some people make you want to change species

      by ulookarmless on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 02:50:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I did was actually not popular (8+ / 0-)

        among my colleagues, many of whom were scornful of students who claimed learning disabilities and treated them like they were somehow shirking their school work.

        Then again, I thought many of my colleagues were neither observant nor interested enough to pay that kind of careful attention to their students, and some simply did not have the opportunity or resources.  I was blessed with small classes, for the most part -- those disabilities would have been very hard to spot in a large lecture class.  And because my own brain is very peculiar (dyslexia and dysnomia + near perfect visual retention and hyperfocus), I think I was able to be more generous and less critical of people whose cognitive functions did not match stated norms.

        "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

        by hepshiba on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:23:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I spent most of my life grounded (11+ / 0-)

      all because of one bad grade on my report card: Math. I'd be grounded until the next quarter, no matter how many A's were there they were 'invisible' in the face of that one grade.
      I spent a lot of that time depressed, and my favorite year was my senior year when I just refused to take any math courses. I had the credits I needed to graduate (somehow, still now sure how I managed to pull that off), and I just said "enough". My dad wasn't happy, he wanted me to take Calculus, never mind I'd failed Trig and pre-Calc abysmally.
      I spent my senior year full of English, History, Comp courses, etc and was very happy, and made high honors every quarter.
      I am so glad I had those two teachers who helped me through the rough years, and my college professor who finally put a name to my struggle, and a valid reason for it.
      And yes that "failure to try" was always depressing, and frustrating because I was doing the best I could without it being recognized. And that only increased my panic over math in general, which only served to aggravate things further. My dad, unfortunately had always loved math and been good at it, which didn't help either.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 03:01:21 PM PDT

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      •  LOL. I can SO relate! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexandra Lynch, FloridaSNMOM

        I sometimes joke to people that I took my M.Div. because it was the only Masters that didn't require math and stats.

        But it's not really a joke.  I have every one of the symptoms you list above, have never been able to do math (despite being in the advanced math courses in HS and doing above average...I'd forget everything I know within days of the final exam).

        Like you, I cannot remember numbers to repeat them long enough to dial a phone number, nor do I remember them to dial family (or sometimes even my own) from memory.  I have no musical ability, altho Ive tried many times.

        "Because inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened." -Terry Pratchett

        by revsue on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 07:15:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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