- HEREDITY MATTERS

- KEEPING IT SIMPLE

- THE HARDEST PART

- CHALLENGES FOR LEARNING DISABLED ADULTS

- COMMENTS BY LEARNING DISABLED PARENTS

HEREDITY MATTERS

What psychiatrists, psychologists and other experts who diagnose or provide services for learning different children have found to be true is that research has confirmed that learning disabilities are often inherited.  Frequently we discover that the children identified with Specific Learning Disabilities or with Attention Deficit Disorder have parents who faced the same challenges when they were in school.  Most often, the parentís disability went unidentified Ė they simply failed in school.  Frequently these parents continue to face challenges in the workplace and relationships in which these learning problems continue.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

In this section of the FAMILY MATTERS FOUNDATION website,

issues affecting learning disabled or learning different children will be described in simple, easy to understand language, leaving out the abbreviations and terminology of Special Education.

An example of how this part of the website will look is below:

HOW WILL THIS WEBSITE BE DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS IíVE TRIED?

  • We hope that parents will send in questions that they just canít find the answers to - anywhere
  • The answers will be here, using everyday words

  • Ideas so you can help your kids will be easy to understand and listed to print out and read again

  • Weíll recommend things you can do to help yourself remember

  1. things about work

  2. current events

  3. and other things that you might want to remember

Weíll give you some little tricks to help you feel good at the next meeting you go to

*          *          *

THE HARDEST PARTS

Particularly challenging situations for these Learning Different parents are:

  • Meetings with a childís teacher at school; hearing that the child is doing poorly in one or more subjects

  • Feeling inadequate when asked by a son or daughter to help with a homework assignment

  • Feelings anxious when called by an administrator because a child has behaved inappropriately; going to the principalís office to hear about the actions and consequences

  • Sitting through an SST Meeting (Student Study Team) or IEP Meeting (Individualized Education Program), with educators and administrators; experiencing difficulty with abbreviations and terminology; feeling confused when asked questions relating to a childís diagnostic testing or academic plan

Challenges for Learning Different Adults

  • The reluctance of employers to promote them because, either their written or oral skills are lacking

  • Feelings of inadequacy when asked to speak in front of co-workers about topics which they feel confident or even innovations which theyíve developed

  • Feeling uneasy about asking for a promotion or raise; that they somehow donít deserve it.

COMMENTS BY LEARNING DIFFERENT/DISABLED PARENTS:

  • If I donít understand something at a meeting I go to for my son, Iím way too embarrassed to say anything. 

  • In an IEP meeting for our daughter, the school psychologist hands me a copy of her test [assessment] results.  I have no idea what any of these scores mean.

  • Neither does my wife.

  • Iíve never told my children what a lousy student I was in school.  I just hope they never find out.

  • When my daughter sees something Iíve written, like a grocery list, she points out my spelling mistakes.  Who cares?

  • Some of my childrenís friends have parents who are my age and who I went to school with.  When I see them at soccer games, they still make jokes about all the trouble I got into in school.

  • The things that really irritate me about my sonís behavior is when he acts just like I did as a kid.  He interrupts me all the time, heís in too big of a hurry for something,  to even take care of his own stuff, like put his bike away or pick up his room, but then forgets his homework at school.

  • When my familyís watching the news on TV and my son asks me about something, I usually donít know the answer.  I just tell him to look it up.

  • When I take my son to the psychiatrist, a lot of the things he tells me about my son sounds just like me at his age!  When I tell the doctor about how my sonís just like I was at his age, and I grew out of it, he doesnít seem interested.  I want to tell him about stuff that  happened to me and how Iíve changed, but he doesnít want to hear it.

  • Iíve heard that I can get tested, even at my age learning disabilities and ADD.  Is there any point in this ? Iím not sure I even want to know how stupid I am, anyway.
   

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