Cloudy Future with Disabalities 6 Replies

I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 19 and Dyslexia at 25. While I struggled with reading in the 3rd grade, it all came together during my years in college and post college years. In high school I was an A-B student, but college was all so different. College was the hardest time of my life. I majored in math, which I LOVE until I had to start reading the textbooks to understand them. Because of my difficulties, I always felt it was nothing but God that got me through college. Being diagnosed at the age of 25 was my confirmation that He gave me my B.S. (to this day, I never felt as if I truly earned it). Now that I know my disabilities, I am more understanding as to why things are the way they are. However, I’m assuming because I was diagnosed so late in life, I feel as if I may be holding myself back. In a perfect world I would love to get my maters degree, however I feel I could NEVER make it in graduate school because of my disabilities. I know graduate school is mainly reading and writing: two things I am horrible at. So, I rather have kids and start a family with my husband than go back to school. I think I fear reliving my undergraduate experience and putting that stress back in my lift and now on my marriage (however I do have a very supportive husband) Also, I currently teacher and so many people see potential in me, but I’m scared to act on it because of my disabilities (that no one knows about). Are there any school administrators, counselors, department chairs out there with Dyslexia? How do you manage? What other professions are on this message board? I am just curious in knowing what success is out there for people like me.

Hello,

I went thru college and finally found out I had severe dyslexia when I was a senior. I always told teachers I couldn’t remember names, dates, symbols and spelled very poorly—but was willing to do anything for extra credit. I would ask to make up a “cheat sheet” and ask the teacher to approved it before the test date. The sheets would usually contain the meaning of symbols (“a subset of” ... really NOT helpful when E and 3 look a like!) and the meaning of theorems or formulas used in proofs.

Got bored with that and became an RN with 4 year degree, BSN.

Got sick (an unknown immune disease and I have Chrons’ disease) and had to get a desk job, so I went back to school for computer programming. Got a BS and entered grad school but had to quit that because of the being sick. I was able to work 10 more years, now I am disabled.

I volunteered to help kids with disabilities reading or ADHD (have that, too), and it was really rewarding—but I was a volunteer! The administration is very nice to volunteers, I think it may be a very hard job. I could not image a classroom full of kids like me!

As a nurse, I was a supervisor of a dialysis unit. 3 out patient units and 3 in patient floors. I had been a community health nurse and several very competent women who did a lot of the typing, answering phones and generally stayed around being nice to the patients. I don’t know if I would have done it without help.

Julie King

Hello,

I went thru college and finally found out I had severe dyslexia when I was a senior. I always told teachers I couldn’t remember names, dates, symbols and spelled very poorly—but was willing to do anything for extra credit. I would ask to make up a “cheat sheet” and ask the teacher to approved it before the test date. The sheets would usually contain the meaning of symbols (“a subset of” ... really NOT helpful when E and 3 look a like!) and the meaning of theorems or formulas used in proofs.

Got bored with that and became an RN with 4 year degree, BSN.

Got sick (an unknown immune disease and I have Chrons’ disease) and had to get a desk job, so I went back to school for computer programming. Got a BS and entered grad school but had to quit that because of the being sick. I was able to work 10 more years, now I am disabled.

I volunteered to help kids with disabilities reading or ADHD (have that, too), and it was really rewarding—but I was a volunteer! The administration is very nice to volunteers, I think it may be a very hard job. I could not image a classroom full of kids like me!

As a nurse, I was a supervisor of a dialysis unit. 3 out patient units and 3 in patient floors. I had been a community health nurse and several very competent women who did a lot of the typing, answering phones and generally stayed around being nice to the patients. I don’t know if I would have done it without help.

Julie King

(to this day, I never felt as if I truly earned it).
That statement, most of all, really bothers me. Because what your saying in that statement is: I don’t feel good enough, and because I had trouble reading I shouldn’t be an equal to my peers.
Just because someone has a learning disability does NOT mean that they aren’t smart. Nor does it mean they are not wise. I have coworkers who are have issues reading and we all work in a high level purchasing department. We manage millions of dollars everyday, and they have learned ways to adapt and function.
You earned your degree, and finding ways to adapt to graduate school is not impossible. You need to communicate with the school and the teachers, you need to work with them to find ways that work for both of you.
I am not sure if you watched the video on this site or not.. But Ben who is in the video went to graduate school. I have worked with him in a professional setting, and he has adapted very well.

Thank you for this information. And while I have watched the video (and love it), listening to you all makes me realize how much of a challenge I have adapting to Dyslexia. I know I have it and that comforts me, but I’m scared to push myself by going back to school to take on more desiring roles in life because I’m not used to adjusting for me. I know in undergrad I spent more time in the library than others (my sister and husband) but my grades reflected opposite. I guess I’m scared to fight that hard and not getting an equalivant response. I never cried so much in undergrad because I couldn’t get higher than C’s and D’s. I don’t want to relive that. However, I do know what is wrong with me.
Do any of you have problems writing? How do you cope?

Hello Tammy Wallace. i understand everthing you are talking about. some time i feel that i’m that i’m the only person who is struggle with this. I was told college was not a choice for me. I went to college but it took me 11 years to finish my degree. i keep repeart class eight time. I had got to the point where i wont to drop out of school becasue i could not go no more. but i stay in school. i went to gradaute school but i was later kick out because of my problem. I filt like to did not earn my degree. i was a track runner buy to about athlete some teacher will just pass them and let them go. Its really sad that good people like use have to go through this. but right now i’m about to make some change right now. i started my own foundation call I can successed foundatin to help people like us get to where we need to be in life. I’m also working on my own learning center as well. I NEED ALL THE SUPPORT I NEED TO GET THIS GOING. I LOVE TO HERE BACK FROM YOU. MAYBE YOU CAN JOIN IN AND WE ALL CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

Ben (from the film—smile) here.

Bottom line is this: you need to get the tools that will make you independent, require that the institution provide you with accommodation and then work very hard to make it happen. Look at the include the speech tools on this web site in the tools section.

Generally, graduate schools have office that are providing the tools. Check out the schools that interest you and speak with their disability accommodation offices. Key point here is to make sure that they are willing to work with you and to train you on the tools they have. It often comes back to the individual who are there and their commitment.

As for your questions about problems with writing, I am terrible with a pen in hand—could not write more than a sentence with out spelling mistakes, but I can write quite well when I have a lap top and speech software. Well enough to earn a JD/MBA from Stanford and to work as a researcher at Intel. This text was types, cut back into a word processor, read over with speech technology at about 450 words per minute, corrected and then pasted back into this box to get the result for which I was looking.

The key point, the one few will mention, is that you have to be a pit bull about this. You have to be ready to fight and take it on people who will not help. You have to charm them, cajole them push them and fight with them to get what you need. Therapy, a beer now and again and talking with friend are all legitimate options to work through the feeling this brings up. Hiding from doing the work is not.

You will feel so wonderful when you are out about this issue to people and have the tools you need.

bpf

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