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question about learning disorders


nightfalls
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you ask all the easy questions, forgeting :),

You can read about learning disorders in our recently revised Childhood Mental Illnesses topic center anchor article.

I'm not sure that anyone knows exactly why LDs occur. They manifest as a sort of very mild and very selective brain impairment, probably present from birth and likely at least in part genetically transmitted, which causes functional (behavior) deficits. I used the word impairment above to suggest that there is no brain damage (no injury) per se - but there is still some problem that occurs. Probably, people with LDs have inherited some disposition to have their brains wire/organize themselves in a slightly different way than normally occurs, and this leads to some difficulties, particularly in school settings. There are a list of problems that get associated with these conditions "agraphia" "dyslexia" ,etc. It all means basically problems with mastering a certain kind of learning.

Some of the LDs are associated with ADHD, which makes sense becuase they all involve attention problems. I'm not aware off the top of my head that there are other relationships between LDs and mental illnesses. At least not in any direct way. Developmentally, if you grow up feeling like there is something wrong with you; if you get negative feedback because you were not able to write as easily as other children, that can feed back into the way you think about yourself, and lead to self-esteem problems and perhaps to depression issues. I'm speculating there but it seems reasonable enough to me that this could happen.

Mark

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I was never diagnosed with a learning disorder, but I believe now that I have one. I'm not able to memorize numbers. I could never remember my multiplication tables except for the very even numbers, and even today unless it's something I use on a daily basis, I forget it. I can keep numbers in my short-term memory but that's about it. I also had a very hard time with math later in High School. I was fine at math, even excelled in it, up until it started to get abstract. My teacher couldn't explain why we were learning the things he was teaching us, or how to apply it to anything. That meant that, rather than learning a technique and applying it, like I had been in math class previously, I had to memorize numbers. I started failing as a result.

I read a few years back about how premies born more than 6 weeks early tend to have learning disorders, especially relating to math and language. I was born 8 weeks prematurely. Lucky for me, language wasn't affected (I'm bilingual, and working on becoming trilingual). I do think that the math problems resulted in self-esteem issues, though. I remember very vividly in 3rd grade, when we were learning the multiplication tables, I didn't like my teacher and thought she hated me. I was struggling very badly with the multiplication tables, and I wasn't able to do the tests fast enough to meet the testing standards (I was doing the actual math since I couldn't memorize the numbers). It made me feel lower than dirt when the teacher, whom I was convinced didn't like me, cheated and bumped me up a grade so that I was barely passing instead of failing. It hurt that she took that much pity on me, and that was also when my mother started me on weight loss diets, so my self-esteem was really low.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi all, I'm new to the site and from the U.K. The questions that so many of you are asking about: Numeracy, reading, ect. It springs to mind. Have any of you considered that you may be Dyslexic? Only I am Dyslexic. It's just that some things you say seems percula, letters moving on the page, finding it hard to concentrate, numeracy. I had all these troubles as well as suffering from manic depression and obviously thought it had something to do with my Mental Health Problems. I was also forgetting things: Appointments, meetings, houseold chores and finding it very difficult to try and remember something that has just been explained and shown a don't know how many times and I couldn't help but get so frustrated and confused at these sittuations. Even my son looses his patients with me from time to time. It's like if I read something and it doesn't interest me then I can't digest the information and I have to read it over and over again and still this sometimes doesn't work. I get memory blocks of words like the and and. Because I can't relate any meaning to these words as I'm reading them my mind goes blank when I face these words and try even harder to concentrate but to no avail. Information (some) just won't sink in no matter what I try and do. They recon that you have to be born with Dyslexia, but it can be picked up on through schools, colleges, every day living at later stages in your life. I have just found out after being assessed and my literacy tutor picking up on signs that I am Dyslexic. Because I hung around with the bad apples in school, I never took any exams, infact I was rarely there. Playing truant all the time, So you see it was never picked up then because through my school days the teachers never had any time for me anyway. It is only now, in my 40's that I have started to what I would call learn by attending evening classes and it's now that I'm finding it difficult when all along I have suffered these problems and not known that it was a learning dissabillity. So I wouldn't block it out if I was you. Go and see your G.P. and asked to be assessed so as to rule out all possibillities that you are. Hope this is of some use to you all. Take care! Paula x

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Paula,

It's a good point. Learning disorders and even ADHD are not always picked up on in school, sometimes because students who exhibit these problems can appear to be unmotivated students who "don't care" and that perception of such students appears to be a good enough explanation to teachers and administrators such that other possibilities such as Learning Disorders are not considered. But frustration with school becuase of a learning disorder can be the initial cause of the lack of motivation that a student has. The moral of the story is that it is always a good idea to get psychological testing for learning disorders if there is an academic problem. best to rule them out rather than to assume that the kid is just unmotivated.

Mark

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Hi Mark. I thought I was Invisible till you replied to my post. You see I replied to a post, the first night that I registered, but I can't seem to find it. I went on to explain why I suffer Mental Health Problems, And how long for? Still am under a Physciatrist and am waiting for an Appointment to see a Physcologist. Can you tell me 'what is the difference between the two?' You see I am having memory problems. I'm fine remembering things of the past, It's NOW I'm having trouble with remembering. I just can't digest information. This is why I was assessed for Dyslexia. But I've not always had trouble with trying to remember things. I would go back as far as say 18 months ago. Untill then I always thought I was fine but obviously not!

You see, I've never been on a site like this before. this site is ooooh soooo BIG! It makes it more difficult for me because I've only just learnt how to use a computer. 12 months ago, I didn't even know how to turn one on let alone work on one. Also, with the problems that I am having with being Dyslexic, I can only type a few sentences at a time then the letters all start to mingle in to one another and I have to have a breather (rest) for a couple of minutes till I try and get my concentration back to normal if you know what I mean? With this site being as BIG as it is. Again, its proving to be a bit confusing and frustrating for me to take in all at once. I just can't seem to get the gist of how anything works (remember) So could I be a bit cheeky and ask if you could find my post that I posted previously and let me know? Thank you for taking the time to read this. Take Care! Paula x

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Still am under a Physciatrist and am waiting for an Appointment to see a Physcologist. Can you tell me 'what is the difference between the two?'

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with an MD who has special training in the use of medicines and physical manipulation of the body to address mental illness. They tend to reduce mental illnesses and problems to biological problems, even though they are often more complicated then that.

A psychologist is a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) or a doctor of psychology (Psy.D.) or a doctor of education (Ed.D.) who has advanced training in psychology - the study of the mind and human behavior. It is a broad field and there are many different kinds of psychologists. Clinical Psychologists are trained in using the knowledge from psychology to address mental illness problems. Psychologists are not medical doctors and are not licensed to prescribe medications except in special circumstances. Their specialty is psychotherapy, and psychological testing. Some clinical psychologists are scientific researchers as well as therapists who have done much work towards developing forms of psychotherapy that are scienfically studied and known to work as well as medicines for addressing mental problems.

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Hi Mark, Thankyou for your prompt reply. I think I know what you mean about the differences. Is it right in me thinking that a Physiatrist Is someone who deals with the actions of an illness and a phychologist, someone who deals with the cause for these actions of an illness?

Mark I have left you a message. Really, just asking for any suggestion on anything that might help me to remember where I have put post on this site. It would be much appreciated. Thankyou.

Take care

Paula x

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