View Full Version : LD diagnosis. Does your child ever feel "stupid"?

10-09-2016, 03:18 PM
My 6th grader has a mild language based LD but an overall high IQ, actually top 1% in areas that relate more to math skills. He struggles with writing and higher level reading comprehension (technically scores average, but it's a huge discrepancy...hence the diagnosis) He gets extra time for standardized tests. He also qualifies for a reader. He has a tutor that comes to school for sessions.

He hates all of that. He swears he doesn't need it and doesn't want it. They have the SSAT coming up (test for independent secondary schools) and he has his accommodations. He was in tears about this today. He "doesn't need it!" and he says that being in a separate room makes him feel stupid. :( :( :(. He was just diagnosed last winter. He has done one ERB test since then and the tutoring.

I just don't even know what to say. It breaks my heart. And he's so bright with a lot of strengths. I hate that this makes him feel "stupid".

10-09-2016, 04:34 PM
Yes both my kids have LD and yes we run through the I don't want to be different/have accommodations and I feel stupid. Sigh. As a dyslexic myself I am so familiar with this feeling. We spend a lot of time normalizing things. Everyone has differences. Etc.

10-10-2016, 05:18 AM
At our school, they have suggested parents let their child try the quiz or test without the accommodations if the child insists. If it goes well, great - but if not it provides a discussion point about well it worked out. The interesting point they make is kids grow into and out of accommodations. Now this is more geared for in class tests, but since they can retake the SSAT without penalty and more than once, schedule an early test maybe and retest if doesn't go well. Or try some quizzes at school the way he wants to do them and see how it goes. Lots of pressure on kids. Around here I think it is incredibly common even at the most prestigious, intense schools for well over half the kids to receive accommodations and most kids don't seem to resist. In elementary school the first year they took the ERB for practice, my son asked me indignantly why I didn't get him any accommodations since many of his friends had them. Good luck.

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10-10-2016, 07:43 AM
I would let him try without accommodations and just see! Better to let him try now in 6th grade when grades don't count towards GPA. It's just a test. Maybe he will determine that he really needs help and you can get his complete buy-in?

My DD has learning issues and is in the 50th percentile IQ, so yes she really feels dumb since she doesn't have the "top 1 percentile" in anything to back her up. She gets no accommodations because her learning issues aren't typical and are therefore more difficult to identify. (For example, having seizures during math.) She was failing everything. After fighting with public schools and trying two different private schools, we now homeschool. She can learn, but can't just memorize things like math facts, lists of information, etc. She tests horribly, so at home we can really test for knowledge rather than for a grade. She asked to be homeschooled and loves it; finally feels like she's learning. If I had tried to pull her out 4 years ago when all of this started, she would've never agreed and it would've been a fight. I guess I'm rambling, but long story short "you can lead a horse to water" type situation. They have to want your help! She's in 7th and at home actually cares about what she's learning, stays focused, shows initiative to complete her assignments without me. Finally!

10-10-2016, 09:12 AM
We have not used available accommodations for our son (post neuro Lyme). He is doing well in high school even if it is not his full accommodated potential. He would hate to stand out and just wants to be normal after a serious illness that made him stand out for far too long.

For gaps between language and math skills, you may want to consider the possibility of convergence insufficiency, an issue that impacts the eyes' ability to track. CI impacts reading comprehension and IQ. It is very important to see a trained provider because CI is usually missed in standard eye tests. We had no idea that our kids suffered from CI, but decided to screen when so many kids with a history of Lyme were improving with CI therapy. Our son's math skills bounced back much better after Lyme treatment compared to his language skills on standardized testing. We ended up finding significant issues that appear to be improving.

http://www.covd.org/?page=convergence (we found our eye doctor using the find a doctor function)


10-10-2016, 04:27 PM
I think this is very common as kids get older and don't want to stand out from their peers. I agree to let him see how he does without the accommodations. He may or may not needs them at all, or only in certain circumstances.

My oldest has an IEP and accommodations like extended time. She's had those for years and has never used them until this year. And she only uses it for one class. Her math teacher is bit of a jerk and gives impossibly long tests, so she now uses her extended time accommodation for that class only. But it is her choice and she has to work out the timing with the teacher, which makes her feel more in charge.

Once, the school put her in a separate room for testing despite us saying she didn't need it. And that was actually the year she did the worst on any test. She felt very self conscious about being pulled away from her regular classmates for testing.

10-17-2016, 02:54 AM
Can you let the school know how he feels about the accommodations - maybe they may be able to do some in a certain way, so it's not as obvious. I have a student that didn't want to get pulled out for speech therapy or resource room. She was crying and refusing to come due to embarrassment and missing out on what they were doing in class. The resource room teacher, general ed. teacher and I discussed how we could change things for her, but still have sessions. Just saying let the school know as they may not be aware - I was as crying can't be missed, but he may not be saying this to his teacher.

10-21-2016, 08:45 AM
He truly may not need the extra time for standardized tests, and it could make things worse and cause unneeded anxieties. I have a spatial analysis learning disability and I never wanted extra time for tests because it gave me extra time to second guess myself. Also I would've hated having to take a test in a separate room or do anything that made me feel different from anyone else. I do have to say I probably worked harder than most high school and college students and still didn't get all As, but I did get a lot of satisfaction from doing it on my own and I wouldn't change a thing. If I could change one thing it would've been my sat score (670 combined), but honestly I was still able to graduate from college in 4.5 yrs. when the college board statistics said I had something like a 40% chance of ever graduating from college.

I went to a resource specialist for math in 5th and 6th grades and I always went with other kids (which made me feel a lot better because other kids had issues to) is that an option at your school?

Good luck to your son and please listen to his thoughts.

10-25-2016, 11:42 PM
I feel your pain! My son has multiple LDs and a high IQ and yes he feels stupid at times. It breaks my heart. We do talk about it. He just wishes he didn't have the LDs, and I can understand that. I think he struggles with overlooking his strengths and magnifying mistakes. He is in 6th and does use his accomodations, but he has been on audio books for so long that it's just totally normal and natural. He takes all tests and quizes orally (both questions and asnwers) and that is fine with him. At this point he'd rather have the help. In your case, I think it's fine to see how he does without accommodations - but to me it sounds more like he is uncomfortable with the stigma of accommodations than actually not needing them.

I do think all parents should talk to their child's teachers not just about what accommodations their child needs, but about how they as teachers FEEL about giving them. Kids not wanting to be different area a big factor, but teacher attitudes are also huge. Some teachers are quietly quite resentful about them and this comes through in subtle ways. Kids pick up on that. I now ask all of my son's teachers if they are willing to FACILITATE and ENCOURAGE the use of accommodations - not just tolerate them or allow them if he asks. And then we discuss how to do that. They need to make it easy and normal, and good teachers do. I have been gradually including my son more and more in the advocacy process at school. My position is that either he advocates for what he needs or I do - his choice. I believe my son benefits from owning his disabilities and as asking for and using what he needs. The process of understanding and accepting an LD and not being ashamed of it can be a long process though.