Facing Learning Disabilities in the Adult Years

Facing Learning Disabilities in the Adult Years

Facing Learning Disabilities in the Adult Years

Facing Learning Disabilities in the Adult Years


Between five and eleven million individuals in this country struggle with learning disabilities throughout adulthood, and it is estimated that two to three percent of incoming college freshman are learning disabled. In fact, learning-disabled adults are the fastest growing population of disabled university students. But unlike in the past, learning disabilities are now well understood, and there is a great deal of help available for the disabled--if they can find it. Written in a readable and friendly style, Adults With Learning Disabilities is an invaluable resource not only for learning disabled adults, but also highschool and college students with learning disabilities, parents, professionals across disciplines, and the lay public. Here is the most up-to-date information on the causes and symptoms of learning disabilities, specific conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia, a review of definitions, an update of research and advances in the neurosciences, assessment and intervention, pertinent legal issues, making college and employment plans, the role of professionals, and much more. The authors review metacongnitive theory and emphasize the role of strategic approaches to learning both in and out of school. Clinical examples make a compelling case that individuals with learning disabilities can--and do--attain significant levels of success. New research consistently demonstrates that access to information and knowledge about learning disabilities is essential for success and self-fulfillment. Written by educators with extensive experience, this book offers a rigorous, comprehensive treatment of the field of learning disabilities.


At twenty-seven, Jennifer feels successful for the first time in her life. Ten years ago, she dropped out of high school. I was competent socially. I was a cheerleader, had lots of friends, both male and female, and, overall, was very popular. But going to classes was a nightmare. So I avoided schoolwork and instead spent all my time socializing and getting into trouble. Finally, I couldn't take the failure and disapproval of my parents, my teachers, and even some of my classmates, and I left school. My parents were shocked, as everyone in my family had gone to college."

After working for several years at low-paying jobs, Jennifer earned a high school equivalency degree. She then enrolled in a college, but did poorly and was dismissed. Two years ago, Jennifer tried another college, this time one with a support program designed for students with learning disabilities. To her delight and surprise, she is maintaining a B average: "I am working hard, harder than I have ever worked in my life. But I see the results of my efforts. I feel so good. I wish I could go back and tell some of my former teachers and classmates, 'You were all wrong. I really am not stupid.'"

This book is about adults, like Jennifer, who have learning disabilities. As educators, we have been impressed by the increased numbers of adults with learning disabilities looking for answers and help. They range in age from twenty to sixty, but their questions are the same: What is a learning disability? Can I get help at my age? What type of help is available? Should I give up my goals? What is the next step? Most adults talk about their past and present struggles in school or on the job. They are eager to come to terms with the disability that, in many cases, has never been diagnosed, treated, or even explained to them.

Who are these adults? The single label, learning disability, belies the . . .

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