Many kids may be a little behind in math or language arts, but they study on the side and take special remedial reading classes to keep pace with their peers. Friends and parents forgive the misspelling of "journey" or writing "saw" instead of "was." However, by their twenties, thirties and forties, they find less patience and more shame regarding their ineptitude. It can be depressing, stressful and downright frustrating to have trouble spelling, reading, writing and understanding. Even though many are actually highly intelligent, they may feel stupid for being unable to "just get it right." It's a fallacy that a learning disability can be simply "outgrown" when adulthood is reached. In reality, they just turn into adult learning disabilities. The good news is that there are many strategies, techniques, methods and programs aimed at making life more manageable.
The challenge of coping with learning disabilities as an adult is enormous. Today, so much emphasis is placed on completing college and special needs adults are expected to fit into this mold, even when other options like vocational skills training may be more in-sync with their adult learning styles. According to the National Longitudinal Transition Study, the results are bleak, as 35% of children with learning disabilities drop out of high school (which is twice the rate for students without learning disabilities). Only 2% of high school graduates with learning disabilities transition to a four-year college.
To make the successful transition into adulthood, people must take logical steps. Jason Lopez, a student diagnosed with ADHD anxiety and auditory/visual adult learning disabilities, first made his move to Landmark College in Vermont, a two-year school for students with reading difficulties and learning disabilities. After receiving an associate's degree, he continued to Lynn University. Marsha Glines, executive director of the school, said they help students with support services, tutoring, time management training, organizational techniques and counseling. "Some students find tremendous motivation in dispelling myths about their disabilities," Glines adds.
Many disabled individuals gain employment in adulthood. This, of course, is not the end of the struggle; for many, it is only the beginning. People who have disclosed an adult learning disability may find that the boss removes supervisory/leadership roles from the position because of the perception that disabled adults lack social skills or the ability to multitask effectively. Other times, copious praise is given for even the most basic task. To gain respect, it's recommended that individuals gain experience outside of work by joining professional associations, attending seminars, networking with cohorts and volunteering.