On Learning Differences

Vol. 1, No. 1 - Information on Learning Differences Online Fall 2002


Welcome to Visions on Learning Differences

Postsecondary Decision-Making for Adults with Learning Disabilities

Characteristics of the Gifted Post-Secondary Student with Dyslexia and/or ADHD

From Struggle to Success in College

Congratulations to the CRLA and IDA Presidents-Elect

In Memorium

Conference Information

Legislative Concerns


About the Editor

Sharing Ideas

Permission to Copy from Visions on Learning Differences

Dedication-Musical Tribute to America and World Peace

A Blessed Holiday Season to All

Please see other issues



  By Dr. Barbara P. Guyer

Developmental milestones may have been reached at an early age. Verbal skill may be advanced with complex sentence structure at an early age. Student may have excelled in school until the level is reached where compensating is no longer possible.

IQ scores are above average to gifted range (not unusual for IQ scores to be depressed beginning in early childhood, but for some the decline begins in middle school). Spelling may be rather "creative", often incorrectly spelling words that are used frequently. Reading rate is slow and labored. (Student tires easily when reading.) Reading comprehension is poor, especially when material is lengthy and complex. Study skills & test-taking strategies are inadequate. Studying may have been almost unnecessary at earlier level, but when studying begins in earnest, the student is in serious trouble.

There is difficulty with taking notes in class. There is a history of difficulty with timed tests. Multiple choice questions are very difficult (misreading negative questions as positive, inserting and omitting words, sometimes not reading questions & selecting most "popular" answers). This occurs more frequently when student is rushed for time, frightened, frustrated or tired.

Learning Disability may not have been diagnosed in early years of school, although problems have been there all along. They were not serious problems and often were not recognized by teachers or parents. The student usually reports knowing that he/she was "different" at an early age, however.

ADHD is often present. It is not uncommon for diagnosis to be made only when crises begin to occur, however. Diagnosis can be a problem because of the requirement that existence of symptoms be seen by age 7. Self esteem is low. Student often describes self as being a "bad person" and not worthy of succeeding, especially in a highly respected profession such as law or medicine.

Visualization skills are usually excellent. Skills that enable one to excel in working with people usually abound (more empathic, more creative in one or more areas, more verbal than general population).

Dr. Barbara P. Guyer, Director
Marshall University
HE.L.P. Program/Medical H.E.L.P
(Higher Education for Learning Problems)
520-18th Street
Hunting, WV 25755
(304) 696-6252

Reprinted with permission from Dr. Barbara Guyer.
Dr. Guyer is the author of The Pretenders: Gifted People Who Have Learning Problems Homewood, IL: High Tide Press. 1997.