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If your daughter is tested and diagnosed with LD or ADD, she can be eligible for special accomodations such as taping the class, having someone take notes for her, extra time on tests, taking tests in a private room, extensions on homework assignments, and all kinds of other things that may help her out.

She might feel guilty, like she's trying to get a leg-up on her peers, or like she is trying to get away with "cheating" or something, but it's not that at ALL. If a blind student can't read the chalk-board, does the teacher tell him to buckle down and try harder? No, he gets special accomodations. Does this mean that he's stupid and has a low IQ and is just trying to sneak by? Not at all! He may be absolutely brilliant, but if he can't see the chalkboard, how is he supposed to learn anything?

It's the same type of situation for ADD and LD (however I would not go as far as to say they were equally debilitating!) But if a student has ADD, she needs someone to help her keep track of assignments and due dates. If it takes her 8 hours to read one chapter from the textbook, she may need someone to read it to her out loud. (for people with ADD and LD, some senses seem to work better than others...hearing the lesson sinks in better than reading it, for example) If her notetaking is so messy and illegible that she can't read her own writing, then she needs to have someone take notes for her. These things DO NOT reflect her IQ. She is probably a very bright and creative person who understands a lot more than she can prove.

Maybe knowing that she can have these special accomodations will be enough incentive for her to go get a diagnisis. I remember being in college and what a struggle it was. It was so demoralizing and it seemed like every day, my self esteem was chopped down a little bit more. That was so uneccesary and preventable! Bad grades and poor feedback are so hurtful emotionally, that she may eventually just give up on school altogether. Then she'll be trying to get entry-level jobs that don't suit her ADD personality (they almost always require organization and memory skills and paperwork! ugh) And she'll be even more demoralized each time she loses a job and can't understand why.

INSIST on a diagnosis!!! It will be the best thing she can ever do for herself. It will save her years of disapointment and depression.

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