View Full Version : I read but donít comprehend, any suggestions?


nrajwani
10-21-06, 07:30 PM
Dear Group

Please help me. I am in big trouble. I read stuff over and over, can't seem to get it. I am 27 years old, in dire need of help. My IQ is above average (God forgive me, please I am telling the truth). I have no idea how I am suppose to be. I read stuff over and over, yet I am unable to follow through. When I read, I am just like what did I read? I am unable to focus, and can't pass a pharmacy test. I need to do well in it in order to get my life straight. I don't have money for medicine, and that herbal crap doesn't seem to work. AM I hopeless? Please let me know

Thanks

Nitin

nrajwani
10-22-06, 12:41 AM
Dear Group

what should i do? I can't focus without that medicine. My doctor gave up on me. Everytime he wrote a prescription, I lost it. I can't even keep track of anything. I need some advice. How am I suppose to prepare for the exam without the medication?

thanks

Nitin

Scattered
10-22-06, 12:56 AM
Dear Group

Please help me. I am in big trouble. I read stuff over and over, can't seem to get it. I am 27 years old, in dire need of help. My IQ is above average (God forgive me, please I am telling the truth). I have no idea how I am suppose to be. I read stuff over and over, yet I am unable to follow through. When I read, I am just like what did I read? I am unable to focus, and can't pass a pharmacy test. I need to do well in it in order to get my life straight. I don't have money for medicine, and that herbal crap doesn't seem to work. AM I hopeless? Please let me know

Thanks

NitinNitin, It's very possible to have a high IQ and still have a specific learning disability. If attention or memory issues are invovled,sometimes another venue for learning is more helpful. Do you remember what you read better, if you're interested in it? Do you learn better when you hear material or have a hands on learning experience. Learning your strengths and weakness can help you cater to your learning style.

My Performance IQ and Verbal IQ are 24 points apart -- that is a huge difference. If that is broken down even further into particular verbal or motor skills I am gifted in some and mildly mentally retarded in others. Your not hopeless -- you'll just have to figure out how your mind works best and go from there. I'm not sure if it's on tape or not but in A Mind at a Time Mel Levine, MD breaks down specific learning issues and gives suggestions in dealing with them.

Take care and hang in there!
Scattered

meadd823
10-22-06, 01:43 AM
This thread was split from "Ever in Denial about Your ADD?"

I felt this topic and request for ideas deserved a thread of it's own.

I am sure the original poster would more than appreciate any suggestions or ideas of a way to improved their ability to retain the information read.


***Any concerns or questions regarding this moderator note or staff actions should be private messaged directly to staff, this will prevent further disruption of the discussion. Thank you.***

meadd823
10-22-06, 02:00 AM
Have you tried reading to your self out loud. Some times hearing what is read helps me. I do this when I am trying to memorize what I am reading.

Finding a doc with little or no money some times local MHMR or county mental health clinics will be of assistance

Jackattack
10-22-06, 03:03 AM
{ Content removed by moderator }

charonshanti
10-22-06, 05:49 AM
Raj, have you been diagnosed with ADD or another specific learning disability? This isn't just about passing the test. You have got to get your mind on straight before you start work handling meds.

If you are taking a pharmacy exam, there has to be mental health or learning disability clinic nearby. And when you get a prescription, arrange ahead of time for a buddy to walk you to the pharmacy right then and help you keep track of the prescription slip---and the prescription. Where will you keep it, how will you remember to take it, and how will you remember to put it back where it belongs? You need a routine.

In the meantime.... You have to trick your brain into accepting as much relevant information as possible. Tricking your brain into thinking it's interested may just not be possible. So you play games with it.

Read to yourself OUT LOUD so you're using your ears too. Sing what you're reading to some kid's song or make up the tune yourself. Be as silly as you can when you sing--believe me, you're creating memories this way! Use colored markers to color-code your book by category, or by whether you understood it (green) sort of understood it ()yellow) or didn't get it at all. (red or orange.) Maybe your brain will respond to color and the activity of color-coding it. Draw pictures or otherwise visualize it (not easy in pharmacy, I know), or hand-write an outline of points you want to remember. Or hand-copy the main points under what you're reading as you go. Takes time, doesn't have to be neat, it's just to reinforce what your eyes are seeing. Or make a play pharmacy in your study area and physically list what you learn and put it where it would apply in a pharmacy. I took an indian language class once and the instructor had us bouncing balloons on our elbows or tossing and catching pencils while we were memorizing things. He said it helped distract our brains while the information was slipping in where it belonged. Work with a tutor, get a buddy to explain it back to you after you read. If you can't seem to follow the words on the page without getting distracted, make a 'spyglass' or box to cover everything but the paragraph or subheading you're reading, and only focus on that. Use that high IQ to get creative and find your brain's strength. Won't replace meds, but it should improve what you can do without them.

Use distractions to your advantage to give the restless part of your brain something to spin on while you're trying to study. Use low background music that is either very comforting or gets your shoulders moving to keep you in the mood to study and engage the distracted part of your mind. If you know another language, mentally translate as much of what you're learning as you can as you go. Doodle with one hand while you're reading.

Oh, and get some good aerobic exercise. Set a timer for however much study you can handle at once, and when it goes off reset it for 5-10 minutes. Stop, stretch, breathe, look at something calming, exercise. Don't start something you won't be able to put down to resume the study. Set your alarm for anothe block of study time and work til it rings.

Hope something in here will work for you. But don't give up on the meds, even if you have to beg your doctor.

buffalopc7
10-22-06, 11:54 AM
Dear Group

Please help me. I am in big trouble. I read stuff over and over, can't seem to get it. I am 27 years old, in dire need of help. My IQ is above average (God forgive me, please I am telling the truth). I have no idea how I am suppose to be. I read stuff over and over, yet I am unable to follow through. When I read, I am just like what did I read? I am unable to focus, and can't pass a pharmacy test. I need to do well in it in order to get my life straight. I don't have money for medicine, and that herbal crap doesn't seem to work. AM I hopeless? Please let me know

Thanks

Nitin
Hi Nitin,

I had to respond, I had exactly the same problem most of my life until I was diagnosed at age 33, as a senior in college. Everyone is different, and as several have responded here, the specific reason for your difficulty is unknown. Even before the diagnosis, I was, I guess, determined. In order to get the information to sink in, I would literally rewrite the chapters several times in notebooks. That very time consuming way of learning was effective and in retrospect, I now believe it was the fact that by writing the information, I was forcing myself to pay attention to what I was reading. After diagnosis however, I hyperfocused (yay!) on the topic of ADD/ADHD, and found studies and personal stories that suggested that individuals with ADD/ADHD have difficulty processing more than one source of sensory input at a time. I became my own experiment and in my final undergraduate semester, I literally closed my notebooks in class and never took another note. It was risky, but I had nothing to lose and I needed to know HOW I learn. Did it work? Definitely! Almost immediately, the information was getting in and I was able to retain, restate and analyze what I had learned in my classes. A barely passing gpa of 2.6 was replaced in my last semester by a 3.9 and I completed my masters degree with the same gpa, never having written a single note. Only you know whether this method might work for you, but I had to share my experience because it sounds like you might be going through the same thing. Good luck and let us know what happens!

speedo
10-22-06, 12:15 PM
Get some 3 X 5 inch index cards. I use one to underline what I am reading... I just move the card along the page as I read. It also covers up the text below what you are reading so that it is less distracting.

It is no cure, but it helps. Usually at my worst, a page of printed text can sometimes look like a pile of random words... using the cards helps reduce the "noise" a bit. If I am still having problems focusing on reading I resort to reading things twice, one sentence at a time.

When I am at my computer I usually drag the mouse pointer along the sentence I am reading. At other times I might actually select and highlight the text to make it stand out. If a document is badly formatted and not add friendly, I might even go through it and double space each paragraph in order to reduce the tendency of it all to look like a huge pile of random words. Using an extra large font can help make individual words stand out from the jumbled-looking page.

If you are having this kind of problem, my guess is that you might not be on meds. Medication can help a lot, but no matter what you do you still have ADHD, and you have to use strategies like the index card trick and dragging the mouse pointer along the text to adapt to your visualspatial processing issues.

Me :D

charonshanti
10-22-06, 02:57 PM
I literally closed my notebooks in class and never took another note. It was risky, but I had nothing to lose and I needed to know HOW I learn. Did it work? Definitely! Almost immediately, the information was getting in and I was able to retain, restate and analyze what I had learned in my classes.
Buffalo, that's awesome. Do you think that means that you're a primarily aural rather than visual learner?

I take notes constantly and never look at them again. The whole point of it seems to be to generate subject-related busy work to focus the part of my brain that wants to be going all the time, so the rest of my brain can concentrate.

Missfit
10-22-06, 03:32 PM
take notes

buffalopc7
10-22-06, 04:07 PM
Buffalo, that's awesome. Do you think that means that you're a primarily aural rather than visual learner?

I take notes constantly and never look at them again. The whole point of it seems to be to generate subject-related busy work to focus the part of my brain that wants to be going all the time, so the rest of my brain can concentrate.
You know, i'm not sure what i'd be classified under. I did definitely learn by rewriting the information over and over, although it was time consuming, but it did sink in. Maybe ways of learning are not as much categorical as they are a continuum or a combination of abilities to learn that are as unique as the individual themself? So you never look at the notes again either, interesting. So do you think that its the method/process of slowing down and forcing attention, rather than the writing that is enabling us to take in teh information?

agirlandherdogs
10-22-06, 04:13 PM
First of all, the issue of you not having money. Do you have health insurance? If not get assistance whatever kind you can because the psychologist along with a pschyiatrist will be the very first steps. I can say this with seriousness because it's what I am doing right now. I have seen my grades already go from 70%'s to 90%, and I fully intend for them to stay there.
First you have to empower yourself, no one is going to come to you to do what you have to do.
Your school has a student support services area, go to them and ask them for a referral. Some places have evaluation places / treatment for people with no ins or ins that doesn't cover it. As far as paying for the meds, the individual companies ALL have a contact for that situation. But first YOU have to empower yourself to do it. Nothing feels better than doing it. If you can't follow thru with it and you realize it, ask a close friend / family to go with you and see that you follow thru during this initial phase.
I just started Adderall 4 weeks ago, and I'm seeing the difference and the success.
I have zero reading comprehension and the 3rd day on it, I was amazed at my reading / comprehension.
What is working for me.
my instructors provide powerpoint outlines so that we can follow along. at this point I've already read it once, so I'm not worried if I don't catch it all.
I also use a voice activated recorder...
then after lectures, I go thru the chapter and TYPE, why type? because I can read it and there is a format that has to be followed, you can see my form and that alone creates an association and I can bring information forward when I am testing.
Then I make my own comparision tables, I'm in nursing so I use to to study pharmacology, disorders, anything that has similar key ideas between them. This is EASILY done in word with insert table.

I've never enjoyed studying more than I do now, I love to learn and be able to use it...

your goals are to pass the class, how will you get there?

Amy

NewADDGirl
10-22-06, 05:08 PM
I noticed my reading retention increases when --- I have to write a paper on the topic.

Writing stuff down helps with the retention so much more. After each paper, I can remember to the point I can present without notes and talk as if i'm an expert on the subject.

Just a thought.

nrajwani
10-22-06, 07:29 PM
Dear Group

Thanks for the info. I am struggling. I am 27 now, and have changed my major like 6 times. I have been in college since 17 and my parents have given up on me. They said "I am lazy, and making excuses in order to avoid work" I have a degree in chemistry and biochemistry, but however, I couldn't work in lab. I got laid of or fired. Though I knew more than my supervisors, they said I couldn't mix chemicals right. (I would put the wrong solution) and hence my results were not proper. I need help. What should I do? Where would I go? It seems like I am here to get help, and Ihave had so many problems in my life. Man, I am like 27 and have the maturity level ofa 15 year old. I can't even get up in the morning. My parents are against medicine, and tell me that I should just do with what I have. But I never give up, want to prove that even though God has made me ADD, there must be some strength behind it. Please help with suggestions

buffalopc7
10-22-06, 07:44 PM
Dear Group

Thanks for the info. I am struggling. I am 27 now, and have changed my major like 6 times. I have been in college since 17 and my parents have given up on me. They said "I am lazy, and making excuses in order to avoid work" I have a degree in chemistry and biochemistry, but however, I couldn't work in lab. I got laid of or fired. Though I knew more than my supervisors, they said I couldn't mix chemicals right. (I would put the wrong solution) and hence my results were not proper. I need help. What should I do? Where would I go? It seems like I am here to get help, and Ihave had so many problems in my life. Man, I am like 27 and have the maturity level ofa 15 year old. I can't even get up in the morning. My parents are against medicine, and tell me that I should just do with what I have. But I never give up, want to prove that even though God has made me ADD, there must be some strength behind it. Please help with suggestions
Sorry you are experiencing these challenges. Keep in mind though that over half of all college students switch majors. It has more to do with experience and finding the right "fit" for you than it does with having ADD or ADHD. It may help to think of this; if biochem and chemistry didn't fit your career needs, something else will (perhaps even several somethings, why limit yourself?). Age is a number, nothing more, and people who try to apply some sort of deadline related to age are removing the individuality that exists in the ways we mature.
There definitely is strength behind ADD/ADHD, I believe that firmly. I also believe that there is a great deal of value in the individual who's instincts guide them, or try to. If you are compelled to sleep, underachieve, make errors (and I sincerely mean this occurs unconsciously as well as consciously), then I believe your instincts are giving you clues that something isn't working. This is not to suggest that if something is difficult, we should automatically give up. We also instinctively realize when we have exhausted our attempts and should consider changing our gameplan. Only you can answer whether you want to pursue this particular path, but choosing another one is not a sign that you have failed.
I'll ask this. Who's goals are these? I can't answer that either, I can only look at what information you've provided. If you've changed majors 6 times, what made you change and what was the source that effected the change (was it internal or external)?

charonshanti
10-23-06, 02:10 AM
So you never look at the notes again either, interesting. So do you think that its the method/process of slowing down and forcing attention, rather than the writing that is enabling us to take in teh information?
Buffalo, for me it's definitely a matter of forcing attention to the subject at hand. My mind is going to be racing somewhere, so I just give it something to preoccupy it that isn't off-topic, give it enough to slow the cpu down to the lecturer's speed.

Word-for-word notes written neatly take up enough time for some lecturers. If the speaker still seems too slow, I take my notes in another language 'cuz that's the subject my mind loves & I can negotiate a little interest that way.

If it's a {really} uninteresting subject, I take notes in spanish written phonetically in one of the eastern 'alfabet's. And if you don't think that makes people look at you weird... So if people ask I I don't actually explain that anymore. :eyebrow: But.... I actually HEAR the whole lecture, instead of tuning in lost every few minutes. This method usually covers even the slow boring speakers but a few that bored me past even that. :faint:

What amazes me is how many strange processes I've developed unconsciously over the years, knowing it makes me more comfortable when I have to sit and listen (or do something else I don't want to do), but having no idea why. Learning about ADD has explained a lot about myself, and just in time. I was running out of weird ideas to make things work. And the whole 2nd language notes thing got me thru school with flying colors and completely flopped as a coping skill in real life.

charonshanti
10-23-06, 02:17 PM
Nitin, re: my previous suggestions, the best were adapted from "ADD friendly ways to organize your life" by Kolberg and Nadeau. It's a quick, easy read with lots of insight and sympathy, and {great} ideas.

If you have ADD, you'll learn a lot about yourself with this book. If you don't have ADD, it will still be a life-saver getting your life together. I've never seen another book like it. ADD'ers, especially high-IQ'ers, have trouble realizing how much ADD'ers have to simplify their organization and motivation, but once it's pointed out you say, "why didn't I think of that! That's so much easier!"

Whether you can get medical assistance or not, check out the forum sections on co-existing conditions, diagnosis, education (college) and advocacy, spend some time checking them out. You'll be able to get a better idea of what you might be dealing with and how others deal with the same thing.

My parents are against medicine, and tell me that I should just do with what I have. But I never give up, want to prove that even though God has made me ADD, there must be some strength behind it. Please help with suggestions
I can't tell from what you write if your parents are against medicine in general, or just medicine for non-visible or mental conditions.

If your parents are ok with medicine in general but don't want to consider 'brain' medicine, maybe your doctor could help. Perhaps there's a way to treat with a medicine that is also used to a more acceptable 'physical' condition that your parents would support you with.

For example, if the medicine the doctor wants you to try is also used to treat sleep disorders or stomach upset or something else more acceptable to your parents, focus on that benefit when you tell your parents about it, and stress the goal of performing better at school or on the job. (Sleep disorders may not be what you're being treated for, but I guarantee that if the med improves your other condition you will sleep much better.) If your parents are willing to support it when put that way, and they're happy with the results, they won't worry too much about the mechanics of the medicine. Plus if you live in an overly 'interested' community you can get medical help without becoming the hot topic among your parents' neighbors that way.

Also, does your parents' view reflect the view of their religious community, or is it just theirs? If it's not the standard in their community, you may be able to get some backing from someone they would view as an authority. If museehee email me privately if you wish. Religious discussion isn't allowed on the forum, by the way, but the point here is whether you can obtain your parents' support.

charonshanti
10-23-06, 02:30 PM
Found a great thread earlier in the forum. The pertinent part is in the middle under "focus"--interesting stuff here.
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27802

Dieharder2k
10-25-06, 04:17 AM
Im in the same boat as you, however have faith in the fact that you have already got a degree in chemistry and biochemistry, i couldnt even stick it through college. However i do think that your on to something when you mentioning the maturity thing, im 24 right now and i feel like im like 18, unprepared to take on more responsibility. I too feel like sometimes its hard to get up and and face the day, like i have no responsibilities. I think you should maybe try adderal or some medication.
In the past ive been on adderal and its rather amazing, things sort of become more clear, and even on a very small dose organization and goals become clearer and you want to get out of bed and tackle them. I am planning on getting back on it full time but its funny my add makes me keep forgetting to call the doctor lol. i was prescribed 20 mg of adderal but i feel when i take it that it makes me rather agitated, so i break them up to 5 mg and it seems to give me such a boost to everything from self esteem to remembering to pay bills.
Good luck and remember, nobody is perfect, people make mistakes, you learn from them and power through and become a better person for them.
i have made PLENTY of mistakes myself, 27 and 2 degrees is damn good, just remember that.

Scott

happycat
10-26-06, 08:25 AM
I wasn't able to read all of the posts here, so I may just be repeating myself---my advance appologies if I am.

Do you have a study partner, or someone willing to help you though this? I always found study groups essential for science classes--it was when I had to explain a concept or answer to a friend that I actually learned and stored the info in my long-term memory.

In addition, I know this may sound silly, but even with science, I'd try and create a story behind everything--it just helped me remember stuff---so if you need to remember some chemicle bond (sorry, I can't really give better example--my science is rusty ;)), I'd make a story of the various properties involved....try it, it might work :)

And also, writing notes in the margins to paraphrase what you just read might help stay on track.

Good luck!!