View Full Version : Can a Straight A student have a learning disability?


VisualImagery
05-23-07, 04:20 PM
Here is the scoop. My daughter just finished her junior year of high school. She has never had a grade lower than an A. She is also well-behaved and the teachers say, "a joy to have in class." So how does a 4.0 student get a 21 on the ACT? She thinks she doesn't test well, but she got a 26 in math-so she tests well in that subject. Her English is 20, her reading is 19, her science is 20, and combined English and Writing, 20.

I know the school will think me a nut case who can't stand when her child had a bad result-I call that cow patties. The kid works her butt off and is extremely motivated to do well. She gives up lots of activities to succeed in school. To write this off as, "well some kids don't test well" is hypocrisy in this era of test-based school progress. Vent here. :soapbox:So why worry about schools with low test scores? Their kids don't test well? Then we don't need NCLB. Either we put our faith in test scores or we don't. Schools cannot have it both ways. :soapbox:

I will be looking at the body of her writing in AP English this year-she got an A in AP English and did this poorly on the test? Go figure. My gut says a disability, not super severe-but enough to impact her life in this area and in her future success at college. I am worried for her-I was a bit before, but when she scores exactly as I did on the ACT but with different highs and lows, and I have learning problems, this is a big clue to the possibility.

She has always struggled with reading-she is very slow and it frustrates her.
She hates wrtiting but works on it very hard-I actually don't know if her A's are valid grades based on what I see when helping her with papers. What she writes should not get A's. In my opinion at least-and I am a teacher.
She cannot put together and organize a lengthy paper without lots of help, although she is phenomenal with speeches and performance studies.
Science and math come so easily for her. But her science score was low? Ah, it is a lot of reading!
There is a family history of learning difficulties.
She constantly says she is not smart but works hard.
Hate to see my child take a hit like this-it is a heart-breaker. I really thought we made it through with one child with no learning problems or ADD. But the evidence is there.

ME

VisualImagery
05-23-07, 05:28 PM
Now my beautiful, hard-working daughter will really believe she is not smart, she tells everyone she is not smart, she just works hard. Today's score will confirm her own beliefs about herself. I am doing all I can to support her and prepare her for this. That is the tragedy of testing-kids base their concept of intelligence of lack therof based on a few hours of testing.

A real kick in the pants. Is it her or the school? Or is testing a great big joke? This is why college professors say grades, test scores, and a high school diploma mean nothing. Heck, she even took AP English and got an A. Go figure.

Here is the admission criteria for her chosen university.


English: 4 units
Social Studies: 3 units
Mathematics: 3 units
Science: 3 units
Electives: 2 units*
[If students do not have the correct number of these courses they have to have the following ACT scores:] this note is mine.

Get a load of the term "course pattern deficiency" This means students with poor grades have to score these minimums on the ACT to be admitted to this university. [My daughter will meet the course pattern but her percentiles on the ACT so low except for math.]
Correcting Course Pattern Deficiencies

Students admitted provisionally because of a course pattern deficiency will be required to correct their deficiency in the following manner.



English
* Earn an ACT-English subscore at the 60th percentile (ACT currently equals 22); 20 or 52%


Mathematics
* Earn an ACT or mathematics subscore at the 60th percentile (ACT currently equals 21); 26 or 85%


Lab Science
* Earn an ACT-Science Reasoning subscore at the 60th percentile (ACT currently equals 22); 20 or 48%


Social Science
* Earn an ACT-Reading subscore at the 60th percentile (ACT currently equals 23); 19 or 41%



She did not do as well as the majority of students at the school in all areas except 2, one was exceptional. The school has seen this pattern all along-although her PSAE scores were higher in these areas.

Vickie
05-23-07, 06:49 PM
Has she been tested by an educational psychologist? The pattern of scores on the WISC (IQ test) subtests can help point to potential learning disorders. If she is highly intelligent, that intelligence may have helped her compensate for a learning disorder until this testing.

VisualImagery
05-23-07, 07:09 PM
Thanks Vickie-that is exactly the line I have heard about myself and my two oldest children. Amazing how disabilities and school success are linked-This is another of those myths about learning disabilities that needs to be squashed.

Kids who work 3-5 times harder than others don't rack up the extra-curricular stuff for scholaships. And if they have no behavior problems they slide on through. I also don't think an AP English course should be taught by a first year teacher either.

Aizlyne
05-23-07, 08:09 PM
I had excellent grades in school as well. and I was never disaplined at school either. However, I struggled with Math and with writing...particularly spelling. I got good grades, but I fought for it every step of the way.

It's possible that some people just have strengths in one area and deficits in another. Not everyone is good at everything equaly.

My grades and good behaivior was part of the reason I wasn't diagnosed with ADD until I was 19. My parents looked into it whenI was younger but was told by the doctor..if it doesn't effect her grades it isn't an issue. Well, what doesn't cause an educational barrier causes an emotional one. I have struggled on and off with the emotional side of dealing with ADD.

I think that's one of the things that doctors and parents need to consider more now, especially with people who's ADD does not present itself in the "obvious" or steriotypical way.

Crazygirl79
05-23-07, 08:17 PM
Anyone of any walk of life can have a learning disability...regardless of whether you're a straight A student or straight E student...learning disabilities come in all different forms and can affect anyone, in my case I can read and write as well as an educated university graduate...you wouldn't think so for someone whose been in Special Ed classes but in other areas I do have mild learning difficulties.

I came to the attention of medical professionals quiet early in life because I was obviously "different" but my 13 year old half brother has traits of ODD and very mild ADD but it's not affecting his life in a negative way and he didn't come to the attention of anyone until he was 9...since then he's been to see a specialist and he doesn't need any medication or behavioural management.

Selena:)

Matt S.
05-24-07, 01:34 PM
The combo of ADHD and intelligence is common... i.e. my ADHD being hyperactive meant that even in AP classes I was bored faster and got into trouble as a result and giftedness (my IQ is 158) comes with what is known as 'asyncronous development' so there is possibilities involved that have nothing to do with intelligence. I have to take a lot of dexedrine to read a book because I cannot for the life of me read everything when some of the details lack the 'thrill'

casper
05-25-07, 01:28 AM
See if she can re-take the ACT under the extended time format. This did wonders for me, I imporved my score by 3 or 4 points. It was so nice to not have to rush and be able to take my time, read the questions at my pace, and get up and wonder when needed.

krysta
05-30-07, 02:44 AM
Please forgive any spelling and grammer mistakes, I am writing this while I am half wake and should be in bed.

It is very possible to have good grades and have LD. Unfortunately, extra help or tutoring is practically non-existent for students with LD unless their failing. I maintain a 3.8 in college an I am both ADD, LD, and have severe CAPD (central auditory processing disorder). I am majoring in biology and education (though I doubt I will became a teacher. I started with this double major and will follow it through. Besides there are many benefits to an education degree other than being a general classroom teacher). There was a time in middle school where I was 5 years behind in my reading, even after 5 years of special education. My teachers, even in my regular classes modified my work and gave me better grades than I was capable of achieving on my own. The school system basically lied to my parents and said I was making wonderful progress and in reality I was falling further behind. However, I got the neccessary intervention and remediation after my parents pulled me out of the public school.

It's not unusual for a child to get through elementary school, and sometimes even middle school without showing signficant academic problems because students with LD use their strengths to cover up their weaknesses. However, as the work becomes more demanding and time consuming they can't keep up anymore and their learning difficulties become more apparent. By middle and high school their old compensational strategies no longer work. So not discovering LD until high or even college is not unheard of. However, your probably going to have a lot of difficulty getting extra help from your school if her grades are strong, even if she is legitmately LD and its a strain on her work and causes extra stress. First of you need to request testing or have it done privately before anything can be done. They may give your daughter a 504 plan which may provide her with some accomodations such as extra time or maybe tutoring, but its very different than say an IEP and can be offered to students who are not neccessarily LD or disabled and just need the extra support. She may be LD or not; its hard to know, but my guess its not a severe form of LD considering how strong her grades are and she did not run into trouble eariler on, especially in middle school.

QueensU_girl
05-31-07, 12:02 AM
Yup.

I have an acquaintance with CAPD who just graduated MEDICAL SCHOOL.

Now she is becoming a Pediatric BRAIN SURGEON.

ADDfor2
05-31-07, 02:13 AM
Been a long time since I've posted here but I feel so much the need to say that LD or not, who cares.... It's how you feel about yourself and your confidence in your abilities. Straight A's is awesome. My father was an Electrical Engineer. He did the electrical systems for our government's ships and planes. He was never tested but I'm pretty sure he had an Auditory Processing Disability. He processed information slow but was a brilliant man and what he did once that information was processed was amazing. No one has the perfect brain. We all have our deficits, but it's how we deal with it that makes the difference. We can let it get us down or we can take the bull by the horns and keep pluggin. So we might have to take a few extra steps then the rest, but so what. My father never let it stop him and he was one of the smartest people I've even known. He always thought Positive and positive thinking can be the difference between success and failure.

dormammau2008
06-03-07, 09:50 PM
WHEN I LEFT SCHOL WITH NO GRADES AT ALL I HAVE SOME CITY AN GUILEDS NOW THAT ALL REALLY MOST COURES NEED GSE OR ALEVEAL TO TAKE COURES THAT I DO UNDERSTAND I HAVE TRYED FOR MOST MY LIFE TO GET SOMEWERE AN LIKE I HAVE SAID MENY TIMES IN THE PAST ALL THIS SO CALLED HELP THATS OUT THERE IS JUST NOT TRUE COS IN 28YEARS,,,+++YEARS ITS JUST NOT THERE,, I FEEL BAD AN DESLIUED MY PLACE IN THIS WORLD SOME THE THINGS I HAVE HAD SAID TO ME BY OTHERS AND MY FMALIY ARE SO HURTFULL MY MUM ALLWAYS SAY I DID IT TO MYSELF AN,,,,IAM TO BLEAM WELL I STILL DONT THINK THATS THE CASE WHEN I HAVE BIT HELP I GO FAR IAM HAVE A GO AT ENGLISGH DICKARAY OFVE 250.000.000 WORDS TO SEE JUST WITCH WORDS IAM NOT GOOD AT TO POVE ONCE AN FOR ALL IT ANT ME WHOS CARNT DO IT ITS ME BRAIN YOU MUST FIGHT TO GET SOME WERE IN THIS LIFE cos all the help tht should be there ant allways there

sad but true ....i wish the best to all who live with all LDS weather be dlaixa add adhd asp to all condistions that it covers we are more than the sum ofve our condtions

we human beings an not just the diff ways we porcive things

dormy

good luck to all

prurigro
06-03-07, 10:25 PM
this might actually be a good thing- I cant remember if it was 1st year psych or sociology (leaning towards psych), but I read a case study in one of those classes about kids who are told they are smart and kids who were told their good grades came from their hard work (and in both cases praised for their marks). The kids who were told they were smart became afraid of failure and opted into easier things to maintain the praise they got for their intelligence. The kids who were told they worked hard continued to work harder as they saw the work as the key to the praise, but weren't afraid of failure... anyway, I'm not saying to tell her shes stupid or anything, but the situation isn't as terrible as it seems imo :) - btw, it sounds like her left brain is where her smarts lie, not everyone is smart in everything

auntchris
06-16-07, 04:16 PM
VI, have you ever hear of twice exceptional students.?

I did a report on it for special ed class. it is a child that has a disbility but is also gifted.

Check out the www.google.com (http://www.google.com) engine, there are some really interesting articles.

You might also check www.ldonline.com (http://www.ldonline.com)

supersomeone
09-27-07, 11:24 AM
yes you can be both a a student have a ld my brother was like that the school was such a pain for his iep and the sat board would not let him get extra time on his test because they felt that he did not have a real ld or so mething like that so he did not do well i hate it when ppl who are not quilified to give opionen much less a dession that will inpact a kids life forever say things that they cannot back up so yes they can i would get her tested

meadd823
10-02-07, 11:00 AM
Universities are not exactly dyslexic friendly. I made good grades but it took every thing I had to do so. Universities also require you take a lot of things that are not really necessary for the line of work you are pursuing which in my opinion is a racket. The extra un-necessary basically busy work is enough to discourage people like me from even trying. All that struggling to learn crap I will never use - why? So they can charge me for the darn un-necessary classes.

Why can't they spent less time on un-necessary busy work and more time of helping students find and develop their talents. I have heard they require a bunch of different "academic" coarse to deliver a well rounded education - which I believe to be a line of crap any way.

Percentage scores are just another way of weeding out the diverse populations - {IMHO}

playhero
12-07-07, 04:37 AM
Is it possible that you're daugther has a learning disabilty dispite being an straight A student? Yes

However, the schools with think you are a over consider parent. Now I an internet person who have never met you or your daughter can not possible tell you she dose not have a learning disabilty, if you think she dose you should request the school give her testing for a learning disabilty and if they refuse you should go to a priavet psychologist. However, you have president no objective evidence to support such a case. That dose not however mean she dose not have one, it just means the schools will think you are a nut job.

That being said, I think you should be proud of your daughter. If you average her scores she still dose better then most the population.

As someone with a sever learning disabilty I had a range like 98% for math and a 4% on spelling I still manage to do better then 70% of the population on the sat with absolutly no preperation. Why? It's simple really the sat at the time played to my strenghts, math and reading. I think thats a key thing here, just becuse she didn't score supper high on test A dosen't mean she won't score supper high on test B, and they can both have the same validity. Really that seems somewhat pradoxical but it's todays reality.

P.S. I totaly forogt to mention that you also need to rember that only college bound students take the act and sat. Which means only about 60% of the population take the sat or act so the scores are a bit scued as to what she did vs the general population and what she did vs the upper 60% of the population. If we assume that only the students who did better in school took the test which is a fair assumption since they would be the college bound then your daughter probaly did better then 70% of the over all population.