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Old 02-23-05, 05:44 PM
CJsMOM28 CJsMOM28 is offline

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Adult ADD and going back to school phobia

I decided to post this thread over here too,because it looks like not too many people visit the career education forum. I hope that it's okay?

It has been a while since I have posted here, this is the first time I have posted about my adhd difficulties, Usually I post about my Sons' adhd,but hey, thats what us Moms do!

Anyways on to the subject at hand....I am wanting to go back to school, and I am so terrified! I want to do something in the healthcare field. I have narrowed it down to two things,either Dental Hygiene or Social work,which I believe I am leaning more on Dental hygiene (better pay,flexible work schedule not to mention not as long schooling). I am terrified for many reasons, one for having adhd, I have the classic symptoms,easily distracted,can not retain info well at all,my reading comprehension stinks really really bad,pretty much the basic adhd stuff. And now the doctor is looking at me being bipolar,from what she said it was a mild case, either Cyclothmia or bipolar II,she didn't say speciffically which one. But I do have severe ADHD,she has also diagnosed that.Math is really a big fear that I have, I really don't know how I graduated due to my not being able to learn math.

I don't think I have learned much in school where math was involved,grade school on up to high school. The adhd was there, but back then, no one knew enough about it, Oh I can remeber the parent/teacher conferences like it was yesterday! I was just a lazt student! I basically feel like I "fell through the cracks". Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming the school system for whats going on NOW, I just beleive I didn't learn enough and it's caught up to me. Honestly,my fourth grade Son will come home needing help with his math homework,and I have to tell him to wait on his Dad! It feels awful! DS is actually better in math than I! I didn't even take Algebra in high school,I don't know how I graduated without it, but I did. I was one of those who just wanted to graduate,didn't care, but know I do! I regret it,but I can not go back!

Of course what I am interested in requires algebra as a prerequisite, at a community college that I "might" go to. I may try an online college, it depends on alot of things,price, convience,and also which will be better for me adhd wise. I am thirty two years old, and I feel with my math, and being a slow learner if I should just give up? The dental hygiene program that I want to go to is highly competitive. It's a small town here,and everyone seems to want to do nursing or dental hygiene. This school offers an associate degree BTW.

So my question is...Have any of you braved going back to school at or around my age,when you have a learning disability,especially in math? And it took a long,long time just for you to get an associates degree,including taking the pre requisites that were needed? It looks like I'm gonna have to start fresh in remedial math,thats how much I have forgotten!! I also have to take a pre rec in Chemistry,which I didn't take in high school. Someone told me taking the CLEP's exams would help me get through it faster, because of the worry that I have that I'll be 40 by the time I graduate! But heck, I feel like I'd have to at least know some algebra to go about it that way, I don't know any algebra at all!

Any advice or similar stories,I'd REALLY appreciate!
Ps: Also if anyone has any recommendations of any online colleges,for taking math courses,or a dental hygiene course.

Thank you so much!
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Old 02-23-05, 07:10 PM
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Scattered Scattered is offline
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I'm ADD too and went back to school at 33 to get a master's. I found that some of the classes I'd struggled with so much earlier (ie: math) I actually did better in (not steller you understand, but better). If you want this, I wouldn't let ADD stop you. There are math tutors available and while there is some math there shouldn't be a whole bunch of it. I would suggest taking very light loads when you take math and science with math in it classes. You might find that in many of the classes you do very well because your interest has been grabbed. I found the farther I went through school the better I did. By the time I was in a master's program, I had pretty much gotten rid of all the classes I wasn't interested in, so it was much easier. Don't be afraid to ask for help or go for your dream!

Good luck!
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Old 02-23-05, 07:14 PM
ladybug12 ladybug12 is offline

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Hi CJsMom28,

I too wanted to go into dental hygiene 3 years ago. Because I thought the waiting list was too long, I decided to jump into medical sonography. Big mistake! Right now I'm struggling to get through the classes because I don't like the program. I wish I had stuck with my original plan. Because of my adhd, I messed up on my placement test (put the wrong information in the wrong place). I was devastated because I already had a bachelors and took several math classes. My mistake placed me further down on the waiting list. Now, I really wished that I tried remedied the situation and stuck it out and took the classes. Don't get me wrong, sonography is a great field, but it's not my cup of tea. You have to attend to way too many details. I know adhd can make things difficult. I'm going through this program and everyone thinks I'm either an idiot or lazy. I'm always making mistakes and saying the wrong things. I also have problems remembering things, comprehending what I'm reading and becoming easily distracted. My doctor is waiting to put me on strattera (my doctor is trying to decide if I have adhd or bipolar disorder). I'd say don't settle for something you don't want. Strive for what you really want. I know a women who took 10 years (yes, 10 years) to get her dental hygiene degree. That's perseverance! She went to several schools. She was so happy when she finished. It may take a little work and time, but you'll be happy in the end. Don't take the easy way out like I did because I didn't want to wait. Don't let a few classes keep from your dream. If you need help, find a study buddy. That helped me a lot when I was getting my bachelors. I've heard nothing but positive things about the dental hygiene field. I have two cousins in the field and they really like it. Go for it!
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Old 02-23-05, 11:58 PM
CJsMOM28 CJsMOM28 is offline

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I KNOW that Nucking futs posted earlier,and I posted after her? I don't think I am going crazy. Am I?! LoL

I hope this post makes sense,my medicine is kicking in (makes me drousy)

Nucking Futs~ As I said from the post that I thought was,there, you can do it, I know you can. From what I can tell, from your posts ( I lurk often ) you are an Intelligent,caring,good hearted person. Which will come naturally to you being a nurse,and studying to be one. I have also noticed that you work in a Nursing home,and I know thats hard work! I don't know about where you live,but at some of the nursing homes here (NC) they pay for your training, you just have to continue to work there for a certain length of time afterward. YOU CAN DO IT!

Scattered~ First off, congratulations on going for your Masters! I hope that I feel just as excited, as I work my way up. Now that I have "matured" and actually care, I think that will also make a difference!

Ladybug~ Congratulations to you also for attaining your degree! I was thinking the same thing,about taking a class that was shorter, but not as long,but I wasn't as interested in. It's really hard,and I'm glad to see that there are others who feel the same way! That really sucks about those acting the way they are acting in your class,***ew them! Oh Hun,I know the feeling very well when it comes to comprehending what you have read, I have to even read these posts several times! Boy we have ALOT in common! The end of March my Pdoc is gonna try me on Strattera,she has me on a mood stabilizer now, I don't know why she is waiting till March for the Strattera, I feel the ADHD is alot more dominant! Ten years, WOW thats such a long time! Now that IS perseverance! Yeah I probably will have to get a tutor or someone to study with, that is if I can keep up with them. LoL

THANKS for all of the encouragement ladies!

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Old 11-02-06, 01:43 AM
Sandy38 Sandy38 is offline

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Interesting about your situation. I went back to college at 33 (and still am here finishing my bachelors at 38). Math is also a big problem for me. It's so hard to remember how things interact.

In my situation, I wanted to do electronics study which requires trigonometry, algebra, a little discrete math & some calculus. I was so determined that I took the courses & worked my butt off..for an F & a D-.

Actually, failing showed me a lot. I remember looking at a 50% test score & telling my teacher how hard I had worked for that F. I really had tried. Over & over, I couldn't finish my homework because I felt so overwhelmed. On one exam, I was so upset & confused, I simply put my name at the top of my test & turned it in blank. My instructor said he had NEVER had that happen before! I sometimes don't know when to quit, so I stuck it out in the class instead of dropping it as most do when failing.

Then, after that, I had to take pre-calculus here at the university. I breezed through it because I had already overshot the mark. I was ready. (However, I did decide to drop out of electronics.)

It seems as if in many different situations, I have trouble keeping things I learn straight. I remember a huge struggle understanding Linux commands. However, afterwards, in a different class when the material is review, I just soar. It just takes longer.

The hardest part for me is when the younger students outstrip me in class responses, etc. On the other hand, my age gives me an edge with my instructors.

I guess the only advice I would have would be to stick it out as much as possible when failing a class. You're still learning, just at a slower rate.

Good luck!!

P.S. Regarding online courses, sometimes they can be a boon & a detriment. Online's great if it's more basic. I found going to class a waste in 20 minutes to get there..10 to settle in class...20 minutes to go home. Online? You can zoom through stuff without waiting & in your pajamas to boot!! It might be a great starting place for your general degree requirements in classes that are your strengths. At the worst, you get a couple of credits.

However, I wouldn't do it if the material is very hard for you.
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