monday, december 17, 2001
not so well
things just aren't going so well for my saxy-love. school was a bust, at least so far. he's got a problem somewhere that is affecting his ability to learn and all he seems able to get from anybody is the recommendation to take remedial classes. admittedly, remedial classes may help a little, but if there
is indeed a disability of some type, they won't help with everything. he studies, he's motivated. he wants a degree so he can get something other than a dead end job. but he failed every single class. he couldn't get a good grade on a test no matter what he did.
and he did a lot.
saxy's not a slacker. he feels pressure from not working at the moment. financially it's very tough on us. but things like financial aide help even if you aren't working. as long as he got passing grades, he qualified for f.a. now he doesn't and i will have to use my f.a. to pay for his next quarter in
full if he decides to go and try again with the remedial classes. this is not a bad thing, but i worry about him sinking even more if he struggles through them.
it's not that he's stupid, far from it. but he has problems with language. he reads above high school level, but struggles with comprehension well below h.s. graduate level. most teachers require more than pure memorization to pass their tests now days, so if you can't understand what you are reading,
passing the test becomes a difficult task at best. saxy would read. he'd take 7 pages of notes in class. and he'd study for at least 3 days. and he couldn't even get 50% on the tests.
saying something is wrong here would be an understatement.
like i said, he's not stupid. and, as i continued through my psych class, ibegan noticing other problems. long and short of it is that i am convinced saxy has either a communication disorder or a learning disability. or both. he struggles with comprehension. he can't answer questions about a story, even
if the story is short and can be used to find the answer. he doesn't freeze up on tests, but he can't pass them. he struggles to find the words to explain things. not just sometimes, all the time. folks, there is something seriously wrong here.
being the mom of a multi-differently abled little boy, my alarm bells began going off by the second test. first tests are adjustment test - you are adjusting to a particular teacher's style of testing. but the second test should have a better grade than the first if studied for. at any rate, i
knew there was a problem somewhere and went hunting for someone who could test an adult for learning related disabilities.
not that there are a lot of psychologists that do that. in fact, in our area there seems to be a distinct lack of people who do that. little ones are usually screened by schools or by places set up for referrals from schools. but when saxy and i were kids, problems with school were almost always
attributed to motivational problems. anything that would classify a kid as a disabled in some way had to be pretty severe or pretty obvious for a kid to get screened. now days most schools are sensitive to possible disabilities. but adults are on their own..and on their own in our area comes down to maybe
half a dozen places that do this kind of testing, most of which are not local.
after a few phone calls, we finally had a name and a number. after a few more, we had an appointment. during the testing the doctor said "i can already see what your difficulty is: comprehension." he doesn't finish the testing, and, to make matters worse, doesn't mention comprehension difficulties
on his final report. to say that i was, and still am, mightily pissed off about such unprofessional behavior would be an understatement. to make matters worse, it took me weeks to locate another psych that does this (saxy won't go back to the other guy, doesn't want to deal with a 'pissed off doctor'
- i can see his point, but i also think we are owed something here since we didn't get any money back and the guy didn't complete the tests we paid for), i get a hold of her and talked to her once. since then, nothing. she's never in the office to get her phone calls as far as i can tell, and won't return
the remaining doctors are all a minimum of a 2 or 3 hour drive away.
and this whole time, saxy is losing hope. he came to a decision about his current classes and stopped going when he realized that no amount of work was going to keep him from failing. the depression in his voice when he told me was painful to hear.
and now he's applying back to his old job. a bit late apparently, but i worry that that means he's giving up even more. a bit at a time, he's pulling away from his dreams.
and that is the most painful of all.