Unfortunately, every state seems to handle disability accommodations differently. Some have policies mandating accommodations; others do not. The only thing you can do is contact your DMV (or whoever does the testing in your state) and ask them what accommodations you would be eligible for based on your disability diagnosis and documentation. Typical testing accommodations for paper-based or computer-based tests include:
Access to auditory format, either text-to- speech software or a reader;
Extra time to complete the test;
Private, distraction-free room for testing;
A scribe (someone to write or keyboard for you);
Calculator for math problems; and
Breaks, if needed.
You may also request other accommodations if needed and if your disability documentation supports the need.
An auditory processing disorder is a condition that adversely affects how sound that travels unimpeded through the ear is processed and interpreted by the brain. For more information, see https://ldaamerica.org/types-of- learning-disabilities/auditory- processing-disorder/
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder that is influenced by environmental factors. Typically, people with AD/HD have developmentally inappropriate behavior, including poor attention skills, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. For diagnosis, the behaviors must be out of the normal range for the person’s age and development. According to the DSM-5, characteristics include:
The most important component of short-term memory is attention. You must choose to give something your undivided attention and focus if you want to remember it.
There are many strategies and assistive technology tools for helping you remember things. Here are some ideas for strategies you can:
Know your learning style(s), and use your area(s) of strength when you need to remember something. For example, visual learners may want to draw pictures, maps, or charts; or write the information down. Auditory learners may need to repeat the information out loud, or use a recording device to hear the information later.
Repetition. Once you’ve identified your preferred learning style(s), the more you repeat the information, the more you’ll remember it.
Mnemonic devices. For example, to remember the great lakes, many people think of “HOMES,” to remind them of the beginning letters of each lake (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior).
Chunking, or breaking the information into smaller parts to remember the parts instead of the whole. Put the parts together later to make the whole.
Rhyming/music/rhythm. Try remembering something by putting it in a familiar song, like the tune of the ABC song. Sounds silly, but it works for lots of people. Actually, the crazier it is, the better it works.
There should be an adult education or literacy program somewhere in your area that can help with improving reading skills.
You can search online to find directory information for local programs by looking for “adult education and literacy programs” plus the name of the town and state where you live. Also, there is information about various reading programs at https://ldaamerica.org/adult-literacy- reading-programs/.
In the meantime, it may help your daily functioning to use a text-to-speech program and/or app so you can hear printed text out loud.
Strategies to remember information vary depending on how the information is presented – orally or written – but there are a lot of different strategies to choose from.
For remembering what you hear, it may help to take notes or make a digital recording. Most smart phones have a built-in recorder that allows you to easily record what someone is saying. For note-taking assistive technology ideas, the following resources may help:
For remembering what you read, graphic organizers may again be your most useful tool available. Some people remember what they read better if they read it out loud, or re-say what they read in their own words, or discuss what they’re reading with someone else.
“Pragmatic Language Impairment” is now called “Social Communication Disorder,” and it refers to using spoken language in socially inappropriate ways. For information and resources, head over to Understood.org‘s article on this subject.
The article on the LDA website Learning Disabilities and Social Security Disability Benefits helps to explain the qualifiers. Specifically it says… To qualify for disability benefits from the SSA, you will have to prove that you are disabled according to their criteria. That usually means proving that you have a condition that is either listed in the Blue Book and meets the SSA’s Blue Book criteria or that you have a condition that is equal to a section in the Blue Book.. There is a section that provides an example of a diagnosis of ADHD as an adult. It says…You could receive benefits with ADHD as an adult, if you’re able to prove that you have had ADHD since childhood, and ADHD has impaired your ability to complete schoolwork and to be gainfully employed as an adult.
It can be helpful to first assist the person in determining
what his strengths are. A good starting question is, “What do you do
well?” That may be a hard question for him to answer at first, but
you can make suggestions based on what you know about him
already. Ask him what he likes to do in his spare time, and what skills
are involved in that? Is he creative? Is he a good listener? Is he reliable? Does he tell interesting stories? Is he artistic? Does he know how to build and/or fix things? Is he a good cook? Once you determine some basic areas of strengths, it may also help to set some short-term goals (one or two weeks) that use those strengths to succeed. Longer-term goals can be set later.
It may also be helpful to introduce him to some of the new, affordable (or free!) assistive technology that will help him to function better with tasks that he has difficulty with due to his learning disability. There is a lot of information about assistive technology at https://ldaamerica.org/category/technology/technology-for-adults/.
Typical strategies and accommodations that may help adults with LD include reading out loud, audio texts, color-coding for organization, use of graphic organizers (charts, diagrams, etc.), having opportunities to re-state information in one’s own words, and one-on- one instruction in school or job training. Assistive technology (AT) is also helpful for adults with LD – at home, school, and work. See LDA’s information about AT at https://ldaamerica.org/tools-for-life/