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Can I receive accommodations through the Division of Motor Vehicle to take a drivers license test? If so, what types of accommodations are offered?

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.

What is the difference between auditory processing disorder and ADHD?

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:

  • Starts in early childhood, usually before age 12.
  • Behaviors are chronic.
  • Behaviors last at least 6 months.

For more information about AD/HD, go to https://ldaamerica.org/types-of- learning-disabilities/adhd/.

Can I get SSI benefits for having ADHD and a learning disability?

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.

Please refer to the article for more details.  https://ldaamerica.org/learning-disabilities- and-social- security-disability-benefits/

I am confused about the difference between a learning disability and a language disorder?

A learning disability is a neurological disorder that affects information processing. For more information, go to https://ldaamerica.org/types-of-learning-disabilities/.

A language disorder is a type of auditory processing disorder that affects how language is processed. It can affect both what you say and/or how you understand what other people say. For more information, go to https://ldaamerica.org/types-of- learning-disabilities/language-processing-disorder/.

How do you help an adult who has had many diagnosed learning disabilities throughout his life and has low self-esteem?

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.

What can an older adult with LD do to compensate for and or work around their LD?

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/

I am a poor speller and have been all my life. Is this a learning disability?

Difficulty with spelling is one of many characteristics of learning disabilities; however, poor spelling alone does not identify the presence of a learning disability. If you are interested in determining whether or not you have a learning disability, read about the evaluation process at https://ldaamerica.org/adult-learning-disability-assessment-process/

Why do we still use the term learning disability?

The term “learning disability” was first used by Dr. Sam Kirk in a paper he submitted to a conference in 1963. That term was widely accepted and used in civil rights legislation and the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) until 2013, when the DSM-5 replaced the term “learning disability” with “learning disorder.” However, most people still use the term “learning disability,” primarily because civil rights legislation that protects people with disabilities uses the term “learning disability.”