We’re going to kick off a round of 4 (or maybe 5) Tuesday surveys (yay!) with a set of questions about specific learning differences (UK term) or learning disabilities (US term). All of these questions are by Quarries and Corridors and I have rather selfishly scheduled them first because I’ve been experiencing so many things mentioned here lately and want to hear about your experiences with them. But not worries – I’ll make sure everyone’s questions are included over the next few weeks.
The questions are detailed, so feel free to answer as few or as many as you want with as much or little detail as you like.
You can answer here in a comment or you can answer anonymously at Survey Monkey. (If at all possible, it would be great if you can answer here. There ended up being hundreds of anonymous answers to bring over from Survey Monkey last time which is awesome but also a lot of work, y’all.)
Learning Differences/Disabilities Questions
1. As well as an autistic spectrum condition do you also have a specific learning difference (aka US English ‘learning disability’) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, nonverbal learning disability, ADHD etc? Even if you don’t have a diagnosed/labelled SpLD, do you have cognitive traits commonly associated with SpLDs like slow processing speed, below average spelling, fragile working memory, poor concentration etc?
2. Are you actually unusually good at any of the above? For example unusually fast reading speed, learned to read early, extremely good at spelling, usually good short term memory, extremely good spacial reasoning, adept at doing things efficiently without conscious planning, excellent concentration regardless of interest level etc?
3. If you have spelling difficulties, has your spelling had much improvement since childhood? Do you still remember how to spell words correctly by remembering how to correct your automatic wrong version? Can you read without ‘reading out loud’ in your head? Can you read faster than you can read out loud? Do you have difficulty pronouncing words you’ve read but haven’t heard said before – even if you’re told they’re said how they’re spelt?
4. Do you frequently mix up two options when speaking or writing (for example confusing ‘train’ and ‘bus’)? Do you find you often miss out small words or parts of words, or tend to add inappropriate postfixes to words (for example writing ‘specifically’ when you meant ‘specific’, or vice versa)? Do you regularly get people’s names wrong in speech even when you know what they are? Do you repeatedly forget the words for things when speaking? When you make these mistakes do you often not realise that you have, sometimes even when proof reading? Do you make more mistakes of these types when tired?
5. Do you often mix up left and right? Do you have difficulty judging distance, speed, size, volume etc? For example, do you need to be careful crossing the street because it’s difficult to judge how fast cars are going? Do you find spacial reasoning tasks difficult, for example working out which way up to put the page back into the printer when you want to print on both sides? Do you have particular difficulty performing manual tasks that ‘cross the midline’, ie, your hands cross over and both do different things? Did it take you an unusually long time to learn to tie shoe laces, and if so did you learn an alternative type of knot to do so?
6. Did you struggle to learn the times tables as a child? Do you still not know your times tables as an adult? Do you particularly struggle with mental arithmetic? Did you have difficulty learning negative numbers and subtraction of negative numbers (without a calculator)?
7. Do you have difficulty reading analogue clocks? Do you find it a challenge to understand/visualise how the clocks going backwards or forwards when daylight savings starts or end will affect time differences with time zones where the clocks haven’t changed? Do you find mental arithmetic unusually difficult?
8. Do you struggle to visualise things and tend to think in words, or alternatively do you naturally think in pictures and have to translate to words? Do you ‘hear’ words or ‘see’ them when you think? Alternatively do you not fit either of those models and think in some combination of them or think in some other kind of unusual way, for example in spacial relationships or in tactile sensations or motion?
9. If you’re asked how to spell something, do you ‘see’ the word and read out the letters or do you have to work it out from the sounds or simply remember the sequence? Do you have difficult learning how to spell new words or speak/write new languages?
10. When you mentally solve non-verbal problems like splitting the bill and working out the tip, or like how to seat everyone at a wedding dinner, do you tend to think them out as mostly word-based problems using verbal reasoning or do you visualise or conceptualise them in other ways?