Teen mother at 19 with dyslexia

  1. Here's the situation:

    I have a friend, who just told me that one of her good friends is pregnant at 19. The part that really strikes me is that she sounds as if she is happy about it, and is cheerfully picking out names and things.

    I recommended that she buy her friend a book on teen parenting. My sister got pregnant at 19 and never saved a dime, and now still has no dimes. The trouble is that the mother is dyslexic, and is very uncomfortable reading most anything.

    Can anyone here think of an audio books or more visual guide to help her out?
  2. jcsd
  3. radou

    radou 3,217
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    Why would you want to disturb her happiness?
  4. I'm dyslexic I hope I can help.

    1) Go to groups that deal with these issues, talking about the deal will no doubt be invaluable, but it's not for everyone.

    2) Get someone who is not dyslexic to read a good book to her, and then answer her questions.

    3) Get her to speak to friends and family who have experience about the issue.

    4) Try the internet, be careful though, only go to accredited websites is my advice, if she has trouble with reading, get someone who doesn't to help her out, a good forum would probably be invaluable too.

    5) another good tip is to talk about it to people generally whether they have a good understanding or not, with dyslexia sometimes you misunderstand what people mean or are saying, so thrashing out ideas are invaluable; not only that but it's often hard to remember things, reinforcement is a great way to keep your memory sharp, and if she's anything like me, once it's in there, it's there for ever or at least as long as an elephants memory :smile:

    I'm afraid I don't know of any good audio guides etc, but I'm sure someone will.

    Forewarned is forearmed, from what I hear parenting isn't easy. I don't think learning about her pregnancy etc is going to ruin her enjoyment, if anything it'll make her feel better about the whole deal: more in control perhaps?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  5. yea, as long as she loves the child I don't see a problem.

    as for books, many of the books on amazon have a link to the audio-book format if there is one... Itunes has a LOT of audio books that you could burn into a CD (you don't have to subscribe, buying a one-time itunes card is good for a single purchase, they're offered at computer stores) if not, then get it in e-book format and use (provided she has a computer) the computer speech thingy that reads.. i've used it in the past just to test it and it's pretty good.

    I remember my math teacher in high-schoool was dyslexic, he wrote numbers right, but his spelling and writing words was terrible lol.
  6. The harsh reality is that being poor is bad.
  7. I have lived in many places around the world, and have been poor and high middle class along with my family... I have all types of friends: from drug-adicts and hobos, to rich-spoiled brats, to educated university students. Also, both my parents are therapists (my mom a child therapist, and my dad a family therapist). The repercussions of growing up unloved are much worse than those of growing up unfed.

    Being poor feels bad and can be horrible, but growing up unloved, abused, or neglected can have much worse emotional effects... you can always make more money, but learning to trust and love at an adult age is another story.
  8. vanesch

    vanesch 6,236
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    "19" isn't really "a teen" (as in "adolescent"), right ? It's a young but grown-up woman. She's legally an adult.

    What strikes me is that it strikes you that she's happy about it!

    Now, there can be plenty of reasons why being pregnant at 19 is not a good idea, like when you go to college or something, and this might interfere with you getting a good degree. But otherwise I see no issue.
  9. Monique

    Monique 4,700
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    I get the vibe from KingNothing that there is no dad to take care of the family.
  10. vanesch

    vanesch 6,236
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    I had the impression that it was the "19" which bothered KingNothing. I don't see in what way, if the issue is that there's no dad, being 19 makes this problem worse.

    After all, at 19, it is easier to go and seduce an old rich guy who wants to play daddy, than at 45 :biggrin:
  11. vanesch

    vanesch 6,236
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    BTW, it seems that "dyslexia" has become an epidemia in the last 20 years. In what way is this a medical condition, and in what way it simply means: "didn't learn to read and write correctly" ?

    I know that there's a cognitive problem that is true medical dyslexia, but as I understood, it is extremely rare.

    I know that this is a politically not correct question, but I suffer also of many diseases: I'm "disgraphic" (I draw very badly), "diswallpaperic" (when I put up some wallpaper, it is a true mess), "disarabic" (I don't speak a word of Arabic), "diswaterskiic" (I tried this several times, never got the hang of it) ...
  12. Signs of dyslexia to spot the genuine from the illiterate.

    Difficulty in comprehending written text, poor hand writing and poor spelling, although this varies in severity from the disfunctional to the extreme illiteracy, in some cases text becomes blurred or jumbled up, which can be mitigated by wearing special coloured glasses, oddly enough?

    Sometimes also accompanied by being bad at maths, although conversely they can also be very good at it.

    Short term memory problems especially sequential memory, try asking a dyslexic to remember several contingent things: say: go to the chemist, get me some asparin and some plasters, then go to supermarket and get some bread and milk...ohhh and a chocolate cake, if said person comes back with them all, they either have learnt memory devices to remember them all or are not dyslexic.

    Undistinguished right and left hemispheres in the brain, commonly children have difficulty telling left from right as a child, and also are clumsy, having a problem with balance which can be quite pronounced, this I tend to put down to the undifferentiated lobes meaning that the brain is not so good at distinguishing between weight on the left and right side etc probably tied in with the inner ears also.

    Bad at following written instructions or tables or graphs, often will fill in the wrong column or misinterpret what something means.

    Often quite disorganised but very proficient in visualisation skills,often imaginative and can be somewhat quirky, can tend to have unusual ways of thinking.

    More likely to be ambidextrous, or at least use there left and right for different things.

    All of the disadvantages tend to disappear or become mitigated over time, like most of these more minor disorders, the brain is not hard wired and with training or the right motivation and efforts all of the adverse factors become less noticeable.

    You should see how long it takes me to correct the spellings before and after I post, I just acquired a new add on to Firefox that works like the Word spell checker, I wonder if any one's noticed that I can all of a sudden spell :smile:
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  13. Based on this information, I'm dyslexic.

    Honestly, this sounds like it could be anybody on this planet. If being clumsy, having a poor memory and bad handwriting makes you dyslexic, it's no wonder that so many people are these days.
  14. vanesch

    vanesch 6,236
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    Right. The reason I'm interested in this is twofold. First of all, given that I have a 6-year old boy, and that there is a religious war going on here in France between different methods (global vs phonetic and variations on the topic) of how to learn how to read, I tried to acquaint myself with whatever scientific material exists on the matter. Some claims are that globally inspired methods might devellop with certain children similar reading problems as with truely dislexic patients, for instance.
    The next reason is that my wife is a teacher, and over the years she has seen an increased influx of students which are next to illiterate, *and have a paper from their doctor* that they are "dyslexic" and hence should be given extra ressources and shouldn't be punished for their writing and reading disability (which is quite difficult to apply if you're a teacher of languages). Something which was a rarity 15 years ago, is now about 20% of the student population. (I've seen their writings: they are totally illiterate indeed!)
    Now, she went to some conferences on the topic, and there some professor said that medical dyslexia is a rather rare disability. Now, that professor also said that to distinguish true dyslexia from being "illiterate" or "downright stupid" (I think he said this differently :-) takes quite some psychologic testing, which you don't do in a few sessions of half an hour.

    Uh, then I'm dyslexic!

    The problem with such a vague symptomatic description is, that depending on the severity of the test, you can make anybody dyslexic that way, and (in the case of my wife) it is often just an excuse for a bad student. I mean, no way that 20% of the population suddenly turns out to be dyslexic!
  15. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    That list of symptoms of dyslexia all seem very vague to me too. By those definitions, I'd be dyslexic too...especially with that bit about remembering a grocery list. I always forget something on the grocery list. :rolleyes: Between forgetfulness and bad handwriting, every MD I know would be dyslexic.

    Also, that list contradicts what my understanding of dyslexia is, and what the website for the International Dyslexia Association states:

    In other words, the best clue that someone is dyslexic and not just illiterate due to lack of intellectual ability is that their oral communication skills and ability to memorize information exceed their writing ability.

    I recall being told once that they used to use reading music as a test for true dyslexia. I don't know if they still do. The idea was it removed the need to know how to read or spell from the test (eliminated illiteracy out of simple lack of learning to read), and just tested for whether they translocated/jumbled the symbols on the page in their mind. Someone who is not dyslexic can read a page of notes in correct order, while someone who is dyslexic will still mix up the order of written characters, no matter what it is that's written. I wonder if they still use tests like that.

    Anyway, on the other issue of the mom being 19, yeah, while technically that's a teen, she's already a legal adult and plenty old enough to have a baby. This may seem young to people going to college and delaying childbearing until after they get an education, but if you're just going out to the workforce, there's nothing shocking about being pregnant at that age.

    Regardless if she's truly dyslexic or not, it's good that someone is concerned she get access to information she can understand about what to expect of pregnancy. I think those who learn what to expect before it happens are better off because they don't worry that something is wrong every time they experience something changing during pregnancy. Especially with someone who is a somewhat young mother, she may not have many friends who have already been pregnant to compare notes with and to reassure her that her experiences are normal (or to recognize when something really is abnormal to know it's time to call the doctor).

    She might benefit from signing up for a birthing/parenting class. Check with the area hospitals to see if they have classes. The information in those is all presented orally, and the instructor is someone knowledgeable about pregnancy, so she can ask questions along the way. That way, if she can't get the information from books, she's not left in the dark. If it's run through an area hospital, the instructor may also know of other resources for her. This will likely be an issue again once her child reaches school age. If her reading abilities are poor, she won't be as able to help her child learn to read either, so having someone else around to help the kid with homework, and letting the teacher know that this is an issue will help make sure the kid doesn't end up just not learning as quickly because his/her mom is unable to help with homework. And, if the mother really has dyslexia, it will be important to evaluate the child early for dyslexia, since it is a heritable disorder. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the better chance of starting teaching him/her ways to cope/adapt/compensate and improve chances of learning better.
  16. arildno

    arildno 12,015
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    Given that list of worthless vaguenesses as "diagnostic" criteria for dyslexia, it confirms my opinion that dyslexia, for the most part, doesn't exist.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  17. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    None of that should be mistaken as a diagnostic criteria by any means. The list I provided are just indicators there may be a problem. If someone recognizes these "symptoms," they would need to be properly tested...since true dyslexia is a neurological disorder, a neurologist should be involved in the final diagnosis. A note from the family doctor, I would deem worthless, since the family doctor does not have the expertise in the right area to make a definitive diagnosis. About all they could tell you is there's some problem between the eye chart and the kid's mouth that they aren't correctly communicating orally what's written. That could be anything from them not knowing their alphabet, to not following directions, to needing glasses, to other vision problems, to dyslexia or other visual processing problems, to a speech disorder.
  18. Yea, first of all you need a professional to truly diagnose any learning disability... and just like physical doctors, not all are at the same level... my parents tell me horror stories of terrible psychologists.

    second of all, that list is some symptoms. that is, having a fever and sore throat can be a sign of many things... it could be just a flue, or it could be something much more serious, but that's not up to yourself to diagnose.

    a learning disability (dyslexia, ADD, etc.) is usually marked by a very poor ability to do something that the average person finds easy or routine, but without actual mental retardation, you could have an IQ of above 130, and still be almost unable to comprehend written text, or do a simple addition like 22 + 36 (if you have dyscalculia, like I do).

    in an IQ test it might be seen as a sudden drop in one area... the person scores normal or above average in all areas, and on only one area it is bellow average.

    I'll use dyscalculia and ADD because it's the only thing I know from personal experience. If you have it, and the real thing (I know, everyone has ADD now a days... but that has to do more with poor psychiatry and drug companies ... I don't take pills). anyway, if you have it, you feel it. I always thought there was a problem with me because in math class, even the "dumb" kid came up with the answers to simple number addition and subtractions before I could... you sit there staring at those numbers, squeezing every drop out of your brain, and you just can't put it all together ... and yet, when it came time for algebra, where you don't really work with numbers in your head (it's all logic, and you can use a calculator), I got 100% on every test and exam (well, when I actually showed up for class).

    I have an easy time understanding complex ideas, figuring out logical problems, I can understand many things easier than "gifted" friends I have... and yet I have to trust the guy at the store to give me exact change because I could spend ten minutes looking at those coins, trying to figure out if he gave me the right change for the 5$ I handed him.

    ADD is equally annoying (and the two don't complement each other)... your head feels like a tv with the channel switching every two seconds, your ideas jump from one thing to the other, so it's really hard to make people understand what you're talking about... you have to make an extra effort to "stay on track". you read the first paragraph of a book, and you find it's been 15 minutes later and, without noticing, you've totally ran off into your own world and forgot you were reading... ADD is like chronic day-dreaming.

    all of these things are very real, and some people suffer with them and have to go through a great deal to hide them... the problem is that some of these things are over-diagnosed these days, because it's much easier to say "lady, your son has ADHD," give him a pill or two, and get it over with, than to actually figure out why the kid won't sit still in class. this also takes away from people who actually do have these disorders.

    and for the 20% increase thing... so what, cancer has increased greatly, diabetes, etc. what's the difference with a mental disorder?
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  19. vanesch

    vanesch 6,236
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    Not a 20% increase. 20% of the students now have a note from their doctor that they are dyslexic, dyscalculic or dyspraxic (but mostly dyslexic). That is because if they have that note, they are considered "disabled student" and then they get all kinds of advantages: they get help on tests (people read them the questions orally, they get 50% more time on all tests etc...), teachers are not supposed to sanction them for writing errors etc...
    Point is, they truely cannot read or write (and I guess *that* is what the doctor's note means: "I gave him a simple text, and he couldn't read it").

    If you have a class of 25 students, 5 of them have a note !
  20. vanesch

    vanesch 6,236
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    I have to say, I have serious problems with considering such a thing as a medical condition. Now, with dyslexia (true dyslexia), there is indeed a neurological condition which, if I understand it, doesn't allow one to get the order of perceptions right in the short term. Ok.

    But "not being able to do what others find trivial" is in my opinion not a medical disorder ; or otherwise I truely am dysgraphic, dyswallpaperic, dysarabic, dyswaterskiic etc... ! Indeed, my 6 year old kid makes better drawings than I do ! I never get the proportions right. Also, I tried and I tried, but I never succeeded in gluing two pieces of wallpaper on the wall, without them overlapping or parting or scrumbling. I also happen not to be able to speak one single word of Arabic, and any Arab symbol is completely incomprehensible to me (but then, I never learned it). I tried several times, a whole afternoon, to get steady on waterskis, and always flopped in the water after at most 3 meters. Nevertheless, I know in each category, people whom I consider "much dumber" than myself, who do these things without any problem.

    I have the impression that when one is bad at something (because one didn't learn it right at the moment when one learns such a thing normally, or, well, one simply didn't get the hang of it), that one feels better when a doctor tells you that it is a *disease* you have, and not that you are simply not good at that stuff. That means that you can't help it, you can forget about it now, you don't have to have any culpability or anything and, moreover, you won't need to deliver any kind of effort to overcome it, because it is a disease!
    That's easier to accept, than just to have to face the fact that you're way worse at something than Joe Sixpack.

    Now, I can understand that there ARE sometimes neurological disorders which ARE a true handicap, but honestly, I think that most of the time, this is just putting a medical label on the fact that you are way worse at something than the average person.

    Look at "dyscalculia". What possible neurological disorder could that be ? Dyslexia is understandable: if IN GENERAL, you have a problem with the order of (visual?) perceptions (whether they are notes of music, letters, spots of color or anything), then it is somehow understandable that you will have a hard time reading (and to a lesser extend, writing).

    But what could be the neurological disorder responsible for dyscalculia ? Me thinks that at the age where one normally learns conceptually, in one way or another, the intuitive relationship between the abstract number representation and the concept of "quantity", that something went wrong, and that, what became an intuitive habit with most, was missed. And once you missed the train, things such as learning by heart the table of addition and so on were never correctly interiorated and so many errors accumulated that you never found your way in the woods anymore.
    But there is neurologically no difference between an abstract operation of numerical addition, and algebraic manipulations ! Both are abstract concepts which have to be learned. But the second time, you did it right. I could imagine that if you had a very very bad teaching of, say, german, and that you learned all the words in the wrong order, and completely misunderstood the grammar, but nevertheless spoke that erroneous german for years, that it would become quite impossible for you to learn to speak german correctly. You would then be dysgermanic. But when learning Spanish, everything would be ok. I think it simply means that you screwed up badly when you learned your number concepts.
    But hey, no problem, it is an illness! The illness is "can't calculate with numbers in his head", and it's most disturbing symptom is "can't calculate with numbers in his head". The doctor said so, so that's ok now.

    That doesn't mean that it isn't a genuine problem if one cannot calculate ! And maybe it is mostly irreversible (then, maybe not). But an ILLNESS ?
  21. O, sorry I just only eyed that part... yea, I know it's terrible the over-diagnosing of learning disorders. but it's an easy way out for a lot of kids, and a lot of doctors, and a lot of parents and teachers.
    that doesn't mean that there aren't any legitimate cases out there though. it actually sucks for me, it turns into the boy who cried wolf... whenever I have a problem with something and I explain I have ADD, half the people in the room go "O my god! me too, I took ritalin for 5 years!" ... when these people clearly don't have a clue what it's like.

    any kid who has a slightly hard time with math is dyscalculic now... it's more than just having trouble with math, you literally feel a mental block that isn't there with anything else... it's hard to describe.
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