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Coming to terms with persisting specific learning difficulty

The first step for an adult with persisting difficulties in learning is to try to accept that he has such difficulties. This allows him to take appropriate steps to overcome them. As the earlier short biographies show, people who have difficulties with learning are in good company. They are by no means a small group, either. It is estimated that as many as three to four million adults in the UK, and 35 million in the USA, have significant difficulty with reading and writing. Not all of these have a specific learning difficulty, but many do.

An adult with a specific learning difficulty should tell people close to him about his condition. This avoids embarrassing situations and allows these people to provide appropriate support. On the other hand, it is not necessary to volunteer information about specific learning difficulty to a prospective employer, unless the difficulty means that the applicant will not be able to perform the job. To colleagues at work, it may be best just to say ‘I am not a good reader’, or ‘I am not a good speller’, although this is a matter for individual judgement.

Adults with a specific learning difficulty can continue to improve their basic skills throughout their life. It has been demonstrated again and again that it is never too late to learn. There are now a greater number of literacy courses for adults, or one can arrange to be taught in the privacy of one’s own home.

If an adult with a specific learning difficulty is taking further training, he should tell lecturers, or teachers, about his condition. This will enable allowances to be made for his difficulties.

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