Learning Disorders???

So I’ve been thinking about posting this question and just got an extra nudge from a post on the Students and Schools section - topic “learn how to spell”

Basically is there a high percentage of designers/creative types with Learning Disorders i.e. dyslexia, Attention Defecit, etc… and do people think this overall helps or hurts how they function in their jobs? ie beinag able to think differently? I also know that some schools take this account for their “creative” programs and provide extra assistance. Anyone have this experience?

I’ll say that i have A.D.D. and as an engineer it has caused some problems…but in things designer related it’s been easier to cope though i face my obstacles. But again I’m just now making the transition to design full time so I can’t properly jude. It just feels more natural. That’s not to say I didn’t succeed as an engineer it’s just run it’s course I guess.

Anyway sorry for the longwindedness (no not a real word ) just wondering.

I am a designer and have been labeled with a learning disability.
Writing and retrieving information (such as Movie Titles/ Names) is my weakness.

On the contrary, I have been tested and diagnosed to have an above average IQ. In eighth grade I built a V8 360 HP. Chevy Engine. Each piston was Balanced and blueprinted to the exact gram (this give the engine a nice hum while increasing the HP.)

Do you know any eighth grade English teacher that can do that? Probably not! These are the same individuals who label us.

Yes I do struggle at times with writing etc. Although I (“& Designers”)do things that the average person cannot. We all have different learning styles!

Maybe we just have to take a stand?

I would like to hear other responses :open_mouth:

ADD or ADHD? two totally different disorders with different symptoms. One you are slow and in some severe cases unable to verbalize without medication, due to the body producing insufficient amounts of a neurological protein. The other is hyperactive rambunctious, and wondering of mind, easily treated through medication or therapy.

The true ADD runs in families with a history of Autism, Terets, and MD. Infact some researchers are now linking Autism and true ADD to the same genetic mutation, differentiated only by the severity of the genetic mutation.

Well i guess adhd…though i thougt once someone hit adulthood the H got taken away. And not everyone displays the H even when growing up…The H being Hyperactiveity of course

Im not sure that my learning disability has improved my abilities as a designer…problem solving etc. It HAS indirectly pushed me to be better at things that do not require number crunching, etc. More of my energy/effort has gone into things that don’t require the things I do not so well.

I think the labelers that GUY is refering to cause a whole set of other outcomes in the way that they deal with ‘us’. thats another big issue… We should start labeling the labelers and treating them poorly. But I think Guy’s point is right on…we can ‘draw the straight line’…‘they’ cannot.

Dyslexia hasn’t hindered me as a designer- I think it actually doesn’t come up much…Or I have lots of internal work-arounds.

I think it impacts my number capabilities, budgets, etc. the most.

In a more general way, though, like any other physical disability, it is part of who I am, for better AND for worse, and since I like myself pretty well, I don’t think I’d be the same lovable guy without it…so I like having it fine. It is what you do with it, right?

True, but without the H then it is either True ADD or the just one of many other behavior problems The pshycologists my family works with, as I am the only male child in 2 generations to not have true ADD or Autism, are currently conducting a study (3 yrs in right now) preliminary findis are showing that nearly 28% of all ADD/ADHD cases were ridline has been perscribed show false diagnosis of other behavior problems.

Well i agree with the fact that there is some misdiagnosis. Especially with ritalin…I didn’t have the best reaction to that. Yet It seems to me to be a bit extreme to put it purely in the way of autism…but again i was one with an H.

But to what 8-ball said…i agree. It is who you are. But sometimes it’s a little difficult and sometimes it makes thinsg easier. I fought taking any pills for thevlongest time even though iknew something was up in high school. And even though i see the improvements in focus there’sa few other areas i feel diminished creatively and so i’m trying to find the balance and also trying to make the decision to just stop the meds all together. As an engineer the focus problem definately hurt at times…that and my issues with math…Fantastic with Geometry and Trig…crap at algebra. But if I look at my resume and at the work that I did/do I’m not disappointed. A lot of people would be happy to have my CV.

So I guess at times I wonder like Guy if I am trying to fit a box i’m not suppossed to. I feel I probably should have been a designer from get the go; too bad it took till my final year in College to discover ID. But right now I am more liberated mentally when i go home to work on my own projects than at the job. Can’t wait for school!!!

I’m a footwear designer who was just recently diagnosed with ADHD and have been taking low doses of ritalin for the past 4months and i cant believe the difference it ahs made in my life…when i occasionally miss a dose and i get all spacey i cant believe i lived like that 24/7 for 32 years…i originally wanted to be an architect but have always had a severe math phobia so that pushed m into ID. ( i was diagnosed with a learning disability in math and spatial reasoning or something that is the opposite of dyslexia) My ability to remeber things and stay on track has improved 1000%…i feel like a new man. the only downside is i have had to severly curtail my alchohol intake…probably not a bad thing in the long run
thats my 2cents…

After reading your stories I thought I might share this.
I’m an ID and in the last few years I have become suspicious that I too might have some sort of ADD. I get bored and distracted with ease, when in groups of people and in conversations my mind just goes flying away and on a daily basis I interchange syllables and letters when I speak and write. It’s become so regular that its has started to worry me. The fact that I am married to an engineer that points it out everytime it happens doesn’t help either.

I have always been horrible at memorizing names and at my analytical skills. It usually takes me a lot longer than normal to learn things and solve situations. So I have discovered that I am a little “slow” if you want to call it that way. I remember when I was going to kindergarten my school didn’t want me because I was slower than other kids. However, this is the part that I don’t get. I graduated high school valedictorian and highest honor in college (not trying to brag here, just making a point). I am surprised that even with my learning difficulty I have been able to accomplish such things. I know that it has probably made me work harder at things and as a result be able to outperform other people.

Since I don’t reason like most people I am usually extremely creative in finding solutions that don’t involve “analytical thinking” and that are simpler and more efficient. Therefore I think that instead of being a negative thing it has become my strongest asset. People come to me because they know that I can solve things in a different manner.

Maybe most of us designers have that ability. I don’t like to call it dissability. I think that’s what makes us special. Society is wrong in labeling people for having learning dissabilities, we can be just as good or better than “normal” people.

OK, now this is an interesting topic – my thanks to porcupine for broaching it.

My own background is as an engineer turned high school teacher turned recent ID grad, and the progression may have much to do with the desire to find a career that didn’t feel forced. Whether that is due to an existing learning disability or not I can’t say, though my girlfriend, long ago diagnosed as extremely dyslexic, says I exhibit some of the characteristics of dyslexia.

For me, the most interesting experiences I’ve had with learning “disabilities” was as a high school science teacher. It’s not uncommon today to have high school classes with 15-20% of the students diagnosed with some sort of learning disorder (assuming the parents can afford to have their child tested for it). They get extra time on tests. The surprising bit is, there’s no real difference in how well they do in the class, on average, than kids that haven’t been diagnosed with dyslexia or ADD.

When I taught Chemistry, I had a particular experience that repeated in almost every class I taught. One or two kids, diagnosed with dyslexia, would average B/B+ for the first half of the year, obviously struggling with the highly mathematical, organizational topics, but putting in enough work to get by. Then we’d get to organic chemistry, where the emphasis shifts from calculation to molecular geometry: building models of molecules, figuring out chain structures, predicting reactions based on the shapes of the compounds.

Very often, the learning disabled kids, especially those diagnosed with dyslexia, would suddenly be getting A’s and A+'s, while the hyper-organized, numerically focused kids would start struggling.

There’s a book on this topic called “The Gift of Dyslexia,” if you’re interested, with all sorts of anecdotes of this type. The fundamental idea being that letter and number-based thinking favors a particular style of comprehension, which is often at odds with 3-Dimensional “object” based comprehension. It has been argued that dyslexia is nothing more than a more extreme manifestation of this style of comprehension. Which happens to make for good 3D designers, among other things.

I have been reading this discussion for the past several days.
There is a popular book out there that says something like this.
“We are made perfect in weakness.” Be thankful for them

Thank you for your heartfelt replies.

Here is proof that designers don’t need to be able to spell.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.
The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh, and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.

Another great book on adhd is:
“Driven to distraction”


Does the book say anything about who it’s more applicable to? I think as we get older, we can understand it because we recognize the patterns. Like we do with most everything as we age, judge based on our previous knowledge (for good and bad).
But I don’t think younger children who can read perfectly well would get it as easily. Because they’re still reading the actual letters and don’t have the pattern presets grownups have, maybe? Any info on that, have they tried it with younger kids who read well?