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I'm not sure why Joe is reluctant to help himself by using study strategies and
tutoring.  I also do not know what it is like to have an identified math
learning disability.  Further, I don't know if tutoring and study strategies
can compensate when such a disability exists.  It would seem that Joe should
have an evaluation which could determine if a disability is present and also
suggest what could be done for Joe.

"d'Anjou, Sara" wrote:

> I am seeking the collective wisdom of LRNASST to find a solution for a
> thorny dilema:
>
> We have a full-time day student whom I will call Joe; he is around 30
> years old. He started about 6 years ago in our Associate's program in
> Hotel & Restaruant Mgt. and then continued on for his Bachelor's in
> Business Management. He is scheduled to graduate this May, if he passes
> his currrent courses. Joe has epilepsy and other seizure disorders and
> has been on and off various medications for years. His illness often
> impacts his academic performance (in terms of attendance, meeting
> deadlines, understanding criteria for assignments) but many of our
> faculty know him quite well and tend to accommodate his situation. His
> overall GPA is a 2.3 with grades ranging from D's to A's and B's. The
> current problem relates to what seems to be a deterioration in his
> overall cognitive functioning which is most evident in his performance in
> math.
>
> Math has always been a problem for Joe, although ed plans from his high
> school years merely indicate minor problems with arithmetic and do not
> mention any type of learning disability. Although he is under a neurologist
> 's care, he has not had any recent psychoeducational evaluations. For the
> Associate's degree, Business Math was the only math requirement, and he
> passed that on the first try. The Bachelor degree requires algebra which
> has become the bane of Joe's existence. He finally passed Algebra I with
> a C- several semesters ago after having withdrawn during previous
> semesters. (We suspect that the instructor took pity on him.) He has
> failed Algebra II once and is now about to fail again. I must add that
> Joe is resistant to any type of suggestions that could possibly help him
> with math - he did not take Algebra II directly following Algebra I,
> comes sporadically for tutoring, does not do homework on his own, does
> not follow up on study skills suggestions, etc.
>
> I have been tutoring him for the last few weeks (I've known him for his
> entire time here) and he has not been making progress. There are problems
> with short and long term memory, visual perception, motor skills,
> linguistic processing, lack of Algebra I background information, you name
> it! I don't see any way that he can pass the course, even in an
> individual format, now or at a future time. Last year, Joe had an
> experimental procedure (some type of electrode and drug delivery implant)
> that according to him "removed part of his brain."
>
> I definitely feel that his level of functioning (which was never that
> strong) has seriously deteriorated even compared to last year, and that
> the algebra is pure torture for him. We do have a waiver/substitution
> policy but that comes into play only after Albegra II. (Algebra II is not
> a difficult course; many students have covered this material in high
> school.) A former VP of Academic Affairs (who has since left the college)
> had already waived the next course, College Algebra, for Joe (bypassing a
> number of procedures and policies in the process.)
>
> Joe desperately wants to graduate and get on with his life, and we would
> like to see him walk across that stage as well. Do any of you have any
> suggestions? Sorry for the long post but I had to provide the background.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Sara d'Anjou
> Director of Academic Support Services
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