Jobs for People With Learning Difficulties

By Diane Todd
...

Children with learning diffculties often struggle with academics in school. Learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalcula and dysgraphia create problems with reading, comprehension, time management and organizational skills. Although these problems complicate the learning process, schools often provide provisions for children with learning disabilities. Once these children graduate, however, provisions are gone and the adult must find and keep employment on his own. With proper accommodations, adults who have a learning disability can excel in a number of different careers.

Struggles in Gaining Employment

Man in a job interview

Adults with learning difficulties have two choices after they graduate high school. They can keep their disability to themselves, search for an acceptable job and do the best they can; or they can admit to employers that they may need special consideration for certain tasks and run the risk of being harshly judged or turned down. Although many people with learning disabilities have secured employment, approximately 90 percent of these people say that they struggle with their disability during their workday.

Job Struggles

Employment application form

People who have a learning disability generally have problems filling out job applications. Although it is common for any new employee to feel stressed during the first few weeks of job training, adults with learning difficulties report experiencing severe anxiety during this time. With all the new information to process, literature to study and routines to adapt to, learning diffculties ruthlessly interfere with their ability to learn the job successfully. Skills involving reading comprehension, time management, organization and information processing are critical during this period of adjustment. As a result, adults with learning disabilities must either make provisions for themselves or get frustrated and terminate their employment.

Strategies for Job Success

Man working after hours

There are many accommodations that employees instill in their workday to help them overcome their difficulties. These modifications include daily listing of goals and priorities, setting time limits to accomplish prioritized tasks, completing unfinished work after hours, consulting fellow employees during times of confusion, locating or creating a quiet work space with minimal distractions and asking others to go over finished work to check for errors due to disabilities. If an adult with a learning disability can implement these strategies, there is no reason why he cannot successfully work the same types of jobs as adults without learning difficulties.

About the Author

Diane Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from North Carolina State University and is a former video and web producer for a North Carolina multimedia agency. She also spent several years as a media specialist/graphics designer for the Cumberland County school system in Fayetteville, N.C.