Do you think my collegue speaking the truth or is he trying to get at me?

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Anonymous #1
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My collegue/assistantpointed out today that he thinks I have a mild LD. I am aware that I have a bit of a complex about being slow, I’m not great socially like it takes me a while to process/understand things. In jobs people have pointed out that they can’t believe I couldn’t remember something.

Once on a student placement I was told that they had expected me to pick up ‘basic techniques’ quicker than I did. Which just added to my fear I barely spoke when I first started this job I’m in. I can go very quiet at times apparantly I went to a speech therapist as an infant and they advised a special school, my mum refused then later they changed their minds apparantly and said it was probably behavioural. I have 2 degrees so get by ok academically and there are lots of things I pick up at the same speed as others.

Anyway we were messing about a bit doing an activity where we wrote characteristics of each other on a sheet. I was adding to my own and he said ‘mild LD’, then my other collegues smirked a bit

I went to the shop later to get a drink and got him one too. He came back and said ‘oh thank you is it from you’ I said ‘from the shop yea’. He said ‘see this is what I mean with the slight LD, it’s from the shop but someone has to go to the shop’. I got annoyed and just said ‘or maybe I’m just not listening/that interested’.

Days later I made a mistake he pointed it out I said ‘sorry must be my LD’. He signed and said ‘I don’t mean any offence by it you know, we all have something wrong with us. He said ‘I think I’m a bit schizoid’.

The same collegue also asked if I was ok months ago then before I answered he said ‘I mean you are a bit weird anyway arn’t you, no offence’. I just looked and he brushed and said ‘you are though arn’t you really’. I then said in what way he said ‘mehh not in a bad way, I don’t mean totally out there but just a bit, everyone has something about them I suppose’

The thing is my label is one of reduced IQ so not much is a worse insult than that IMO.

I took an IQ test yesterday but didn’t get the results as they wanted to charge for them.

Part of me wonders if my assistant is just trying to get at me for some reason. I mean I’ve no family and he has but he is the one whose wife takes charge of all the bills (he admits he is like a child) and is learning to drive in an automatic car- his wife booked him on his lessons. I feel like pointing these things out but feel it’s harsh
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Anonymous #1
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I guess it’s just more embarrassing than anything. I already feel like a ‘loser’ socially
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Kerzen
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Do you actually have a formal diagnosis of any kind?

What kind of work do you do?

How old are you?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Kerzen)
Do you actually have a formal diagnosis of any kind?

What kind of work do you do?

How old are you?
No formal diagnosis, I work in mental health but promoting physical health. I’m pushing 30
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Kerzen
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(Original post by Anonymous)
No formal diagnosis, I work in mental health but promoting physical health. I’m pushing 30
You say "The thing is my label is one of reduced IQ".

What do you mean when you say that?
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Crazy Jamie
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Alright, let's just unpack something first, and that is what "mild learning difficulties" can actually mean. As a term it is extremely broad and can mean issues with cognitive ability (which is the closest thing to what you're referring to as IQ), auditory processing (how quickly or effectively you process information that you hear), verbal output (how quickly and effectively you can put together and say things you want to communicate), sensory processing (how effectively you process external elements like noise, light, smells and so on, which can in turn impact on how you can engage with learning), and a whole host of other things. People with mild learning difficulties may need input from speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and so on, or they may not. They may require other provision within school to assist them, or they may not. They will very rarely need to go to a special school; almost always those with mild learning difficulties can be taught effectively in mainstream education. But not only are these things so varied, it's also doesn't mean that anything is actually wrong with you. We all work in different ways, and everyone has varying issues with each of those things I've listed above. It doesn't mean that any specific person has a problem or is flawed in some way. It's just how people are. The only reason the term "learning difficulties" is used is to identify those people (and usually children/young people) who require specific support and provision in their education. Which again, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them. It just means they need help with some aspect of their learning and/or lives, and we will all eventually need that from time to time.

The reason I mention all of that is for two reasons. First, the guy who is saying this almost certainly has not a single clue what is talking about. Even if he is right (and I have some considerable doubt that he is; being slightly slower on the uptake or being forgetful does not mean you have learning difficulties), that is not an issue in any way. Second, in any event the way he is using this term is at the very least insensitive, and at worst positively hurtful. It says far more about him than it does about you. It seems to be unintentional and not malicious, but it is still not something that he should be doing. I don't think you have anything to worry about personally here because of what I've already said, and I don't think you should be bothered at all by this. So by all means go along with it if you want and treat it as a joke. But if you'd just prefer him not to say it, I'd just ask him to stop. There's no need to retaliate in some way by highlighting his own personal failings. Just ask him not to refer to you in that way, and I suspect that will have the desired effect.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Kerzen)
You say "The thing is my label is one of reduced IQ".

What do you mean when you say that?
In the context I put it I meant that if we are labelling each other with inadequacies (for example my collegue said he thought he was ‘schizoid’), surely mine is much more of an insult. As you can’t really offend someone much more than saying they have low IQ. I don’t think so anyway.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
Alright, let's just unpack something first, and that is what "mild learning difficulties" can actually mean. As a term it is extremely broad and can mean issues with cognitive ability (which is the closest thing to what you're referring to as IQ), auditory processing (how quickly or effectively you process information that you hear), verbal output (how quickly and effectively you can put together and say things you want to communicate), sensory processing (how effectively you process external elements like noise, light, smells and so on, which can in turn impact on how you can engage with learning), and a whole host of other things. People with mild learning difficulties may need input from speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and so on, or they may not. They may require other provision within school to assist them, or they may not. They will very rarely need to go to a special school; almost always those with mild learning difficulties can be taught effectively in mainstream education. But not only are these things so varied, it's also doesn't mean that anything is actually wrong with you. We all work in different ways, and everyone has varying issues with each of those things I've listed above. It doesn't mean that any specific person has a problem or is flawed in some way. It's just how people are. The only reason the term "learning difficulties" is used is to identify those people (and usually children/young people) who require specific support and provision in their education. Which again, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them. It just means they need help with some aspect of their learning and/or lives, and we will all eventually need that from time to time.

The reason I mention all of that is for two reasons. First, the guy who is saying this almost certainly has not a single clue what is talking about. Even if he is right (and I have some considerable doubt that he is; being slightly slower on the uptake or being forgetful does not mean you have learning difficulties), that is not an issue in any way. Second, in any event the way he is using this term is at the very least insensitive, and at worst positively hurtful. It says far more about him than it does about you. It seems to be unintentional and not malicious, but it is still not something that he should be doing. I don't think you have anything to worry about personally here because of what I've already said, and I don't think you should be bothered at all by this. So by all means go along with it if you want and treat it as a joke. But if you'd just prefer him not to say it, I'd just ask him to stop. There's no need to retaliate in some way by highlighting his own personal failings. Just ask him not to refer to you in that way, and I suspect that will have the desired effect.
Thanks for that. I mean there are 2 terms we should probably differentiate between. You refer to ‘learning difficulties’ (which include things like dyslexia and the things you mentioned) but I’m referring to ‘learning disability’ - which is basically low IQ. Correct me if I’m wrong.

The guy is known for having a sarcastic sense of humour but I feel that the undertones of his humour might include attacks, like he gets away with things as it’s said in humour. I’m all for using humour i honk it takes the control away from them a bit but I am always so tempted to ‘attack’ back with insults I know it’s not the mainstream mature but I feel it’s what people need sometimes to make them aware that they are vulnerable too and that they don’t hold the monopoly on verbal attacks. If you know what I mean
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Kerzen
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Are you saying that you believe that you have a low IQ?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Kerzen)
Are you saying that you believe that you have a low IQ?
I don’t know if I do
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Kerzen
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I don’t know if I do
Why would you even entertain the question of low IQ as a possibility?

How are things for you outside of work?

You mention having no family - have your parents passed away? Did you have any siblings?

Do you have a close circle of friends, people on whom you can rely when things are difficult?
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PollyParrot23
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(Original post by Anonymous)
My collegue/assistantpointed out today that he thinks I have a mild LD. I am aware that I have a bit of a complex about being slow, I’m not great socially like it takes me a while to process/understand things. In jobs people have pointed out that they can’t believe I couldn’t remember something.

Once on a student placement I was told that they had expected me to pick up ‘basic techniques’ quicker than I did. Which just added to my fear I barely spoke when I first started this job I’m in. I can go very quiet at times apparantly I went to a speech therapist as an infant and they advised a special school, my mum refused then later they changed their minds apparantly and said it was probably behavioural. I have 2 degrees so get by ok academically and there are lots of things I pick up at the same speed as others.

Anyway we were messing about a bit doing an activity where we wrote characteristics of each other on a sheet. I was adding to my own and he said ‘mild LD’, then my other collegues smirked a bit

I went to the shop later to get a drink and got him one too. He came back and said ‘oh thank you is it from you’ I said ‘from the shop yea’. He said ‘see this is what I mean with the slight LD, it’s from the shop but someone has to go to the shop’. I got annoyed and just said ‘or maybe I’m just not listening/that interested’.

Days later I made a mistake he pointed it out I said ‘sorry must be my LD’. He signed and said ‘I don’t mean any offence by it you know, we all have something wrong with us. He said ‘I think I’m a bit schizoid’.

The same collegue also asked if I was ok months ago then before I answered he said ‘I mean you are a bit weird anyway arn’t you, no offence’. I just looked and he brushed and said ‘you are though arn’t you really’. I then said in what way he said ‘mehh not in a bad way, I don’t mean totally out there but just a bit, everyone has something about them I suppose’

The thing is my label is one of reduced IQ so not much is a worse insult than that IMO.

I took an IQ test yesterday but didn’t get the results as they wanted to charge for them.

Part of me wonders if my assistant is just trying to get at me for some reason. I mean I’ve no family and he has but he is the one whose wife takes charge of all the bills (he admits he is like a child) and is learning to drive in an automatic car- his wife booked him on his lessons. I feel like pointing these things out but feel it’s harsh
This guy sounds like a complete a*se. If his comments are hurtful or upsetting to you, it doesn't matter if he's 'just having a joke'. It's a joke at your expense and in my book when only side finds it funny it's called bullying. If one of your friends came to you and described what you've just told us, would you tell her it's okay or would you be horrified that one of her colleagues thinks its okay to 1. mock people with LDs or 2.make others feel silly and belittled. It's not. To me this sounds like a man who feels the need to prove himself as being 'big and cool and better than everyone' by making people feel insecure and bad about themselves and I cannot STAND people like that.

If you feel comfortable telling him yourself that what he's saying isn't appropriate then say so, if not take it to your management. I can guarantee that your colleague will play the 'why are you being so sensitive, it's just a joke or don't you get it?' card but that's b*llocks and absolutely not something you should put up with. Your workplace environment shouldn't be making you uncomfortable
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks for that. I mean there are 2 terms we should probably differentiate between. You refer to ‘learning difficulties’ (which include things like dyslexia and the things you mentioned) but I’m referring to ‘learning disability’ - which is basically low IQ. Correct me if I’m wrong.

The guy is known for having a sarcastic sense of humour but I feel that the undertones of his humour might include attacks, like he gets away with things as it’s said in humour. I’m all for using humour i honk it takes the control away from them a bit but I am always so tempted to ‘attack’ back with insults I know it’s not the mainstream mature but I feel it’s what people need sometimes to make them aware that they are vulnerable too and that they don’t hold the monopoly on verbal attacks. If you know what I mean
A learning disability is not low IQ. Like learning difficulties, it is a very broad term that can incorporate a lot of different situations. In fact, in relation to special education needs the two are not distinguished (have a look at section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014 here). Learning disabilities are generally seen as more severe, and many children/young people with a learning disability will have impaired cognitive ability, but they will also usually have impaired social functioning as well. And again, the precise cause of those things can vary massively, so it is not right to say that any reference to learning disabilities means low IQ. It is also worth saying that it is vanishingly unlikely that you have a learning disability and the first person to notice is a random guy you work with who has no qualifications, expertise or experience that would enable him to make such a diagnosis. If your colleague is referring explicitly to a learning disability and not learning difficulties, it just reinforces the fact that he doesn't have any idea what he's talking about, and his comments should not be taken in any way as an even vaguely accurate representation of your own ability. You've mentioned that you can be slow to absorb information or retain it. There can be many reasons for that, but it doesn't mean you have learning difficulties or a learning disability. Many people have similar issues but do not have either of those things.

I entirely understand that these comments have been hurtful but you have to see them for what they are, which is at best poorly judged and at worst bullying comments from a colleague. The problem is with him, not with you.
Last edited by Crazy Jamie; 1 month ago
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black tea
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You have posted about this before. If you have 2 degrees, it is highly, highly unlikely you have LD. The fact that it took you a while to pick up some skills means nothing - different people are good at different things, perhaps that particular skill is just not your strength, and if you are now able to do it, it really doesn't matter if it took you a bit longer to learn than your other colleagues. That guy just sounds like a bit of ****, tbh - perhaps he is insecure about the fact he is an assistant?
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petertyerman
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there is clearly confusion in terms in this thread and in the terms used in the workplace. there are generalised neuro development disorders often called Learning disorder (LD) and usually defined by low IQ levels and specific learn difficulties such as autism dyslexia and ADHD where the overall ability is not lowered but the are difficulties are specific areas.You clearly don't meet the criteria for the first as you could not get a degree with LD. However if you have a history and symptoms that could be related a neuro divers condition and it might be worth looking at the signs of these and seeing if you feel they fit.If they do then it may be worth getting referred as the understanding got from knowing what does it can be really helpfully however the NHS is really slow in these areas.An exception is dyslexia which is outside the NHS.All however are disabilities under the equality act and require employers to make adjustments if they are aware of the disability even if undiagnosed.If you are on good terms with your employer it might be worth considering if they would support you in finding out.
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