I'm currently a 5th year senior in High School.
There is this test that me and the other students must pass in order to receive a High School diploma and graduate.
At first I failed all of it, but luckily, scores from an end of course test for the first two sections (English and Social Studies) replaced the exit exam scores. That left me with two more tests that I failed, Math and science.
Before I go any further I would like to say that I have Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, I'm great with some subjects in School, but my main weakness in school is MATH.
I've failed the math portion of the exit exam, five times! Every time they mention this exam, I get very, very angry about it.
I'm getting more and more discouraged every time they bring up the test! As a matter of fact, they say that I have to take it again in two weeks, unless, I can get my mom to email them saying that I don't have to take it, but my mom doesn't know that I failed and I really don't want to take the blasted test again!
What should I do?
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Thank you for writing. This is an important subject, and writing about it might help other “Ask Papabear” readers, as well as, hopefully, you. Papabear has run into quite a few furries who have Asperger’s, which can be an extremely frustrating ailment to deal with. Usually, Papabear hears about the social difficulties of Asperger’s sufferers, but it obviously makes schoolwork more difficult as well.
I think we can immediately rule out your failure, in math especially, to lack of trying, as it looks to me as if you have really been trying. This already puts you ahead of about 20% of Americans who drop out of high school each year, so kudos to you for getting this far.
You say nothing in your letter, however, about seeking outside help—other than yours truly. You haven’t told your mother that you didn’t pass the last test, and you say nothing of looking for a tutor or other assistance.
We all can get a little stubborn about not asking for help. It hurts our pride when we feel we can’t accomplish something by ourselves, and we can feel embarrassed or ashamed.
But there really is nothing wrong with asking for help. You just did, actually, by writing to Papabear. So, if you haven’t done so already, see what you can do about getting a tutor. Talk to a counselor at high school about getting a free tutor, and you might also check out online services such as Alleyoop (http://www.alleyoop.com/). In your case, too, you might consider doing your studies online instead of in a brick-and-mortar class. The free accredited online high school Connections Academy (http://info.connectionsacademy.com/) might be worth checking out.
And, by the way, if you haven’t talked to your high school counselor, you should. They will be able to make suggestions on getting assistance for your math studies. (I’m assuming you talked to your teacher, but if you haven’t, then there’s another resource).
Furthermore, you need to tell your mom. Ask for her help, as well. If you haven’t done so, too, you should find some help and support for your Asperger’s. Organizations like the Autism Support Network (http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/) offer assistance in a wide array of issues related to those with various forms of autism, including Asperger’s.
In short, Jacob, there is no reason for you to suffer alone with this problem, or to become frustrated by your attempts to pass math. You’ve got the will and determination, and now you just need a bit of a boost and support from your family, tutors, counselors, and online help that is out there for you!
I hope this helps! Big Bear Hugs!
Papabear has a bear friend in Texas who is a brilliant mathematician and teacher. So, I asked him if he had advice and he added the following:
There are a number of such organizations but they usually act locally or at least at the state blevel. Your friend needs to contact the local school system and find a program that can take him. Some charter schools deal with cases like his but a lot of them are really bad. Not all though. His best bet is to look for a local program. There should be some. Some of these are allied with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and he might check out their web site to see if they have anything in Georgia. If this guy is still in school he has every right to expect them to give him extra help. If they dont do this, he can sue them under the Americans With Disabilities act, He may need to remind the administration at his school of this. No Federal judge will accept the "we don't have any money for this excuse". The law requires them to have resources available and make providing them a priority! If he is willing to go on Second Life and has a reasonably good enough computer to handle it, then I would be willing to help him at Math Bear's school on Second Life. tell him there is no way to fake the test, he has to learn the basic mathematical concepts to succeed. He can do himself a great favor if he makes sure he knows the multiplication table well, backwords and forwards and by heart, This is absolutely if he want to succeed. He must also be able to handle all 4 fundamental operations of arithmetic with pencil and paper without using a calculator and on as non-trivial level! Single digit problems don't count. He should also know how to factor whole numbers. Finally, he needs to aware of all the numbers he runs into in real life and what they ,mean. Does the number count something? Does it measure something? Does it indicate a place in some sort of ordered list? is it just a label? (i.e. think "Chanel No. 5"). He needs to develop number sense if he wants to be able to handle math. Tell him not to be tempted to use his condition as an excuse. I once had a student in one of my Algebra2 cl;asees who had Down's Syndrome. He was determined to graduate honestly. He listened to everything I said, asked questions and took consistent notes. He did all classwork and homework. He came in after schhool everyday for me to help him. i made a few accomodations for tests but he took the same tests as the other students. He ended up getting an A- which i thought was really outstanding considering his situation.
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