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General Discussion

Jonathan Grieve
MOD
Jonathan Grieve
Treehouse Moderator 90,705 Points

Neuro-diverse Treehouse Students

Hi there everyone. I thought it was time to bring a discussion on something that's close to my heart and that is learning on Treehouse for people that are neuro-diverse.

What I mean by that is people who have a specific learning difficulty such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia or Dyscalcula and people on the Autism spectrum.

I myself have been very different in the way that I learn, present myself and think about things my whole life. I didn't really know why this was; why I should be pointed out for being so different. That was until I was nearly finished secondary school and was diagnosed with Dyspraxia.

Dyspraxia is a specific learning difficulty that affects physical coordination, memory, speech, language perception and thought.

The Dyspraxia Foundation in the UK says that...

"Current research suggests that it is due to an immaturity of neurone development in the brain rather than to brain damage. People with Dyspraxia have no clinical neurological abnormality to explain their condition."

Dyspraxia and the causes

So over the years this has had a profound effect on how I learn anything as well as my time on Treehouse.

I've taken many courses on Treehouse. I've loved them all and would consider my time on each of them to be very useful and worthwhile for me to take. But every so often I find myself looking back and reflecting on what I've actually taken in. I'm sure everybody does the same but I find myself feeling that I haven't quite learned remembered what the course was trying to teach and I lack the confidence to go out and apply these things to real life projects.

It's not me saying that I haven't paid attention or taken in the information at all. The videos are absolutely fantastic. The code challenges and quizzes are excellently design to ensure that deep down the information is locked in the brain; that's what Treehouse does so well. But something happens sometimes when I take it to a real life project that blocks out the "new" information that I've been given. It can happen at any time, at any place in any situation, sometimes even the most trivial things.

So... I have thousands of Treehouse points for a wide range of subjects but sometimes I feel a little held back by my learning difficulty. This has in the past few days manifested in my forum posts, having to apologise for some advice direction that isn't quite right because I haven't factored A B or C.

The points reflect how much time and effort I've put into learning a particular subject but unfortunately not my current skill level.

I don't want to sound negative here or put myself down. I'm just trying to explain thing from my own point of view. I want to foster a "can do" attitude to my Treehouse education.

Sometimes my disability gets me down. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and it gets too much. At such times it would be easy for me to take a step back or give up altogether. But when I get those thoughts I toss them aside as best as I can.

It's my firm belief that one day something is going to "click" in my brain and I'm going to get it right. It'll take hard work and dedication; the same as any Treehouse student but I believe I can do it.

In spite of everything that I said Treehouse has taught me a great deal and I'm confident this is the place to help me reach my goals.

I'm very interested to see how many other students out there would consider themselves Neuro-diverse and how they overcome their difficulties on a daily basis. Everyone is capable on Treehouse, even me with my Dyspraxia. :-)

1 Answer

christopher walsh
christopher walsh
10,763 Points

Im not diagnosed with anything but Ive had a very similar story of struggling to learn through the traditional education system.

but anyway, long story short!

I can do treehouse lessons and quizzes easily but when Im in dreamweaver, its like day one! what I do for exercises is take free royalty free website PSDs and upload them to dreamweaver through adobe extract. I break down the html by slowly going through it and typing out what the html must be, section by section, line by line. then extract lets me take css rules from the psd and put them into the code. this helps me to learn outside the treehouse environment and reveals what I really do and don't know by heart.

I have read on many blogs and sites that working on a real project, wither its coding a website or coding for apps; feels drastically different and more frustrating than a learning environment. But I know I'll grow through personal projects. so its really important to do projects, hard tiresome frustrating projects!!!

hope that helps.

Jonathan Grieve
Jonathan Grieve
Treehouse Moderator 90,705 Points

Yea Treehouse will keep you on the right track for sure! I just wonder where all the stuff I'm learning goes when I'm applying myself to a project. It's good the hear the different ways people learn.

I haven#'t actually used Dreamweaver for years although I still have it. I use notepad++ now and swear by it for all my coding. I back this up by writing notes alongside Treehouse courses to help me remember the material :)