DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend (I'll call him Timothy) was in special education classes all through school. He is very intelligent, but has a slight learning disability. Because of the way the educational system was set up, he was put into classes with students who had severe learning disabilities. He wasn't even taught addition and subtraction until his senior year.
Despite the odds against him, Timothy enrolled in community college. The lowest-level college classes are a huge jump from his high school classes and too fast-paced for him. He has talked with the counselors and tutors, but no one can help him. He has put much time and effort into classes, but still has made only failing grades. He blames himself for this, although it isn't his fault.
It breaks my heart to see Timothy's self-esteem dashed and his ambitions crushed. He is terrified of what his future holds if he cannot get an education.
Abby, aren't there classes for adults who never learned to read and write in school? Timothy can read a little, but not well. Where can I get more information for him? -- LOVES HIM AND WANTS TO HELP
DEAR LOVES HIM: Inquire at the high school about remedial reading classes for adults. Also, libraries usually have programs to assist adults and children with reading and writing problems. Perhaps they can refer you to tutors who volunteer their skills without charge simply for the love of helping those in need.
Another thought: Not everyone learns in the same way. Some people learn more easily when they hear a lecture, rather than from a book. Others learn faster when they see something demonstrated. A trade school may provide a less frustrating environment in which Timothy can learn. Another alternative might be a union apprenticeship program.