Misty's Learning Disabilities

Discussion in 'Haleigh Cummings' started by Tricia, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia Owner Websleuths.com Staff Member Administrator

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    Last night it was revealed on Nancy Grace that Misty does indeed have some pretty tough learning disabilities.

    According to Nancy's producer Misty lived with her Grandmother and she reported that Misty had an extremely hard time doing homework in grade school.

    There is the very real possibility Misty quit school at the 6th grade.

    I would like those who deal with children with disabilities to weigh in and tell us how this would affect someone like Misty and her ability to deal with the truth.

    This could explain the problems with Misty. I am going to guess that if tested Misty would be operating on the same level of a 9 year old. Or younger. JMO
     
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  3. KOOL LOOK

    KOOL LOOK ~~~Sin is the Cause of all Sorrow~~~For this Gal,

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    Tricia this is a very tender subject for me. I've wanted to start this thread for weeks now as I began to realize that something more deeper about Misty's cognitive thinking was going on. When I listened over and over to the taped recordings of her speeches I flagged many moments that revealed Misty has disabilities, and I'm going to say again. She needs an adult mental comp evaluation done immediately for everyone's sake.

    Gotta run son to school, but I will give of myself some credentials to back up my ability to speak on the subject when I return. Thank you for starting this thread, I was too scared to do so in this forum. Marc Klaas last night mentioned during NG that he has also seen these disabilities in Misty, finally some confirmation, I really believe this is what has LE stumped confused causing them to be erroneous in reporting and dealing with Misty. They are not qualified to deal with this. But, as adults, someone in LE should have recognized these flags so very obvious.

    I'm disappointed in her attorney for "divorcing" her. The only protection and covering she had. For weeks, I've been feeling a great injustice being done to those with disabilities. Nothing can be worse than to see those less fortunate, weaker minded, less stronger, be taken advantage of. Someone in the mix of all these interviewers and reporters, LE four agencies, Mothers, family and friends and not one has spoken up for Misty and the possibilities. Guilty or not, and I don't believe Misty has harmed Haleigh in anyway, she should be treated on a level she is able to comprehend and be able to interact back accordingly. Anything less is in-humane.
     
  4. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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    I would like to add a question, as well.

    Is it possible for someone with these apparent cognitive disabilities to act "sly" as well as "slow"? It is hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that someone "slow" could also act in a way that might be perceived as "premeditated" (thought out) or "cunning" or "sneaky". The two ideas (slow vs. sly) don't seem to naturally co-exist. I am hoping that those who have first hand knowlege of disorders like this can enlighten me, and others who may have the same question.

    Thank you!
     
  5. athy

    athy Active Member

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    i have a daughter who was tested as having a learning disability. she has dyslexia. when she was tested in the 3rd grade they explained there are two IQ's one is academic...her's was of a 1st grader, the second is audio that she was tested as being equal to a 14 year old. Misty's academic IQ may be low and she could still be intelligent. she could play the one up to cover the other.
     
  6. Tricia

    Tricia Owner Websleuths.com Staff Member Administrator

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    Keep in mind Misty has learned how to deal with the law her whole life.

    Her family is in constant trouble. From an early age she knew how to "hide" things is my guess.

    You give a small child years of experience of this nature and you create a streetwise kid at a very early age.

    If Misty had grown up in a normal middle class family with no legal problems she would not be able to be "sly" because she would never learn how to act sly. Hypothetically of course.

    Tim Miller's idea was right (don't agree with what he did though). Misty needs someone to comfort and nuture her. Make her feel like she is worth something and not worthless.

    IMO, if Misty knew someone would protect her, love her, and help her, she would fall over herself trying to please them.
     
  7. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    I deal with adults with learning disabilities among other problems and I consider Misty pretty much an adult in that respect. She's seventeen, nearly eighteen now and while teens of that age may still be maturing emotionally, their brain development and cognitive functions are as good as they're going to get, or very nearly so. They may educate themselves and learn a lot after that age, and usually do, but in terms of physiology or neurology their brain function isn't going to improve much.

    Learning disabilities include a variety of complaints and difficulties and it would be preferable to have a more detailed description of the particular difficulties involved.

    From the examples of her writing that we've seen it seems like she could have dyslexia, difficulty writing and possibly reading as well, but that alone would not cause her verbal replies to be inconsistent or in contradiction with the evidence. She also may have some problem with spatial relations (she struggled with inches, feet, whatever...) which might make it difficult for her to explain how far exactly everybody was sleeping, but IMO it doesn't explain the other changes in the story.

    Memory difficulties would obviously compromise the reliability of a person's testimony but in my very subjective opinion the relatively fluent way she produces her story doesn't resemble the verbal behavior of my clients with severe memory complaints. IMO she acts like she remembers and never complains that she doesn't remember. If she has memory difficulty that explains her inconsistencies she seems to have problems with perceiving her own difficulty as well because she hardly ever refers to any difficulty remembering. (Sometimes she says "I don't know" and leaves things blank but my impression is that it's intentional. Dunno, the interview material we have hasn't always asked the right questions to clarify this issue.)

    Anyway, if she has memory difficulty I think it could make her a bit vague about times and details,things like whether she washed blankets for 30 minutes or 60 minutes, whether Granny came at 7 or 7.30.pm., but it's more unlikely that she'd have been misremembering things like whether she was home last night or not, when she was questioned about it the next day or the same night. You don't need a memory difficulty to be vague about exact times though, it's enough if you just don't pay any attention to the time when doing those things.

    The 911 call had the huh factor her unable to answer many questions about Haleigh. Not remembering her date of birth or her height and weight could be an example of a memory difficulty, but then again she might never have known these things in the first place, or she might have been under the influence of something that altered her capacity to reply.

    Memory-challenged people who suffer from confabulation may be very fluent when make up stories to fill the blanks in their memory but IMO she doesn't have that, because the essence of her story has stayed the same over eight months and a confabulating person wouldn't be likely to be as consistent, they'd make up a new story each time. Also their stories may contain elements that are clearly fantastical, clearly figments of their imagination or associations they catch somewhere. They tend to make it quite obvious to an observer that it doesn't make any sense.

    Language difficulties might present as difficulty in understanding the questions or difficult words, and I think we have some evidence about that ("numerical, what's that?") but IMO she has understood most if not all the questions that she's been asked in her interviews pretty well because most of her answers have been to the point and she has seemingly answered the question that she was asked. Comprehension difficulties often become evident because you ask a question and the person replies but she appears to reply some other question because her answer doesn't relate to your question. Difficulties with vocabulary, grammar skills, complex thought, verbal expression or general intellectual level might make it difficult for her to relate her story in a precise manner or in exact sequence and cause ambiguities or make a person use vague wording that changes between tellings although she really means the same thing. I think she may have some problems with some of these things (just an impression having observed her talking) which may introduce some ambiguity along the way. But we have also observed her in some interviews to be quite fluent and confident, so it's not very bad, IMO.

    IMO language difficulties should present no unbridgeable obstacles to Law Enforcement because the majority of their clientele are not Cambridge scholars and they should be used to dealing with people with less than perfect speaking and comprehension skills since they do it every day. If it was just a matter of getting her to understand what she's asked or understanding what she says they should have been able to adjust their questioning to achieve that.

    If it was just a matter of being sketchy, inconsistent or vague I might write it off as a possible consequence of a learning disorder but they said they have physical evidence that she cannot have been doing the things she said she was doing. The things she was asked to discuss weren't nuclear physics, she was asked to describe what she did the night Haleigh went missing. Cleaning, cooking, watching kids play, Granny stopping by, watching movies, washing blankets, sleeping... This sort of thing is well within her linguistic capability, IMO, and if she got that wrong it's not because she can't understand what was asked or couldn't say it right.

    Also, in my opinion, "sly" and "slow" are not mutually exclusive. People with learning disabilities or mild intellectual disability are usually quite able to lie, even if they can't spell "prevaricate". Sometimes on their own initiative, sometimes prompted by others.
     
  8. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    I believe people need to remember that her parents - from what I've read - were on drugs. Parents on drugs often give birth to children with disabilities, obvious or otherwise. I think it would take a great many tests and psychological evaluations to get to the root of her problems, mental and physical.

    I have just become very well acquainted with my twenty-year-old granson since he moved in with me. Biologically he is 20, mentally he is closer to 14 or 15. Perhaps that is the outcome of his parents using drugs prior to conception and during pregnancy, I'm not sure, but it does seem a possibility. Fortunately he will be going for therapy and testing.

    Seems to me this case, and a lot of people in it, have had their lives influenced/stunted/ruined by drugs and the problem doesn't appear to be going away in that particular area of Florida. Such a shame and such a waste.

    Only my opinion
     
  9. Patty G

    Patty G Retired WS Staff

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    Misty for sure is "street" smart. When growing up learning about life through the streets can be a far greater education then school. Misty may not know what the word "numerical" means but she certainly is a survivor of life.
     
  10. Malesherbes

    Malesherbes Former Member

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    There is a difference between not wanting to learn and "can't" being able to learn, you gotta wanna- Misty had no support from her family because education was not important, sadly- Having a learning disability does not hinder you from being able to tell the truth, having a learning disability does not make you pretend to be under hypnosis- jmo
     
  11. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    Perhaps I am just a bit foggy this morning-are we looking for reasons why Misty might be able to hold out against the intense pressure she is under? Are we looking to discover why she is like she is?

    She could failed the polygraphs if she was under the influence of certain drugs. Casey Anthony among others is proof positive that if you choose to stick to your story and there is no substantial physical evidence to the contrary, you can stay out of jail for a long time even if you have committed a crime....until the physical evidence is collected-such as a body.

    To me, Misty's disabilities are what make her a sympathetic figure in spite of the likliehood that she had something to do with Haleighs disappearance-she is clearly street smart yes but she has clearly been incredibly exploited by the adults around her...including members of law enforcement or groups attached to le....imvho.

    So at the end of the day, are these mitigating factors that make her more or less successful in her ability to stay out of jail in spite of being the one who holds the cards here? That would be my question I guess.
     
  12. I AM THE 14 CAR

    I AM THE 14 CAR New Member

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    I would love to see Mistys handwriting.
    I live in a dyslexic world but Im not dyslexic. My kids, hubby and all inlaws on FILs side of family is. I volunteer with Dyslexic & dysgraphic kids.

    As for , Sly & Slow....they CAN go hand in hand and it starts very young. Young kids with dyslexia when first exposed to REALLY having to learn, start building their own "coping skills". Sly can come in at this point. They can skillfully avoid or even lie about things to protect themselves from scary unknown issues...self esteeme, getting in trouble, classmates making fun of them, getting bad grades, punishments, etc. Ive seen this starting as early as Pre-K...by 3rd grade they are REAL Good at it.

    They are Visual Thinkers...they think mainly with pictures (photographic memory) and feeling, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).

    Slow is self explainatory. To us, its more like constant confusion in their brains and contantly trying to figure out "order", sequence, etc.

    Of all of the dyslexics that I know....and I know alot....they can tell you story and almost everytime they tell it, its different but can be different in particular ways (hard to explain). Kinda like trying to go from point A, to B, to C, to D....blindfolded with racing thoughts. Stuttering & "going blank" happens ALOT, especially when flustered, nervous, etc. Sentences arent complete or halted, confusion when trying to "explain" something outloud, deep breathing (sighing).

    Memory is major problem but sometimes when they are young (early elem. school) dyslexics develope their own memory games to cope with dyslexia...and this skill changes as the child ages. Long term memory is good IF it was experienced...like learning to ride a bike: If one reads instructions on how to ride a bike - you still cant ride a bike, you have to "experience" the task of learning to ride a bike (hope that makes sense).

    Bad behavior and/or acting out is common. Being a class clown is common. Being a loner is common. etc...Sometimes emotions can be erratic, especially when confused, flustered, nervous, etc...

    Confusion about directional words & memory...
    First-last, before-after, next-previous, over-under....
    Yesterday-tomorrow, next week, last week (directionality in time)
    Knowing right-left isnt automatic.
    Telling time withOUT using a digital clock is hard.

    It is a common belief that children with dyslexia compensate by using different areas of their brain and they are, in many cases, very creative thinkers and have high IQs.


    I dont know Misty and I have no opinion on her guilt or whatever BUT...if she has learning disabilities, imo, she should be tested by professionals. If she is diagnosed correctly, imo, LE or whoever needs this knowledge to better understand her.


    This is all just mu opinion based on life experiences by me.
    ETA....I am speaking of CHILDREN/teens with learning disabilites...not so much adults.
     
  13. debs

    debs Former Member

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    Misty knows everything she needs to know to get through life in the way she wants to live it, and anyone who is foolish enough to offer her sympathy and attempt to comfort her will only regret it later.
     
  14. Flossie JMO

    Flossie JMO New Member

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  15. KOOL LOOK

    KOOL LOOK ~~~Sin is the Cause of all Sorrow~~~For this Gal,

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    Her handwriting skills reveals alot about what levels she's operating in academically, mentally and age wise.

    Why shouldn't, why can't, she be tested? What's the problem? What's the harm to Haleigh's case in finding out the most we can about the last person with Haleigh? Not directed at you Flossie. :blushing: I tried copying pasting her handwritten note agreeing to take the polygraph. Oh my goodness, how LE could accept that letter without questioning her mental abilities, academic levels is beyond me.
     
  16. Padua

    Padua Verified Expert

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    I looked at her handwriting and watched a few videos. I'd estimate her IQ as being 80 to 85. But I've never evaluated her.
     
  17. Padua

    Padua Verified Expert

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    Unless someone in her family or Tim Miller ponies up $250 per hour no psychologist would do it. Unless she is on medicaid. Medicaid is usually pretty good about paying for psychologicals.
     
  18. Padua

    Padua Verified Expert

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    If anyone has specific questions about psych evals feel free to send them my way. I'm a Licensed Psychologist.
     
  19. KOOL LOOK

    KOOL LOOK ~~~Sin is the Cause of all Sorrow~~~For this Gal,

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    LOL I agree. It's very costly. I paid $950.00 cash last October for one to be done on a family member. The Doctor was 78 years old, a Baby Doll, knew his stuff. But it was worth every penny. With DCF being involved since the beginning, Misty a minor, seems they should have picked up on it during their many interviews. Another reason why I question this case so much.

    I forgot, 80 to 85 range IQ means what level? Thanks so much, your posts are helpful.
     
  20. debs

    debs Former Member

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    I would agree that on any academic scale, Misty would fall far below typical. However, there are many types of learning and Misty is quite capable of handling herself in a number of situations where even the most educated person would feel uncomfortable.

    Misty "knows a lot about a lot of things." She might not have the classic education, but what she's learned and how she's learned it serves her well. For now.
     
  21. KOOL LOOK

    KOOL LOOK ~~~Sin is the Cause of all Sorrow~~~For this Gal,

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    rut roh, I do, hehehe raises hands. I just asked one in my last post. However, and not going against anything you recommend, I honor all you say on this subject. I felt Misty would rate around 65 to low seventies, placing her into the mildly mentally retarded mental competency scale. Being I've seen these same things in Misty all my life in a close family member.

    What could, if she does have learning disabilities, disorders and possible mental retardation at some scale level, effect her ability to come across in interviews, polygraphs, etc... as not being truthful, inconsistent to a person totally un-educated to handling such in interviews, polygraphs,etc....? Like LE? Thanks so much.
     

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