The woman stood at the cash register and called us over to her empty line. She rang up $2.13, the price of my diet Coke, tax included, My husband handed her a ten-dollar bill while I tried to fish out the change. I handed her $.15 but quickly realized she didn't understand what to do with the coins which were in addition to the amount on her screen and I took them back and she proceeded to count my change. She got the bills okay but the coins flustered her. She could not count $.87 without help from us. It was painful to watch.
We walked away feeling sorry for the woman. It was obvious she was severely mentally disabled and was doing her best. She probably has a great personality and walked into the job interview proudly waving her high school diploma, a diploma she got because high schools graduate everyone nowadays.
A Principal once told me giving these diplomas was helping kids but I see it as only hurting them. This woman has been sent into the world to fail at a her job. She is not even able to make change and will not even properly be able to shop. Many years ago I had a special education student who was afraid to take a bus because she couldn't count the quarters she needed to pay her fair. The schools were different then. As her math teacher, I was able to work with her on money skills. Another teacher took a group of students like her to a nursing home where they learned skills they needed to survive. She didn't get a diploma but she did get to graduate. I don't know what happened to her but I know she is not standing behind a cash register being abused by people who don't understand her disability.
I watched a special education supervisor do credit recovery problems for her student. I know of one (there are many more) who only lets teachers who give out answers proctor exams. Learning disabilities are a real thing. Covering them up helps no one.