Unlocking A Learning Disability

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By gogettergirl95, Roswell, GA

People are often surprised when I tell them that I have a learning disability. Many think that a learning disability is just a fancy term for stupidity or laziness, but this isn't further from the truth. And, although some students with a learning disability do become discouraged and lose motivated to try, there are scores of others who compensate for their difference. I have every intention of controlling my learning disability rather than letting it control me. Something that once held me back ultimately gave rise to inner strength and resourcefulness. I have learned that self-determination, hard work, and a positive attitude are the keys to managing a learning disability.

A learning disability is not a curse, a blessing or a disease. It is a permanent condition that can greatly impact one's life. It is a neurobiological disorder that affects the way the brain receives and processes information. This often makes learning through traditional methods difficult and frustrating. Children with learning disabilities do not understand that this is happening and often have trouble learning. They may feel different and inferior long before their learning disability is identified which then provides a sense of relief.

My learning disability first became apparent in elementary school when I was unable to learn how to read and write. Even in kindergarten, I remember feeling I was in over my head and wondered whether I was out the day my classmates got the “memo.” While they were already conquering chapter books, I was still stumbling over what sound each letter made. Masters of the written word, they floated through the classroom with an air of confidence while I was weighed down by an overwhelming sense of futility. No matter how hard I tried, I was unable to grasp this basic and ­essential part of reading.

I adored books because of the way they felt in my hands and the pictures they created in my mind. There were times when I sat in the corner pretending to read. I made stories up about the pictures and relied on my memory to repeat what I had heard. I was embarrassed and waited anxiously for my cover to be blown, for my secret to be revealed. The other kids were off to the races, and I had not even left the gate.

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