I have not touched on learning disabilities on this blog yet. Many of you would be to surprised to know that I actually have a diagnosed learning disability as well. My anxiety causes a learning disability in which I forget any and all information when I am put on the spot such as taking a test. It is classified as an emotional disability where my emotionality interferes with my learning ability. A learning disability is officially defined by Oxford dictionaries as “a condition giving rise to difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills to the level expected of those of the same age, especially when not associated with a physical handicap.”
So why the topic of learning disabilities? I was talking to a good friend the other day and we were discussing how they were having to catch up on school over the summer in order to graduate. I highly empathized, because I had the exact same struggle as it took me 6 years to graduate high school. We were chatting about our specific struggles and I had an idea. I wanted to interview this person in order to bring awareness not only to the difficulties of having a learning disability, but to also show that it is not something that defines you. Let’s begin!
What is your learning disability?: I have dyslexia which can be different for a lot of people. The way it affects me is by flipping letters such as a “b” to “p”. A “p” could look like a “b”. The letter “m” may look like a “w”. Words also move around in sentences. An example for me is the sentence “The boy is running.” I would see something like “Boy the running is”. It is also hard for me to remember what I have read. I have had to read a passage over 10 times, for example, because my brain will not remember it until I have somewhat memorized it.
Have you faced any stigma or discrimination because of your learning disability?: Yes I have faced stigma. If I read out loud anywhere, people would make fun of me. They would tell me that I am stupide because I could not read as clearly as they could. It honestly sucks. It got to the point where I felt really stupid and I honestly believed I was stupid, because of what people had said to me. I refused to read in front of others, fearing that someone would say something mean to me.
Do you go to public school or are you homeschooled?: I am homeschooled, but I took many classes with other kids.
Have you had trouble receiving assistance for your disability?: There have been people that have been willing to help me. The problem is that no has been able to. Since Dyslexia is so different, no one really knows how to help.
What is the best and worst part of having a learning disability?: The worst part of having a learning disability is the thoughts that I am not as smart as everyone else. It makes me doubt myself. The best part of having a learning disability is that it makes me tough. It has made me determined. This disability has taught me how to work for and earn the things that what I want in life.
Are there any resources that help emotionally?: Yes, I like to write a lot. Being able to put my emotions and feelings into writing helps.
Do you still feel less than?: I used to at the beginning, but now I do not feel like I am less than other people. I realize that there is nothing wrong with being different from other people.
What would you say to others struggling with learning disabilities?: I would tell them that it is okay to have a learning disability. Don’t worry about it, because we all have things in life that we struggle with. Everyone learns in different ways. You are going to get there someday! Do not listen to way others negatively talk about you, because it only matters what you think about yourself. Refuse to let it get to you, because you will prove to yourself that you’re going to do just fine.
What would you say to those without a learning disability?: I would remind those without a learning disability that they are blessed and to remember to not take advantage of that fact.
I am so thankful to my friend who graciously allowed me to interview them. They are helping me to show that having a learning disability does not define you. While it is often a struggle that you go through dealing with a learning disability, it teaches you incredible things. The journey is tough (as I can attest), but it brings about an inner strength within you. Whether you have a learning disability or not, know that having one does not make you “stupid”. Keep this in mind next time you are thinking about it.
Thank you for reading this important article today! Do you have a learning disability? How has your experience been? Please subscribe and I’ll see you next time my Un-imaginables!
Original Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash