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How to Survive LD

Boulder, Colorado, US

Welcome to “How to Survive LD.” I am in fifth grade and I have made it this far in school without too much trouble.

My strengths are creative writing, reading and making friends. I stink at math, math, math and anything else to do with math. Also, my handwriting is stinkish but I love creative writing and I am getting over stinkish handwriting. Oh, yes, my spelling is abysmal.

For all of you in the LD world, I made a guide to help you survive elementary school and onward. There is a really important principle in having LD or any other problem with learning; KEEP YOUR COOL! If any unknowing, non-LD kids question dictated work, resource room visits, fidgits, enlarged texts or the use of laptops, some snappy but kind comebacks are:

  • “What’s it to you?”
  • “Learning disability. Answer your question?”
  • “Yeah, and…”
  • “Long story. How much time do you have?”
  • “I am a prince/princess. It’s my special privilege.”

Second of all, don’t brag about your disability or use it as an excuse. It drives teachers and everyone else around you nuts. Instead, get help when you need it, work as hard as you can on your own, and don’t make a bigger deal than need be.

Make the resource room teacher one of your best friends. Be nice to all his/her aids as well, no matter how mean they may be. The resource room and the aids help you get what you need in the rest of the school.

Get involved in as many activities of interest to you as you can. This will help you make friends and prove that you can do anything you allow yourself to do. Some examples are choir, bookclub, contests, intramurals, art, whatever interests you.

Talk and stay close to your parents because they probably grew up with the learning disability you have. P.S. It’s not their fault or yours. It’s just the way it crumbles.

Try to think more about your strengths than your disabilities. Accept your disabilities as a part of you and not who you are. No one will care about a disability if you don’t.

Read, or listen to books on tape, stories and books about successful people with LD. There are many of them. Albert Einstein, Winston Churchhill, Bill Gates, Kiera Knightly all had disabilities and obviously worked around them.

Being different isn’t necessarily a con. It gives you adversity to better prepare you for life in general. With a learning disability you learn that the only way to succeed is to work hard. People with learning disabilities often have to work harder than everyone else and they often succeed.

Don’t worry about what other people think and don’t let people size you up. You will run into a wall if you try to please everyone. It’s only yourself that you have to please.

One more thing, you will always be able to count your true friends on one hand and sometimes one finger. (Don’t despair, one friend is all you need).

“Always remember disability should not prevent anyone from participating fully in life.”
—From, “A Life Like Mine”, A DK and UNICEF Book

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