I believein not lettinglearning disabilities get in your way

Christina - Petoskey, Michigan
Entered on April 15, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: disability

I believe in not letting learning disabilities get in the way

I’m a mother of two sons; I was labeled incompetent when I was in school. Twenty years ago I was in the resource room, an alternative class for students that have problems with certain studies, for most of my classes. I dreaded that room, because it made me feel different from everyone else. Even today I find myself fighting so that my kids, with learning disabilities (LD), are never labeled incompetent as I once was. I believe in the potential for everyone.

Being with peers is important. Peers can learn good values from one another just by observing how each approaches a situation. By getting the feel for society in general and having friendships to build self esteem, students can learn social skills. I believe that if a child is kept away from their peers, their self esteem and confidence die. For instance; if a baby has no human interaction for a year, that baby will die. My sons’ confidence and self esteem was taken from them when they saw that they were kept away from their peers. They were being treated differently, and because of that they acted out. It’s not fair for someone to put a limit to one’s goals. Some teachers think that most parents that have children with learning disabilities are happy if their children graduate from high school, let alone considering going to college. I believe there is something more out there then just a diploma for people that have LD. Since my children were young, I’ve talked with them about going to college. I wanted them to be able to get good jobs of their choice, and without the worries of feeling like they can’t succeed.

When we assume the worst of someone, we put them in the ghetto (resource room) away from their peers. I had to be my own advocate as well as for my kids. I found myself fighting again for my kids to return as a student. It took me a long time and a lot of hard work to get my kids to where they are now. I didn’t want to use LD as an excuse to get in the way of their goals or accept what other people have planned for their future. I tell my kids to accept their disability and find a method to get around it. The stigma associated with learning disabilities can be a thing of the past. We are not as incompetent as schools might think. We can come up with our own labels, like college graduate, career achiever, or friend.