Learning disabilities and how to cope with them

מאת neshtehom

educationA learning disability is a common name for severe difficulties that some people have. Today it is known that learning disabilities are very common – and about 20% of the population has them in some way or another. But some years age, when I was a young mom, that was not the case.

I still remember that day – I was baking some cookies in the kitchen when my son, Edward entered and told me he needed to speak to me. He was only 9 years old that day, and I was baking the cookies for his birthday, which was the following day. Edward told me that his teacher had told him that she would like to speak with us, personally.
Back then, I didn't suspect that Edward had learning disabilities, nor his father did. Moreover, none of us was even familiar with the term learning disabilities – it was 20 years ago. In those days, if you had troubles to succeed in school, you were labels stupid, or lazy. My Edward was by no means a stupid or a lazy child. The opposite is true. Everybody who know him, and I'm not talking only about family, said he was a brilliant child, energetic and vigorous. But something about Edward was different (today we no he had ADHD which caused him learning disabilities).

Edward could not, in any way, concentrate on something that didn't interest him. He really liked nature and animals; he liked stories about people from other places. But he didn't like math. It was not his cup of tea. So he didn't study math, At all. At the age of 10 Edward could hardly do even basic arithmetic like simple multiplication. He just didn't bother. His teacher thought he was just lazy, but actually he had learning disabilities.

Today Edward is a PhD for biology in Oxford University and I am so proud. My son is actually a genius. It's all thanks to Mr. Smith, his principal at school, who diagnosed that Edward had learning disabilities and helped him coping with them.

But this kind of story is, sadly, pretty rare. Most kids with learning disabilities were not diagnosed up till the last few years, and were treated and lazy, or even morons. There are many sad stories about children with learning disabilities who had to study in special education classes, even though they were intelligent.
I'm very pleased that this situation has changed and I dedicate this post to my beloved Edward and to all children and adults with learning disabilities – do not ever forget what you worth.

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