Friday, March 21, 2014

Living with a Learning Disability

“When I was in first grade I was tested to see which reading level I was in, at that time the test was timed, I have major test anxiety, even if the test is on something I know well I still do not do well on it. Because of the results of the test, the teacher told me I was unable to read at the reading standard for first graders and I would have to take a reading class. Which seemed nice until second grade when there was two new students in this reading class and the teacher thought it would be best to start over on how to read from the beginning of how to read. I felt like I was wasting my time because I could have been working on other things instead of learning how to read for the third time. At one point of taking this reading class it was at the same time of day that my regular class was doing the basics of math, so not only was I behind in reading, I didn't know how to do multiplication. Ever since elementary school I have struggled with reading and math, I lost a lot of the confidence I once had, I became very shy because I was struggling with something that everyone could do so easily.

In middle school I was incredibly shy because I thought everyone thought I was dumb, I wouldn't participate in class for fear I would get the answer wrong. Once I got more comfortable with my classmates, I started to talk. I was shocked when my classmates were surprised I knew how to talk or I did talk, they thought I was mute. It seemed like no one understood what I was going through, my mom and my school counselor would tell me I was smart and couldn't understand why I was struggling in school. I met a good friend who had always been in honors classes and their favorite past time was reading. She was willing to help me with classes and motivated me to get help in classes and even try hard classes. The best day of my school career was when I received an A in my Advanced Placement English class. The teacher who told me I couldn't read was wrong. I proved to her wrong and I was so proud of the challenges I had overcome.”

Many schools have a hard time embracing students different abilities. School has transformed learning into a standardized process that limits the way you learn and what you learn about. It can seem very lonely when you feel like you are the only one struggling with something and no one really understands what you are going through. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with school because of learning disabilities, I really encourage you to reach out to the people in your life that you trust, whether that be your parents,  your  teachers and / or your school counselor, or your friend. Often there can be something they do to help you find a way to learn and succeed in school. If you feel like ever need someone to talk to about what is going on and school and all the frustrations call Teen Link 1(866) 833-65465  or Chat with Teen Link at, where the volunteer are understanding and are students like you!

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