I have a learning disability. It affected me most
of my life. It kept me from taking risks, exploring
new lands and living my best life.
I get lost. I get lost when we go out to eat and I
go to the rest room. You can find me trying to
get into the broom closet in the restaurant. I get
lost on family vacations and had to rely on my
school age children to navagate me around.
“No mommy, the hotel room is this way.”
Big cities freaked me out. Driving alone somewhere?
Forget it. Always lost. In every gas station asking for
directions. I used to have to allow an extra hour or
two for getting lost.
I was teased by my family and friends and I really
got on some people’s nerves.
I once didn’t go on a job interview because I was
afraid of getting lost. Let me tell you this…living
with this for almost fifty years has done a number
on my self esteem. For years I felt literally “stupid”.
Then two things happened. I got a GPS and I also
read an article that getting lost has something to
do with the innability to sequence. OMG!
I started remembering experiences from early childhood
that might have gone differently had I gotten help.
KG classroom, we had to listen to a set of directions
and then walk around the room doing those activities. I
couldn’t remember anything my teacher said. I was
embarassed, ashamed and cried. (I think she yelled at me.)
Don’t even get me started on Math. Major disaster,
struggle in school. Barely passed even with help,
dad, tutors. Talk about feeling stupid!
Here is a biggie…thought I might get a Ph.d in
psychology…but knew I’d have to take statistics.
Opted for the MSW…research methods I could
I can’t learn dance steps. I have to stand in the front
row and the teacher must be with her back to me so
I can follow. Once in a step aerobics class the
instructor told me that I shouldn’t come back because
my steps were not in sync with the class!
I can’t play any games with strategy…like chess or
even checkers without getting whipped really bad.
This is humiliating when your 4 year old beats you
and you haven’t let him.
Oh yeah, and just yesterday I was explaing to my
colleagues that I could not learn to use a MAC
after using a PC for all these years. I am convinced
it has to do with sequencing!
But a few years ago,I got an accomodation.
At least for driving to unknown places.
I take Glenda Garmin my GPS with me
and if I take a wrong turn, she politely tells me
that she is re-calculating!
I also know now that had I been tested as a child-
and had the federally manadated IDEA LAW been in
place then, I could have had an IEP
(Idividualized Education Program)…Who knows?
Maybe I could have been a rocket scientist!
If you suspect your child has a learning disability…
get them tested. This could be the reason for
acting out in school, difficulty with doing
homework or being organized or any
number of other problems.