Many people still do not understand what a learning disability is and this leads to a great deal of isolation for people living every day of their lives with this reality. If you have a learning disability, we encourage you to teach those around you what it means living with an LD in this Province. By speaking about LD proudly- we challenge the stigma that exists that is making students and the adults they become, feel ashamed for being different.
While having a learning disability means you learn things differently than many of your peers- it certainly does not mean that you are unable to achieve the very same things.
Some facts to consider:
-Learning disabilities are caused by an alteration to one or more areas of the brain related to learning. The information, then is processed in a different part of the brain, or needs to follow a different pathway to reach the intended destination. This often causes the need for interventions, like a better understanding of your learning profile, tutoring, using adaptive technology and/or adjusting your environment for optimal success in order to prosper.
-A learning disability is NOT a developmental or intellectual disability. It is not the same thing as Autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD or Mild Intellectual Disability- among other things. While these disorders may affect one's ability to learn as a bi-product, they are not classed as 'learning disabilities'. Students with learning disabilities by definition have average to above average intellegence, they simply have weaknesses in specific areas of learning- not all areas of learning.
-Some of the greatest minds of our time; entrepeneurs, entertainers, inventors and leaders of industry have struggled with learning disabilities- and by using the strengths of their unique minds to overcome these challenges- have fulfilled their dreams and even changed the world! Some examples include: Winston Churchill, Tommy Hilfiger, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Branson, Cher, Steven Speilberg and Magic Johnson! These are just some of the faces that we easily recognize for their talents- but rarely would consider 'disabled'.
This October, take some time to share what you know with someone, and to always try and learn more! Students with learning disabilities are a precious resource for our society- and if they are believed in, there isn't a single reason why they can't accomplish their dreams. As Henry Ford (another famous Dyslexic) so famously said, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't- you're right."
Celebrate what makes you unique this month- and then every month afterward!