I recently went to my nephew’s high school graduation, and of course I’m going to say he’s a bright kid, because he’s my nephew. But he is very smart. He took 5 AP classes – including AP Physics – in his senior year. He was a member of Beta Club, an honor society that recognizes high academic achievement. He was in National Honor Society. He graduated with a Commonwealth Diploma, the highest honor diploma given out at his school. Oh, and one more thing about my nephew – he has dyslexia.
My nephew’s story is a good one. His dyslexia was not formally diagnosed until he was in fifth grade, but with great credit to Hindman Settlement School, he was afforded the opportunity to spend six weeks of his summer in a program that was specifically designed to teach him how to accommodate his different way of learning. The program was not only for the kids, but for the parents, too, to understand what their kids were going through and how they could help them. (You can read Robert’s story here.)
My nephew is 18, an adult, now. He’s leaving home to attend college in Michigan. While he’ll still be in an academic environment that probably has a good understanding of what it means to be learning disabled, he’s also going to be living much more independently in a world that may not always understand how he learns differently. He may experience the manifestation of his LD in new ways as he embarks on his adult life, but he has such a good understanding of it, and he has never been ashamed of it. In fact, as my sister wrote, “he often wears it as a badge of honor!”
So, that’s what I’m hoping this class is for me – a chance to understand how it is different for someone with a learning disability and what I can do to enhance the interactions I may have with adults with LD.