Hello fellow humans on the internet! I have been busy for several months now, trying desperately to get all of my work turned in for graduation while (unsuccessfully) avoiding crying in my professor’s office. I have officially graduated from college with a Bachelors of Art in Technical Theatre and a minor in Art. I also have no job right now, so I will be putting most of my energy into this blog and sending in job applications. Now on to the subject matter of the actual post.
Today, well yesterday from when this will be posted, Momma and I were talking about what having a child with a learning disability was like for her. She had a lot of insight and we both felt that it would be good to share that today for anyone out there who has a child, sibling, or friend with any kind of disability.
When I was really young, way before I was identified as dyslexic, Momma noticed that I saw the world a little differently. Her biggest concern was that my teachers wouldn’t understand me. This turned out to be a valid concern, as most of my early schooling consisted of teachers holding me in for recess and demanding that I rewrite assignments more carefully. Of course, because I am dyslexic, it didn’t matter how carefully I wrote, I still wrote the letters incorrectly. Many school systems, like that one that I attended don’t have a lot a resources for students with learning disabilities. This meant that even though some teachers and my parents felt that I was struggling more than I should, the school wouldn’t test a student until they were at least two grade behind. Because I could manage to basically keep up with school work (admittedly very slowly and with lots of mistakes) I was not considered a child that needed help.
My mom did not agree with this. She felt that everyone deserved the chance to reach their full potential. She was always supportive and loving. She cared about my weird insights and thoughts about the world. I don’t think that I would have graduated last week if Momma hadn’t taken the time when I was young to teach me that everyone is smart; some of us are just smart differently.
Momma was relieved when I was fifteen and finally was officially identified as dyslexic. Now she had the proof to get me the help I needed to “get on a level playing field” as she put it. Unfortunately, it was still difficult. I still had teachers that didn’t want to offer assistance because it would be unfair to the other students if I got help. There was one teacher who agreed to allow me to use a simple four function calculator while testing: however, she referred to as “the dumb dumb calculator” just because she didn’t think it was fair that the school required her to give me one. This was a fact she brought up before every test.
This is what Momma hopes you take away from this story:
“Normal doesn’t exist. Everyone has weaknesses and strengths. Some things are going to be easier for you. If someone is bad at the things you are good at, they are not stupid. Some things are going to be harder for you. If someone is good at the things you are bad at, you are not stupid. Help the person who has trouble with the things you are good at. You can do that without treating them like a poor little thing. Be respectful and be understanding.”
I hope that you enjoyed a message from my mom and I this Mother’s Day weekend. If you have any experiences with family members who have any kind of disability, let me know down below. As always, keep it weird.