I am and always will be an L.D. student. L.D. stands for Learning Disability. I don’t like that label because it seems as if I am saying that I am disabled and cannot learn something. That is clearly not true. I can learn anything that a normal student can, but I have a different way to feed it into my mind and remember it. To me I have a learning difference.
Most people never know that I have a learning difference unless I talk about it. I am realizing now that I need to talk about it more because there are L.D. students out there that feel they won’t be able to ever get to the same place as the rest of the students at their school. I felt this way when I started out in fourth grade, but as the years went on things started to work so smoothly for me. I give so much credit to the L.D. program and the teachers who worked with me for my success with writing.
If you told me in fourth grade and any years before that I was going to be a published author by the time I was 18, I would have never believed you. Before I was in the system I was in normal classes and things were really hard to understand. Many of my teachers told my mom that I wasn’t working hard enough and that I pay attention fine in class, but I am not working hard enough in my work. My mom knew this wasn’t true. I loved all my teachers before fourth grade, but fourth grade was were I started to appreciate a teacher for what she really does. In fourth grade, my teacher noticed that something wasn’t right. She took the time to talk with me and try to figure out what I was trying to say. She realized that I was a lot smarter than I was putting down on paper. She also realized that I was writing numbers and letters backwards. When I look at how my writing used to be and all the mistakes, I think how didn’t any of my other teachers notice this? I am just thankful that she noticed. Fourth grade was the year things started to kick into high gear for me.
My teachers noticed that I had a lot of ideas and I was always talking about things, but I never wrote them down. They started helping me use organizers and plotting graphs to help me figure out my thoughts. Once I reached middle school I started to write more. I kept a few journals and I wrote many poems. I didn’t start writing long stories till the beginning of high school.
High school was when I started to crack out of my shell. I knew that reading and writing were my subjects. Grammar rules and punctuation weren’t strong and I know I still have a lot of work with that, but my writing was an illness. Through my late high school years I wrote all the time and I didn’t want to do anything, but write. My mind was realizing that my ideas could really come to life now that I knew how to write what I was thinking and seeing in my mind.
When I talk about my writing style people start to see that I am a visual learner and you start to see that writing is what I was supposed to do. I get ideas for writing a story every day and every situation is a good one for a story I might write sometime. My mind plays movies that are waiting to be told. Even in my dreams at night I have stories that want to be told. If I could write all day without my hands getting tired I would finish books in 3 days. I see the story from start to finish in my mind and all I have to do is write. Without the L.D. program I don’t think I would ever be able to make the connection I do with my mind to my pen.
Many people have learning differences, but I don’t think you are disabled. I don’t think you should ever think that you can’t become something because you learn differently. It made may be a struggle, but when you make it to your goal the finish line is so much sweeter. The teachers in the L.D. system believe in you and you should believe in you too.
-Check out my book, The High School Stories by me, Ellie Grace on Amazon.com. There’s a cute short story in there about learning disabilities (: