Worlds of imagination by Sara B. Gauldin
“I am not stupid, I am not broken, I am intelligent, I am different, I can learn, I can overcome”
I repeated these concepts in my mind thousands of times as a child. I was lucky. My parents repeated these ideas as well and dared any educator or outsider to tell me any different. I was never allowed to make excuses. “You have a glitch, work around it, we’ll figure it out.” I was taught that I was pursuing school to learn, and if I learned well I was successful, even if my grades did not agree. I was told that a mediocre grade I fought for would always be welcome, but an A plus I received skating by was a joke. I am thankful for these lessons.
The question now is how to perpetuate these ideas to a generation of children who seem to have more varieties of glitches than even my cross wired brain can take in. We as a society of parents, educators, and at large need to stop calling these variations of the classic learning style an excuse for failure. Children whose parents hope for hang ups to receive a check have children who are being forever crippled by a label. The entire implication of the word, “Learning Disabled” is a travesty, the prefix “dis” anchored to a the word “able”, unable, helpless, hopeless, so many negative synonyms cling to the term like a life sentence for failure. None of these terms fit. The reality is we should be calling these variations to what is common, uncommon, these persons of alternative perspective can approach the world and make many significant contributions that perhaps the conventional mind may miss. These uncommon minds have a brilliant chance for success if they are not crippled by a label, an excuse, a cop out from the world at large.
So what does this misnomer of a term really mean? Disabled does not mean no longer accountable for learning. Disabled does not mean you will receive a note and be excused from life’s challenges. Disabled means you are up for a fight. Disabled means you have to understand the label well enough to work around it and live a successful life despite whatever quirk of brain neurology you may be experiencing.
So my fellow variants, don’t give up on yourselves. Fight for your future. Make changes and make a positive path for yourself. You are not a dead end. You are a hope for the future. Fight for your ability to make a change. And when the conventional path does not work, let your unconventional mind lead you on a path that works for you, after all only you can walk it.
For my fellow educators, don’t be swayed by a label. Each student is an individual. You have to find a way around every day challenges, find a way around exceptional ones, and help a student see that they are not broken. They are just wired to learn and understand in a different way.
For my fellow parents, every child is different. Be in your child’s life and be a force of positive change. Live the example you would have them live. Do not encourage them to hide behind a perceived disability. Instead encourage them to rise above the situation and be the brilliant source of change they are capable of being.
After all, no one is put in this world to fail. Failure is a choice. Failure is not trying. Failure is giving up. Failure is quitting a journey before it begins. Do not choose to fail!
Don’t miss Sara B. Gauldin’s amazing books! Click HERE!
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