When most people hear the term 'learning disability', the automatic assumption is that people who have one are un-intelligent and dumb. I have heard multiple times that many others think that we are not capable of having smarts.
When I was around eight years old, I remember having to see many professionals, trying to come to a conclusion about a diagnosis. My teachers noticed that I had a different learning style than my classmates, therefore, catching my parents' attention, so they wanted to figure out how my learning could be improved.
All I remember is being forced to take test after test. Eventually, I was diagnosed with a learning disability, specifically in math, along with executive functioning issues. While most children my age could handle understanding certain topics, I couldn't. Although I was a very fast reader, I did not take time to comprehend the meaning. During math, I was able to solve a problem one way, but not able to the other way, as I was already used to that first way. If it was a new task, I would struggle with learning it. I had an IEP throughout elementary, middle and high school, and a case manager each year to help me set goals for my education.
As I got older, the executive functioning problems started to disappear. Today, being a college sophomore, the executive functioning is normal, but I still have a learning disorder that is mathematics-related, although, I have greatly improved.
It does not take me as long to understand different methods and solutions to solving math problems. I am no longer in need of an IEP or special services. Typically, a person with a learning disability has average or a little bit above average performance on one topic but can excel at another.
I, personally, have always excelled at Language Arts/English. As long as I can remember, I would always correct people on their spelling and grammar and have been quick to catch errors. I still do to this very day (part of me just can't help it!) I've always received As and Bs on papers, recently earning a 97 percent on an eight-page research paper.
I was placed into the highest level of English my first semester of college, which isn't very common. My reading comprehension is now of normal function, and I was even recently hired as a writing tutor at my university's tutoring center to give assistance to students that struggle in English. And that job requires above average writing skills.
So, you see, people with learning disabilities are as smart as you. Sure, we may not be the best at a subject, but it's just a part of being human. Even people who were not diagnosed with a learning disability still struggle.
I'm sure you aren't perfect in every single subject. So don't go out with your big mouth and accuse us of being dumb. We are perfectly capable of being placed into normal, honors and even AP courses. We can excel as much as you.
After all, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. We are humans, we all make mistakes. So, no, I don't have to listen to your words. I know I am smart, and I know I am still able to graduate college and get a job. Learning disabilities do not dictate where we are headed in life, and it does not define me.