Having A Learning Disability Doesn't Make You Different
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Having A Learning Disability Doesn't Make You Different

We all learn in different and unique ways that make us who we are.

Having A Learning Disability Doesn't Make You Different

Having a learning disability does not make you any less than students who don't have one. It does not define you, but it shows how strong of a person you are. I have ADD, and because of my ADD, I also have anxiety. My anxiety is not severe, but it is definitely there. It took me a few years to realize that my learning disability does not mean I'm not as smart as everyone else or I can't succeed as much as other "normal" students. However, there were many things that made me feel less than everyone who did not have a learning disability.

I can list many, but I'll only point out a few. In high school I had accommodations to take tests in a different room so I could get extra time. I also had the option for the teacher to give me notes from our classes. Well, my teachers loved to make it very known to other students that I had these accommodations. I remember before every test they would literally call my name out in front of everyone to tell me I had to go my different room. My teachers would even hand me the separate notes they had made for me in front of everyone and talk about it like no one else was around. I know, this all might not sound like a big deal, but at that time, it made me feel very different and like an outsider.

Another situation that upset me was taking the ACT. I am an absolutely horrible test taker. I really don't know what it is but I have and probably never will be good at taking tests! I have no shame for being that way, but it definitely has made school harder for me. With that being said, taking a giant, timed test that was ALSO an important factor for getting into college was the worst thing for me. Seriously, I think my first ACT score was like an 18. I took two more after that and when my score wasn't getting much higher, I realized I needed extra time. So, I was very lucky and was able to get extra time on the test and my score improved the next time I took it. My score on that test made me so happy and proud of myself. I took the test a few more times to see if I could get my score higher, but after SIX times (yes…six!), I realized that it wasn't going to happen.

The point of that story about my ACT score was because even though I was able to achieve a score that I was happy with and proud of, hearing about my friends/other peoples scores made me feel like I was dumb. I mean, there I was, not being able to get over a score in the 20s in 6 hours and other people were getting a 34 or a 35 in 3 hours. It made me feel like I was so much less than everyone else.

I still feel this way at times too, like this one time when I spent 2 weeks studying for a huge exam and I was so proud of myself for getting such an amazing grade. Then, my roommate told me she got an even higher score than me, but she only studied for 2 days. I was like, "Oh. Well what am I doing wrong". However, when I think about it, I didn't do anything wrong! We just learn in different ways, I need more time to study for tests and she doesn't need that time, and that is perfectly okay. Well, after many years of going through things like this, I want to tell you, if you have a learning disability, you are just the same as everyone else, if not, even more cool!! Seriously. School is hard enough, and having a learning disability doesn't make it any easier. Taking a test and even paying attention in a college lecture hall with 300+ people and having anxiety or ADHD is probably the worst thing I have experienced at college. However, I overcame this with help from the school and doing what was best for me, like sitting up close in class, studying every day, and finding accommodations.

Yes, accommodations are extremely helpful, but it's not like I wanted to have them. I didn't want to have ADD or anxiety from my medication, I didn't choose it. But I do have it, and I am accepting of it. It has shaped who I am today and has made me a stronger and more motivated person than I think I ever would have been.

Yes, it comes with challenges, but that should never make you feel less than anyone, ever. There are also so many things you can do to help your mind. Write down your notes, don't take them on a computer, exercise often, use a planner, take many breaks in between homework and studying, hangout with friends but also appreciate alone time, listen to A LOT of music, and just take deep breaths whenever you feel stressed.

You, me, and everyone else with a learning disability, or any disability at all, are so strong and unique in our own ways. We may have our struggles and differences from other people, but that does not make us different. It makes us even more determined, even more hardworking, and we should be proud of ourselves every single day for being able to go through this. Everyone learns and does things differently, so never feel ashamed for having to do a little more than everyone else. Really, who cares about everyone else's test scores, studying abilities, or even ACT scores! Focus on yourself and only yourself. You are so smart and are able to succeed at anything you put your mind to, with or without a learning disability. Don't let it stop you from achieving your dreams or goals, let it push you to be the best person you can be.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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