Let’s start at the very beginning… a very good place to start.
So what is a learning disability? If you Google it, you will be linked to many definitions. The easiest way I know how to sum it up is an invisible disability that encompasses social, emotional, physical and fine motor challenges.
When I think about the challenges I faced as a child, what stands out in my mind is that one of my teachers believed that my story resembled that of the Ugly Duckling: I may have had a long road ahead but I was going to become that big beautiful swan. As a child I certainly had a challenging time; my physical image was not ideal. I remember being teased for not running the same way as everyone else, among other things. I had a hard time with social skills; building and maintaining a circle of friends was difficult; I learned differently. How was I going to be able to handle school and life itself if I couldn’t understand things the same way as everyone else? I had no idea what having a learning disability meant at such a young age; everyone, as in my parents and teachers, had an idea of what was going on but it was up to me to figure out the tools to cope through the educational system, and daily life. I had to somehow, some way, figure out how to stay positive so that I could get through school and the daily challenges presented to me.
When I think of the title of that story, I wonder why they used the word “ugly” to describe a duckling that has many challenges and obstacles to face. Why is that duckling not seen as beautiful from the beginning? Just as is the case with humanity, we are all beautiful on the inside and out from the very beginning. We may not look the same, think the same nor speak the same, but that should not matter. If the world were perfect, we would not be judgmental; so instead of being angry at what we are not, let’s learn to celebrate who we are and what we are.
Nisha is an Early Childhood Educator who lives in Toronto, Canada. In her spare time she enjoys organizing social gatherings with her friends, cheering on the Toronto Blue Jays and this summer was her 5th year of volunteering at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament. She enjoys sharing her thoughts on her blog, which can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/theswantransformation