Growing up with a NVLD is hard for anyone, however, being the only person in your family who needs interventions can be both a blessing and a curse. Understandingly, this is frustrating as you may ask yourself why are things different for me and not my siblings? The truth is that this situation can actually be one that you will appreciate as you get older.
For me personally, I couldn’t quite understand why I needed speech during the summer while my sister had so much more freedom. While I always accepted it and put forth 100% effort it was still frustrating. It helped having a sister who was incredibly supportive and I am grateful everyday for her. However, it was still hard to accept, though now in adulthood, I understand that being the only disabled child in the family allowed me to make great strides as the main focus could be on me and getting me the help I needed.
For me needing OT was the hardest to understand as school-based OT started when I was in 3rd grade. Prior to school my appointments were always during times when I wanted to be socializing. I remember thinking the school day is over I want to be outside with my friends like my sister, but I needed this service. I now see that my motor skills were significantly impaired, but as a younger kid it was harder to comprehend. Fortunately, this service helped me a great deal and made it so I wasn’t left out of school and recreational activities. So as hard as it was to have OT it was worth every hour I spent in therapy.
Academic support was the one service that created the most tension as it lasted for years. Eventually speech and occupational therapy were dropped for me as I got older. However tutoring was still needed as the courses I was taking required more personal instruction than the one period of resource room service I was receiving at school. It was especially stressful as my sister and I were quite opposite. While my sister would do the minimum amount of homework and get A’s I would work twice as hard and have to be tutored just to get a B. This just didn’t seem fair and led to many stressful times at our house. However as time went on I understood my situation and was so appreciative of the extra support tutoring gave me.
Overall as difficult as it can be always remember everyone is different and being the only learning disabled child has it’s advantages. I truly know that with my parents income, giving both me and my sister speech therapy and tutoring would have been difficult. I also know the time commitment would have been harder to manage having two children with disabilities to coordinate services for. While this isn’t easy to see at first in the long run you will be grateful for being the only disabled child in your family.
Throughout my life I continue to be grateful my speech therapist wonderful care!Share your own story