Growing up with an NVLD brought many challenges though what was most challenging was transitioning to a new school year. Like most with the disability I was so routine driven and after being off from school for two months it was so hard to go back.
One of the ways I found to make the transitions easier was to have the same resource room teacher all 4 years of high school. By doing this I didn’t have to worry that another adult would have to take the time to get to know me and how my disability impacted my learning each year. This allowed me to start each year smoothly and as the years went along my resource room teacher knew if I was appearing to be tired and irritable it wasn’t because I didn’t want to be back at school it was because I was overwhelmed with the change of a new year. Given this she really knew how to advocate for me as she knew the nature of my disability so well.
Along with being able to have the same resource room teacher another thing that helped was being able to be a part of the cross-country team. Practice started two weeks before school started so it allowed me to reconnect with a peer group and practice time management. The reconnections were very important as I spent 6 weeks of my summer away at a program for students with Learning Disabilities. Consequently when the first day of school came I wasn’t alone as I had the support from my teammates and my coach so I could be more relaxed attending my classes.
Talking to your counselor about putting you in classes with a couple of peers who are friendly with you is another example of what can help with the transition to a new year. This along with requesting teachers especially for a class (es) that are difficult for you can go a long way. While this may not be possible in all districts I can say it can make a major difference and I am eternally grateful my team approved this. It was especially helpful for Math as my teachers believed effort was as important as achievement. Additionally having peer support especially for a class like Technology and Gym where my fine and gross motor skills deficits showed up was also extremely helpful.
Overall if you are nervous I totally understand your feelings as it is so hard especially this year with being home for so long. However I can say by working together with your resource room teacher , counselor, and other members of your support team this challenge is very manageable. Always remember no one can do the journey alone so don’t afraid to ask for help. Through perseverance and open communication I can say with great confidence you will have a great year and remember try not to become discouraged as many others are nervous just like you.
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