We Play With Our Brains, by Michaela

By October 30, 2019 October 31st, 2019 NVLD Bloggers

I’m writing this blog hours after jumping on a backyard trampoline while singing “Defying Gravity.” The adrenaline was rushing through me and I was out of breath. Afterwards, I couldn’t stop smiling and I felt so refreshed. I realized that I love doing activities that make me feel, as they say, “like a kid again.” I love anything that involves climbing, especially trees (read my first Ambassador blog). I love being on the swings in the playground, too. Deep down, I’ve always been this way. There are activities I can do now that I couldn’t when I was younger, simply because I often had no time. 

In elementary school, I had hours of homework and an undiagnosed NVLD. Because of my slow processing speed and comprehension issues, it was difficult for me to do my homework, let alone on my own. My mom helped me with all of my assignments, and I couldn’t have gotten through school without her. As soon as I got home from school, I–we–had to start my homework right away so I could go to bed at a reasonable hour. But, I really wanted nothing more than to play outside and have fun. One of my favorite things was sitting on top of the roof-like structure of the jungle gym in the playground. Sadly, I didn’t get to do that as often as I wanted and my parents wanted for me. 

Growing up, playing and recess were considered rewards or privileges, rather than parts of the day which are instrumental to development. Now, I know that studies have been done which show that exercise benefits cognition. For years, I’ve felt that hours of homework is not conducive to students’ learning, and can actually be very harmful rather than beneficial. I also know the importance of self-care, which for me includes not only exercise, but being outdoors. I can take care of myself and do what I love without feeling guilty that I have work or homework to do. I cannot overemphasize the importance of playing, free time, and exercise beginning in the formative school years.  

If you need me, I’ll be in a tree or on the swings.


I’m a lover of nature, poetry, and iced coffee (in my humble opinion, the only coffee truly worth drinking). I’m naturally extroverted, and I think of myself as a people person! I’m studying to become a social worker because I want to be able to help individuals with learning disabilities just like me! I am a Project Social Ambassador for The NVLD Project.

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