Challenging yourself and giving up can feel disappointing, but challenging yourself and being successful at what you do is rewarding. When I was 22 years old, I was diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disability.
With NVLD, math and word problems are puzzling. I always knew my brain worked differently from neurotypicals. When I was in high school, I’d spend hours trying to complete my homework. There were times I’d stay up until three in the morning studying for exams or writing papers. Even during cross country or track season, I had to make time to stay after school with my math teacher’s. In Algebra 2, there was a unit I had to stay after school numerous times to understand. I remember being so frustrated and I threw my writing utensils across the room trying to study for this exam. I decided I had to dig deeper than staying after school. I put extra time into my evenings with math videos, asked my peers for extra help, and thought of questions I had as they came up. The day came and I took the math exam. My grade was a 95! This was one of the best math exam grades I have ever received. My 95 was one of the many examples for not giving up with a learning disability. Even if not giving up takes extra time to do so, you can be surprised by the outcome. Just because you have a learning disability, or an exceptionality that makes you different from others, does not mean you can’t succeed. After six years of college, necessary math classes, and one quantitative reasoning course, I got my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine. Were there times I wanted to give up? Yes. However, because I kept going I learned I can persevere. My friends and family saw potential in me. I keep my degree in my room as a reminder to keep going.
My name is Emily and I am 25 years old living with NVLD! My goal is to spread advocacy as a social ambassador for the NVLD project.