People with an NVLD, or any disability for that matter, face many challenges in life including having adult relationships, beyond just those people who admire your determination to do well. During my high school years, these types of relationships were plentiful but after graduation only a few lasted.
For example, when I was younger I loved the adults who admired my determination and who were such a strong support to me. However after high school, I realized these relationships weren’t complete as I would often see my other classmates out socially with teachers or having deeper conversations within different settings. This made me realize many adults didn’t see the complete me and how this is a common feeling among those with an NVLD.
This has made me realize why Jim Adams is someone I consider a tremendous mentor and friend. He really has enjoyed my presence and understood the complete Eileen since day one. He saw that while I had a disability I was still very normal in many ways and treated me that way. Personally, I loved receiving a zinger from him and laughing at his remarks. Most people didn’t realize I had a sense of humor, and with him I can always show my true personality. What is special though he smiles and laughs just as often when I am sharing stories with him. This has led me to think this shouldn’t be so rare as there are a lot of great adults, like Jim Adams, for others to have these types of relationships.
Yes, I believe it is important for teachers and coaches to be supportive to those with an NVLD or another disability as it encourages them to work harder. However, they must be careful how they connect with them as some don’t understand boundaries and think it will last forever. So if you are someone who stays in contact with former students remember to also connect with those with a disability too. When a disabled student sees the top athlete, musician, and student out with their teachers and coaches it can cause feelings of hurt as in many cases these same teachers and coaches were just as supportive of them yet they aren’t included. The communication doesn’t need to be forever as most students move on, though, in the beginning it means a lot to them as they too are finding their way.
I understand not every teacher or coach does this and these students need to understand that too. However if you are someone who does, I strongly believe you should be more like Jim Adams and include those with an NVLD or other disabilities too. I know It will be a positive experience on both ends. For these students having a support person especially early on in the transition to life after high school is huge.For the teachers and coaches, I am sure you will love hearing too about their successes and you just may make a life long friend.
I think the world of Jim Adams for this reason as he always has been my biggest mentor and now is an incredible family who I just love!Share your own story