Having NVLD is hard, and I don’t think my teachers get it. I wish my teachers knew that I just learn differently and can still do the work as long as I have accommodations. I wish my teachers knew that I’m just a normal kid, but sometimes I have to advocate for what I need.
I wish teachers understood that I can’t understand certain concepts because of my learning disabilities. Having NVLD limits my ability to memorize and understand lessons that teachers give me sometimes. This means that it is harder for teachers to assess my work. For example, if I am doing fractions in math, I find it hard to add fractions and explain what I did to my teacher. Instead, my teacher thinks that I can’t do the work and therefore can’t pass the course. I can do the work and I can pass the course but it is more difficult for me than most. I also wish teachers knew that I can’t write properly because of my NVLD. Writing is hard for me because I can’t put my thoughts onto paper. This means that while I am trying really hard to put my thoughts onto paper my writing becomes really messy and I don’t write in the lines. My teachers think that my writing is very lazy and that I cannot complete certain English tasks because it is too messy and they can’t read it. However, I am able to type up stuff like this blog post and do well.
I would like teachers to know that it is okay for people to have accommodations and support and still be able to do the course effectively. Also, accommodations should not be one size fits all. Schools are choosing equality over equity, instead of providing equity by giving students unique accommodations, but at the same time, still making sure all students who require accommodations get them. Accommodations don’t fix everything, but they help support students like me in certain situations.
Accommodations and support help me a lot because I have more tools that will help me remember information or study and do my work. One thing that helps me is going to the learning center where you can just do your work quietly and other teachers help you with whatever you’re working on. This helps me because it is a quiet space and I can get support from teachers. It also helps me because I know I have other places to go if one place is not productive. Using a computer helps me with my writing because I can’t write properly so a computer means that my teachers can read my work and know what I’m writing. Text-to-speech really helps me with my work because I can speak my thoughts and it will write them down for me, so I can get my thoughts on paper. Typing helps me so I can write without worrying about messy handwriting.
Another thing that helps me with my work is having extra time and a private room to write tests. Extra time helps me because I sometimes take a long time to think, so it helps for tests that would otherwise be too short. A private room helps me focus because it is quiet and easy to think.
The accommodations I would like to have are extra time on everything, the ability to get notes from class because I can’t always write them myself, meeting the teacher after class to make sure I understood everything, and someone to scribe for me.
I also wish teachers had a more positive attitude toward NVLD. I wish they knew how to be calm, friendly, and helpful when explaining stuff to me. They should not assume I’m not capable because of my LDs, just point out what I need to work on and where I went wrong. Often, I get blamed for not doing well on assignments because they don’t understand my NVLD. As well, teachers have said things that can be hurtful. For example, some of my teachers say “you need these skills to go to university” even though not everyone might not go to university. My teacher said to me that “I will need a few extra years in high school to even go to college”. This was hurtful because this was said before I had even started high school.
Additionally, the teachers in locally developed are more helpful than teachers teaching the regular classes, but I don’t want to stay in locally developed because I am capable of a higher level and being able to go to college and/or university. My school placed me in locally developed courses purely because I was on an IEP, but there should be more options for students who learn differently. I was placed in a special grade 9 English program which will result in an extra year of high school. As well, I failed my math course last semester because it was destreamed; therefore I will have to take it again. If I had the proper support, then this might not have happened.
Sometimes it is hard for me to advocate for myself because I feel embarrassed since I don’t see other people advocating for themselves. They just seem to do well automatically, even if that’s not always the case. I even had to advocate for accommodations that were on my IEP and I shouldn’t have to ask to get what I need. I once advocated for myself and a friend to get a quiet room for tests because it was too loud in the regular classroom. I got the quiet room and I did better on the test.
For me, and other students like me, to be successful at school, we need teachers to learn more about NVLD and how they could help. I also wish teachers could understand what it’s like to have NVLD. At the minimum, teachers should be able to at least understand learning differences so they can help students in their class who may learn differently.
My name is Nathan, and I am a 15-year-old who loves to be outdoors, ride my bike, learn new things, read a lot of books, and work out. I also love cars. My favourite genres of books are mystery, thriller and intrigue. I am a kind person who likes to make other people laugh and cares about others.Share your own story