By: Adam Ninyo, Intern, Published Date: July 17, 2013 11:53 AM
In our office, we have seemingly countless pieces of your artwork hung up. Looking around at the numerous drawings and paintings has inspired me to think about the impact that creative thinking has for individuals with LD.
Imagine a student who can’t write very well, can’t read very well, has anxiety about testing and isn’t getting much out of school. Also, this student has LD. Where will the student end up in life? Now imagine that, though this student is not gifted academically, he or she is talented artistically or has an amazing idea for the next great business. This person might find success outside of conventional academic careers due to an ability to go “out of the box” and do something extraordinary.
An excellent example of this can be seen in Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records. Branson found that school wasn’t his forte in part because of his dyslexia, as he received poor grades until he left academia behind when he was 16. Branson was able to be successful because he was creative—he had an idea, and he capitalized on it.
Another person who illustrates this idea is writer Agatha Christie, who’s often thought to have had dysgraphia. Christie managed to overcome her disability through innovation and originality and became one of the most celebrated authors of all time (and, not to mention, doing so during a time when women faced obstacles to break into the literary community).
Going to a special education school has introduced me to plenty of people whose path to success is different than mine. In my school, I know several students who have found that their passions and strengths do not lie in the classroom. I know people who are going to cosmetology school to study hair and makeup, going to specialized dance and music institutions, and will be attending technical institutes to pursue their dreams of working in the automobile industry.
The point I’m attempting to make is that creativity can overcome any deficiency. One might argue that without LD, the impetus to be creative may not always present itself. Had Richard Branson been successful in school, he possibly wouldn’t have entered the record business. If the people I know had found academics to be their strength, they likely wouldn’t feel the need for an “outside the box” career choice.
Obstacles that accompany LD force one to go on an atypical path that could lead to great contributions to society. LD, like any challenge, causes those affected to find a way around their condition and do something memorable in the process. Creativity matters because it lets us show the world what we’re capable of.
To those of you who submitted artwork to our art competition, thank you for showing us what you’re capable of.
Adam is an intern at NCLD and aspiring writer who has written blog posts on a variety of topics. Adam takes his work personally, as he grew up with LD and graduated the Summit School—a Special Ed school in Queens, NY. He now attends Vassar College where he intends to major in English.