October is an important month in the learning disability (LD) and disability communities. During October, we celebrate LD Awareness, Dyslexia Awareness, and ADHD Awareness. Each year, NCLD spends the month recognizing the strengths and successes of people with LD and their families. We also aim to raise awareness and defeat the stigma — or the belief that people with LD cannot achieve as much as those without disabilities — that so often surrounds people with LD.
This year, three outstanding advocates were featured on the U.S. Department of Education website. Their stories were shared on the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Blog. These advocates spoke out to share their story, reflect on the challenges they’ve faced and lessons learned, and celebrate their triumphs as they live with LD, dyslexia, or ADHD.
Read each of their stories below, and be sure to share with others as we work together to raise awareness and defeat the stigma of LD, dyslexia, and ADHD this month and every month.
Learning About My LD: Accepting My Challenges & Finding My Voice
By Lena McKnight
Have you ever sat in a classroom and your teacher asks everyone to read a paragraph out loud? You skim through to see which paragraph has the easiest words to read out loud.
That was me. I was the young girl shaking in my boots when I knew I had to read out loud. Often, I would try to identify the “easy” paragraph, and if I couldn’t find one, I would make the class laugh by getting myself into trouble and taking the pressure off me. I was scared, although everyone thought I was the girl who didn’t fear anything and was tough. I was scared because I saw others do things that I struggled with. Middle school was hard for me. Not only was I dealing with social pressure, but keeping up with my academics was a lot of work in and of itself.
Reflections on Where We’ve Been: A Mother and Son’s Journey with Dyslexia
By Dylan & Nicola Frost
Nicola—a mom of three and an advocate—and her son Dylan, a college sophomore, share what has made their journey unique in hopes of inspiring others. Below, they take turns asking questions and telling their story.
Nicola: I want to start by sharing what I love most about my son. He sees the world in many dimensions. He is inquisitive, caring and creative. Traveling with Dylan is one of my favorite things to do because he sees the nuances and details of the culture, architecture, food and music wherever we are. He expresses genuine joy when experiencing new things. He is very social and adventurous, and people seem to be drawn to him like a moth to a lightbulb. But what I’m most proud about is that after years of struggling with an undiagnosed learning difference, and battling self-doubt, he is a sweet and curious guy and he has found strategies to deal with his learning and attention issues.
High Achievement Requires High Expectations: My Family’s Story
By Candice Crissinger
“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.”
—Charles Kettering, American inventor, engineer and businessman.
As parents, we all want to see our children reach their full potential. Our visions of their successes and accomplishments may vary, but we all yearn to guide our children to greatness. How do we set them up to fulfill their potential? What foundations are we building for them? What roadmaps can we provide to help them navigate on their journey?
I am the proud mother of three terrific children (Biased? Yes!). While each of them is unique and inspiring in their own abilities and qualities, my sons have some very distinct similarities.
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