If I Didn't Have My Learning Difference | Teen Ink

If I Didn't Have My Learning Difference

June 18, 2018
By villalban BRONZE, Wellesley, Massachusetts
villalban BRONZE, Wellesley, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I have these moments in my life where I just wish I didn’t have my learning difference.

In those moments I wish that I just had a regular brain that would work like it’s supposed to. I wonder in those moments why I have to struggle so much? I wonder why I even have this? I think to myself it’s not fair! I just want to be like everybody else. Though as I go around in that circle of negative thoughts in my mind, I stop and I think who would I be and what would my life be like if I didn’t have my learning difference? The truth is I don’t know what my life would be like or who I would be if I didn’t have my learning difference. I realize my learning differences and the challenges I have faced because of it has helped form me into the person I am today.
I learned how to fight for my education because of my learning difference. For example, in fifth grade I probably had one of the worst teachers I've ever had in my life! The class I was in was just for kids with learning differences. Our teacher did not do a great job of teaching us. She did not explain things well at all, and she would put on movies for the class when she felt stressed. This was my first year at this school, and I realized a couple weeks into the school year that this is what the rest of the year was going to be like. I made a decision after this realization that I was going to work very hard so that I could get moved into the mainstream class, and things like this weren’t happening there. I knew I would get the education I deserved in that mainstreamed class. So that’s just what I did. I worked really hard and proved I could handle being in the mainstream class. A couple months later, I was moved into the mainstream class. Still to this day I am very proud of this accomplishment. I am proud for how I fought for my education. This experience has taught me that whenever something is not right, you need to go out there and fix it. You can’t wait around for somebody else to change it because they might not ever do that. Still to this day I advocate for myself. A recent example of this is I recently advocated for a new accommodation to be added to my IEP. Next year I am going into Geometry which is a class that people with my learning difference are known to really struggle with. Knowing this, I have been trying to think of things that might be helpful for me next year. An idea I came up with is to have pre-labeled graphs. This way I wouldn’t have to worry about drawing graphs and labeling them. When I suggested this to my math teacher she thought it was a great idea and that we should get it added to my IEP. And I am happy to announce that right now we are in the process of adding it to my IEP. My self advocacy skills are something that I am very proud of.
I had to develop a strong work ethic at a young age because of my learning difference. If I hadn’t worked as hard as I did in fifth grade, I would have been stuck in the classes that did not give me the education I deserve. For example, in math class I make many mistakes and fail many times. Despite this, every time I get back up and keep trying each time until I get it. I've had to do this all my life with many subjects. And yes at times I do get frustrated and wish I would just get it, but I remind myself that I just have to be patient with my brain and that I will get it soon. My work ethic is one of my favorite qualities of myself. I love how I am able to power through the times when I am struggling. Many people don’t develop a work ethic until much later in life because they haven’t faced a challenge that has required one. Developing a work ethic is hard for many people. But with having a learning difference I had to develop one at a really young age. Later in life I won’t struggle as much as others to develop one because I already have one. Even though right now I don’t have a clear idea of what I want to do with my life, I know that when I do know my work ethic will take me wherever I want to go.

Also If I didn’t have my learning difference I probably wouldn’t have formed some of the very close relationships I have with some of my past teachers. Those relationships have been something I cherish very deeply. Each of these relationships have taught me many different things. Some of the many things I learned were to advocate for myself. I learned to just be myself because I am awesome, and I learned to believe in myself. These relationships I had with my teachers are not something everybody gets to experience. When I look back on these relationships my heart fills with love and joy. These relationships have definitely been one of my favorite parts of school. And I would be very sad if I never got to experience them.
The truth is if somebody asked me today if I could start my whole entire life over with a new brain, I would say no. Yes my learning difference does bring many challenges into my life but I would not be the person I am today if I didn’t have it. If I didn’t have my learning difference it would be like taking a piece of me away. A piece of me that has taught me many things. If I didn’t have that piece of me I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today. And if I didn’t have that piece of me I don’t know who I would be. My learning difference has taught me many things in my life at a young age that many people won’t learn or understand until they’re much older or maybe even ever. So yes, I would keep my messy and confused beautiful brain over any other brain in the world

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This article has 1 comment.

NatashaRose said...
on Aug. 3 2018 at 5:47 pm
NatashaRose, Raleigh, North Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Honest essay.

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