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My little friend called Learning Disability

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

Hey, it’s Cocoa!

A couple of weeks ago one of the Care Gift Elves, known as Icicle inspired me to come out and talk about my ADHD and Learning Disability (LD). In school everyone wants to fit in. People think people should be a certain way but it is not always that way. There are kids and teachers that judge too quickly. Some kids even bully and that is why I kept my struggles with my LD to myself until now.

Before I knew about my LD, I used to be afraid of going to school because I didn’t want to get embarrassed when reading out loud or solving math problems at the board. I always thought that no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn’t be as good as the other kids in my class. Math was a struggle and so was writing and reading. I tried to hide it as much as I could. Funny enough my grades were never that bad so my parents and teachers didn't really notice at the beginning.

I would get homework that was supposed to take me only 20 minutes but for me it took over 2 hours, especially math. I would just sit there not understanding anything. It was like I was stuck underneath a pile of rocks and couldn’t get out. Sometimes in class I would just look at the window and go into La La land and zoning out of everything and loose focus . Some of my friends used to say that they could read a book in one day or a week. It took me many weeks or even months. That really frustrated me, especially because I LOVE books. I really love stories and telling stories.

I felt discouraged, embarrassed, different and left out because I always had to work harder than all my friends. It didn’t matter how hard I worked it wasn’t enough. At home my parents were also starting to loose their patience and sometimes didn’t believe me when I told them that I did study or read my homework. I would think to myself: "Why can’t I read a book that fast or do my homework that quickly?". Why is it so hard for me to understand or remember things? I was sad and I started to show it through not being able to sleep at night, getting anxious and having lots of attitude.

One day one of my teachers talked to my parents about how I was struggling in my writing and how she had noticed my grades drop and certain patterns in my behaviour. Especially when it came to reading out loud or copying from the board. See, for you it is probably the easiest thing to just copy something, but for me it isn’t. It is hard for me to focus on lines when I am reading and often I skip letters, words or even sentences. I need to concentrate really hard and it is better now but about two years ago it was soooooooooo hard. My LD is not only a challenge in school. It also takes me longer to memorize dance choreographies during Ballet class or read my music during piano class. My short term memory is a bit of a problem, so I forget.

My teacher told my parents that I should take an assessment. My parents listened to her and I took the test at York University. It was actually a lot of fun and the people there were very nice. When I got the results, I was diagnosed with a Learning Disability and ADHD. When I found out I was so relieved because for all those years, I really thought that there was something wrong with me and that I wasn’t smart. I literally felt like a bunch of rocks were taken off my back. The doctors explained to me that I had actually done really well in the tests and that I was really smart and that my brain was just wired differently. They said that I would just have to find different ways of learning and that with time I would know exactly how. My parents and I were happy because at least now I knew that if I would keep on trying and studying the new way everything would get better.

I still have to work hard to get good grades and when I write these stories for my blog I have 3-4 drafts but it’s worth the trouble. I LOVE writing. I guess the way I see it now, is that I have a little friend living in my brain and its name is LD. Just like with my real friends there are good and bad days but LD has taught me many good things, like not giving up and to work hard. It has made me more empathetic and stronger.

Anyhow, the reason why I wrote about my LD in this blog is because I wanted to let everyone know that having a disability isn't a bad thing. It's something you have but it doesn't define you. Don't be afraid to be yourself. Whether it is a LD, a mental or physical disability everyone should except themselves the way they are. Be kind to yourself especially when you are having a rough time. Always believe in yourself! I know it can be hard sometimes but never give up! And for the kids out there that judge too fast or make fun of kids like me, think before you open your mouth and say something hurtful.

No one is perfect and neither are you.

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