In an ideal world having a learning difference shouldn’t be traumatic. It should simply result in being taught in the way that fits you.
But that’s not the way it is for most. Imagine working every day at a job when half the time you’re trying to avoid embarrassment and shame. Children and teens with learning differences struggle with this reality every day. Kids with reading problems like dyslexia can be brilliant and creative. But one thing that’s almost never “positive” is when they’re called on to read aloud in class. From our upcoming second book in the Light Within Series, “The Light Within Dyslexia,” Sean Geddes and I describe and illustrate one such time in Beaver’s life:
“Beaver tried to focus on the job at hand, but his face was getting red. He felt hot and he felt small. In fact, he wished he could disappear! “Uh, ok.” He cleared his throat a couple of times. “Dis–cover…the…diff-er-ence… be-cause…pre-da-tro, no!… pre-duh, tors..predators! And prey… when they look–for—food.”
He wasn’t sure whether or not some of his classmates were snickering or making jokes about his reading. But it sure felt like they were.
When school was over and it was time to go home, Beaver felt defeated and alone. He hung his head low and wished he had some sort of invisibility cloak. As he walked home, the laughter and chatter of his classmates seemed far off and muted.
He felt far off and muted.
As he approached his family home, he saw his mom and dad outside busy with some project. If there was one thing you could say about his Beaver family; they were usually busy with one project or another.
“Hi there honey,” his mom said.
“How was school today Champ?” asked his dad. Beaver tried to put on a smile and lifted his head. “Fine,” he answered.
He often said “fine” in answer to that school question. What he meant was “tiring,” or “frustrating.” In fact, if he were good with spelling and playing with words like his brother, he might’ve joked that “f–i–n–e” really stood for “frustrating, intense, not good, and echh.”