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Learning Disabilities

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Stories by Kids

About My LD

By: Nicole, Age 13, Other, ca

Hey my name is Nicole. I am 13 years old and in grade 8. I'm going to tell you about my lifelong struggle with my LD. I have always had struggles with almost everything to do with school, reading, writing, and math.

It was not just school. It was all life situations where you had to remember numbers, letters, words, or even decorations. All of my elementary years I was called lazy and bad. Also that I didn't listen or try hard enough, even when I knew I was truly trying my hardest.

When I moved to a new school, in grade 7, I was sitting in class. The teacher called on me to do one of the division questions we had for homework that night. I sat there trying to figure out how to do it. The entire class was staring at me. It was so embarrassing. Finally I said, "I don't know how to do division. She said, "Oh alright, well it's not that hard. Stay after class and I will show you how."

So that's what I did. She was getting ready to show me how. First she showed me a simple addition fact like 2+4. It took me a couple seconds to come up with the answer. Then she new something was up. We kept going over them: 5+2, 2+4, 2+3, 6+2, and 1+2, over and over. They weren't sticking. Finally we got resource to help, then guidance, then ligature support, then extra time, then less work.

Then one day, some of my teachers got together and told me I was going to see a doctor, a special kind of tutor. They said I can play cool games, read stories, and even look at pictures. But I had to go on this big huge waiting list, like 4 months long. Then they put me at the top of the list because I really needed help.

He came to the school and we worked together for about two days. It was fun. All the stuff we did was fun. Some of it was hard, but all together it was fun. About two weeks after, my mom got a call from the school saying we need to come in for a meeting.

So we went in. All the teachers came in and we sat down and the doctor told us that I had an LD. It was a processing disorder which would affect almost everything I do. This made a real life change for me — a huge adjustment for my life. I was going to see doctors, and meet with guidance counselors, tutors, support teachers, and even a hearing specialist. Together, we figured out plans and things to help me to learn better and more easily.

The best thing to do it not to give up on your self.

Trapped!

By: Martha , Age 13, Dorset , Vermont

I am 13 years old and have a mild form of NLD. Until this year, I had been dealing with it well. Yes it made some things like math hard, but as for the other things, it didn't bother me at all.

But all of a sudden this year when I returned to my school, I suddenly found out what my parents and teachers mean when they always say I have trouble working out what people were really feeling, or as they put it "correctly interpreting people's emotions." The other day, my favorite teacher, who is also my advisor, laughed at something I told her. I freaked out and was in tears all day because I thought she was laughing at me.

In fact, it wasn't at me at all. She was laughing at herself. It had nothing to do with me at all. When my friends make eye contact with me, I shy away and ask why they are glaring at me. I never make eye contact with anyone because whatever I see in their face I will not understand.

I feel as if I am trapped in a world that doesn't make sense, and in a world where very few understand me. The only two people I can really talk to are my teacher, Mary, and my best friend Carol who also has NLD. No one else understands! And I don't understand either!

Nobody Is Dumb

By: Sydney, Age 11, Leonia, New Jersey

Kelly didn't have many friends. She never thought of herself as smart, pretty, or popular. Tests were hard for her and she always knew she had a learning disability. Kelly never told her classmates about her learning disability. Some kids didn't even know she existed.

Kelly thought she was dumb. That was the case until Mario came to town. Mario was a new student from Italy. He had blonde hair, blue eyes, and an Italian accent. Mario was really smart. Since he was new at Oakwood Middle School, Kelly decided to say hi.

Mario thought it was nice of Kelly to greet him. Instantly, Mario and Kelly became friends. Kelly told Mario about the fact that she had no friends. She also told him about her learning disability and how she was dumb. Immediately Mario said, "Nobody is dumb. Dumb is just a word that doesn't mean anything." Kelly thought he was a liar.

The next day, Kelly and Mario had a quiz. Kelly was scared to take it. Mario didn't care about it. The quiz had two essay questions and no multiple choice questions. When they got their test grades back, Mario got a 98% and Kelly got a 72%. Kelly almost cried.

The next week, Kelly and Mario found out that mid-term exams were coming up. Kelly was really nervous. Mario told her to stay calm. Kelly thought to herself, "How can I stay calm? If I fail, I will have to stay in 7th grade forever!" Mario knew Kelly was bad in math so he taught her ways to do well on the math test.

Finally it was test time. Kelly's hands started to sweat, her knees began to feel like Jello, and she took a deep breath. She picked up her pencil and started to write. Suddenly her mind became blank. She tried to remember, but she couldn't. Then she remembered what Mario taught her and it all came back to her.

A week later, Mario and Kelly got their test grades back. Mario got a 98%. Kelly got a 90%. Kelly was so happy. Mario was so happy for her. From then on, they became best friends for life.

Musings on My Learning Disability

By: Lyra, Age 15, Other, ot

Living with a learning disability can be a strange journey through cluttered alleys leading to bizarre oases and still more alleys.

The sky seems so very high above some days and other days so close; and I feel a great longing to gather it in my hands and hold it to my heart.

Sometimes I need concrete facts about myself and sometimes I can only see my feet.

There are times when my learning disability tries to control me; and my brain will only go so fast; it seems like an annoyance that is bent on restricting me. But it also gives me an unusual perspective on limits and maybe it tries to teach me patience and attention to detail.

My learning disability ostracizes me. It can make me feel like an unwanted infant. But it also lends me empathy for others.

Sometimes a dead end is a very alive place to be! Things are growing from places that have been forsaken and abandoned by people.

My learning disability can blind me. But it also lets me see things other people don’t notice.

Sometimes my learning disability seems like a confining box; trying to keep me trapped. But this box can be very beautiful and there is always a door that I can reach up and open if I am brave.

The elements that make me include my learning disability; but it is not ALL of me. It is a small part of who I am. Just like the rocks, seaweed, water and sky are a portion of the beach.

My learning disability can make time seems to stand still, but I can enjoy the moment and notice the exquisite surroundings.

I am a paranormal part of my environment, separate because of my difference; a difference that is not tangible to others.

In my mind my disability cages me from the rest of the world. If I can only learn to "accept and move on."

One day I will leave my cage behind and move on to be the person I am meant to be. I will always perceive the world differently from others but that is just how I think and a part of who I am.

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