Breaking Through Life with Learning Difficulties
The Hidden Impact of Learning Differences.
There have been numerous articles and books written which describe the educational and employment implications of learning difficulties, but the hidden cost emotionally and financially is often overlooked. The result of struggling through school or professional responsibilities with little or no support leaves a significant emotional imprint.
It is also important to not overlook those who, with or without a medical diagnosis, have gone on to achieve their goals and aspirations. Just because someone seemed to beat the odds, doesn’t mean there wasn’t more that could have been done to help or assist them on their journey.
What you may experience
- Everyone’s experience of their Learning Difference is unique to them and impacts different aspects of their experience of education, work, and personal relationships.
- Some of the possible emotional effects of having a Learning Difference can leave the individual with lifelong feelings of inadequacy, shame, guilt, feeling misunderstood, unseen, ignorant, lazy or stupid.
- You may wish to do something different with your life, but are left feeling that certain doors are closed for you. You are left frustrated. You may feel as though you could never reach your full potential.
- You may feel education is just something that is not for you. Maybe you are currently involved in an educational system and you feel lost and confused.
- Professionally, you may feel like furthering your education will only expose your weaknesses. These feelings can stop you from career advancement and limit your options for career growth. You may feel unable to follow a lifelong dream. You may not have even allowed yourself to dream.
- You may find yourself with feelings of anger at your experience in school or at your employer. You may find your personal relationships unsatisfying.
For anyone dealing with a Learning Difference, the challenge is to find a way to accomplish your goals through your own learning style, understand your unique needs, and discover how to access the education and opportunities you desire. It is also important to be aware of your true self and how you are valuable as a student, a professional, and in personal relationships.
The ANSWER is found in understanding that nothing is beyond a truly independent learner’s grasp.
- Discover the benefit of talking with a trained therapist who truly understands the difference and the impact that your Learning Difference has had on your life. I will be able to offer you a new perspective on your experiences and assist you in accessing the gift of your Learning Difference.
- Just because you have a Learning Difference does not mean you have a inability to learn. The label simply acknowledges that different people access and process information in different ways. The true ‘difficulty’ lies not in the individual but in the surrounding environment’s inability to meet an individual learner’s needs. Differences in learning styles do not lessen what any individual has to offer.
- What may appear to be a disability from one perspective may be a gift from another. It is common for individuals with Learning Differences to possess very valuable, yet untapped natural abilities. Acknowledging and getting access to these abilities helps to promote self-esteem and confidence in personal relationships, the educational system, and in work environments.
- There is tremendous value in understanding your learning and working style. This not only helps you as a student and employee, but also in personal relationships.
Do I need a Diagnosis?
- Diagnosis is encouraged for many individuals. Being assessed for Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADHD and others is often a very positive experience. It is the fastest way to find the right level of support for you.
- A medical diagnosis will entitle you to educational and workplace accommodations to provide you with an environment to help you perform at your best. Such assistance may include technology and possible adjustments in your workspace, deadlines, and methods of communication. Often the accommodations offer you the opportunity to work in a manner better suited to your learning style. By unlocking your true potential, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your professional knowledge and skills.
- Colleges have Learning Resource Departments which can request appropriate assistance based upon your needs and course requirements. Staff will inform you of your educational entitlements under the law and work to educate professors about your individual learning style.
You are Not Alone, I’m here to help.
Learning differences can affect your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and the world. The way you must cope is exhausting. Trauma experienced because of your differences may create triggers which produce feelings of anxiety and adversely affect your ability to relax. You may feel pressure to always prove your worth to the world. You may struggle with time management which can be associated with worries. You may feel inhibited, depressed, unmotivated. It may be difficult for you to trust others and accept change as both can threaten your sense of security.
You are not alone on your journey. Millions of people are working through the difficulties of Learning Differences and many of them are realizing that those differences do not create a ceiling to success. They are discovering the value of understanding of how to access the success you deserve. You are worth the time and energy to access the best version of yourself.
As a therapist, I hope to help you better understand how you are coping with the stress you may be experiencing. We will assess together if your current mode of coping is productive or causing harm. We will discuss why you operate the way you do and figure out what changes you desire. Through support and understanding, we will work together to harness your resources, your creativity, your uniqueness and create clarity, healthy boundaries, and confidence to adapt and manage the stress of life.
Essential Ideas for Parents: