It’s so easy to get lost in negative self talk, especially when it comes to learning disabilities. We work harder at things everyone else seems to do easily, and we get to put up with others’ poor attitudes at the same time.
That’s I thought I’d put together a list of five advantages I’ve noticed people with learning disabilities tend to gain over the years.
You learn early on how your own mind works, especially if you get proper accommodations. Our differences are only disabilities in the context of our surroundings. That means the system itself disables those of us who don’t perceive the world in the same way as everyone else, not our brains. It’s something we deal with on a daily basis, and even though it’s harder early on, it never fully goes away.
However, through dealing with that ongoing challenge, we learn how to manipulate the tools at our disposal in order to thrive. We learn how we think, and eventually, we may learn why we think in that way.
Because we learned early on that we can’t just assume everyone thinks like we do, that self knowledge seems to be a little more profound and highlighted than many of our peers.
Struggle Early On
As hard as it is to be a child fighting against a system that doesn’t work with us, that early struggle can give us the toughness needed to pursue what we desire in adulthood.
In many ways, that early strife can build up a strong foundation on which to build a strong personality and resilient heart.
Because the way we process information is neurologically based, we grow to perceive the world differently than those who fall into the ‘normal’ spectrum.
Everyone sees events in their lives through their own filters, and those of us with unique filters often spot problems either before they occur, or find a way to solve them before they get worse.
Art, writing, architecture and the sciences also all benefit from our individual ways of looking at the world. Innovation is at the heart of creation, after all, and if there’s one thing many LD people are good at, it’s being creative.
Of course, LD folks don’t all fall into the creativity basket. Many are amazing at math and logic, both of which are also vital to a growing society.
Talent in Unique Areas
Closely linked to the above three points is a tendency to develop talent in unexpected areas. Those areas aren’t usually seen as very useful early on, as in the cases of creative writing and art, but later in life, they can provide for a very happy, secure life.
Most of these talents don’t seem to be very closely tied with the day to day of school work, either. Instead, they’re linked to things the LD child escapes into, like acting out scenes, creating amazing pictures, exploring the wilderness or telling stories.
Almost any skill can be useful, especially when the practice is passionate.
Patience With Others
I’ve noticed many older people with LD have an intense interest in helping younger people in their situation to handle the hurdles society throws at them. I think this may be true of most people who have gone through difficulties, but I’ve noticed it more acutely in a number of LD communities.
Although I’ve seen a number of less than kind individuals, they’re vastly outnumbered by wonderful folks who demonstrate a startling amount of patience for others.
I know from experience that seeing a young person struggling with the exact same thing I had gives me motivation to help them through it in any way I can. It’s heartening to see I’m not alone in that, either.
Sure, we may face strife, but what we gain from surviving it is incredibly precious. Things do eventually get better, even if they are difficult right now.