A letter from a Teacher….. I read with interest your tips on L.D. I am an L.D. teacher of 7th-9th graders. I have been teaching L.D. for 10 years. (In the field of special ed for 20 years) EVERYTHING you say is what I also live every school day for my kids. My biggest problem is usually NOT the kids but the other adults who deal with these kids. As a society we are making it miserable for a great number of kids in our schools. I usually keep in contact with most of my students and their adult lives are not always successful. We need to start doing something else, we are losing too many unique, wonderful kids. Their is a very high incidence of drug abuse, jail time, divorce etc. among my former students. I know I am not telling you anything that you don't already know, its just nice for me to be able to voice this without someone judging me as being an "enabler", and making it too easy for the kids. I just wish these people would spend ONE DAY of life as a person with learning disabilities and see how they would change their story. As a teacher, it is becoming more and more difficult for me to go into the classroom and expect the students to do the reading, writing, math etc that is required in the schools, when I KNOW that some things they are not going to be able to do. Most of my students are very cabable, average or above in intelligence but they may never be able to take notes, write a paragraph with few spelling errors etc. We do not expect blind children to see or deaf children to hear, so why are we expecting L.D. students to read and write large amounts of material, in a very short amount of time. Sorry to take up so much time, I just wanted to connect with someone that I know would understand my need to vent my frustration. School will be starting again in 3 weeks, and I already know that some of my students are starting to feel physically ill with the thought of going back. NO child (or adult) should have to live with this type of pain for 9 months out of the year. Not all of my students are turned off by school, but the ones that are break my heart. I can't seem to fix it for them either. I guess I just feel really bad right now, because a student that I had in 5,6, and 7th grades has become very close to me and my family. He is now 21 and has a MAJOR drug addiction. He is in rehab right now, but is NOT clean. He will die, and the learning disability that he has can not be blamed for all of the drug problems, but it sure has been a major contributer. In closing, thank you for writing a book about your experiences. I have not read your book yet, but plan on ordering it now. Again, thanks for listening Poem - From Gail Melancon Dyslexia, Dyslexia, oh what a word, Some people think that it’s just absurd, It isn’t as easy as a to z This dyslexia is so much more a part of me Being different, feeling different, why do I have to be like you? In this life, I have learned on my own that I need to pursue It matters, to me that you don’t always understand Why is it just so hard to give a helping hand? Thinking and straining, trying so hard As a result, I am always on guard If people were respectful it wouldn’t be such an insult It makes me feel inadequate, as a result I wouldn’t have to write this, to take up this fight But in my heart of hearts, I know I have this right If you would have more patience and learn what I can give out My life would be more gratifying, and you’ll learn what I’m about I am sure that you have notice the misspellings I have here But this is just my time and I simply just don’t care If this poem can bring attention to everyone out there Then I have succeeded and done my work here, I learn so much better in a methortical style See what I can achieve, it may be worth your while Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past It’s not worth wasting time, on memories that will not last God’s giving us the knowledge that’s all we need to know In this life we need to know what we reap is what we sow So look to life a brand new way and let the light shine in Look to God and change your heart and really look within Free to love and free to change the future that is ahead Follow your dreams and look beyond and then you will be led You have a chance to start again to change the way you feel Give life a change to start again and let your mind be healed Arise my soul and lift your spirits high above your pain And you will find in awhile the wisdom you have gained A letter from a mother.. My son Chris also has dyslexia and was in special ed all of his school. He graduated from high school. Now he is about to loose his daughter and one of the reasons is that they say that because he is dyslexia he can't be a good parent. ….. What help can do… I am the mother of a very bright 11 year old boy who has ADHD and a learning disability. He is in private school in Washington State, and has received services through private individuals. The school district did their darndest to deny the problem or need. It has been so painful for me to watch him suffer with frustration and humiliation, poor self-esteem and depression. All the while he has known that he is very smart, and very loved by his parents and by God. I received the book and tapes. I read the book. He listened to the tapes. After listening to your book, he came into the kitchen and wrote "I am smart and dyslexic" on a piece of paper. He has accepted and even celebrated his difference. He used your experiences as clues to things to watch out for. For example, on the Gates Reading Test, he double checked each answer, making sure the bubbles were lined up correctly. He has always scored very low in this test. (but scored past high school when taking the test orally) This year he scored above grade level. He said you helped him. He felt very proud of himself. He listens to your tape every night at bedtime. He loves computers, and is the "Ultimate computer whiz" of his class. He does power point presentations for fun. Very cool. I just want to say thank you for sharing your story so personally and honestly. It must have been painful. But it has touched this family in a very positive way. Now he and all of us can move forward with acceptance and our heads held high. God Bless You
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