By Sarah Rashdi
How does it feel like to be different?
Normal people are unable to grasp the feeling accurately. Even with the dissemination of tests which exclusively design in miscellaneous types, encompassing the wide range of cyberspace, still in the end creating a final product that failed to deliver the actual experience of being shackled with learning disorders. The feeling then was reciprocal, transmitted with less accurate than the original.
Go for a visual experiment, try to create an imaginary arena clearly in the mind’s eye, the dark world with no strong sentiment or tenderness, where you will be drowned in loneliness within a sea of normal people who refused to welcome your existence. What emotion would possibly be derived under these circumstances? Even imagining it can creep the brain cells out.
In this gigantic world, at least a part of the mortal human realm should be preserved for people with learning disabilities. What makes them an outcast? They are not suffering from any mental disorder or any other disease but often branded with various kinds of labels such as slow, burdensome, trash, nonsense and the never-ending list of words that cut deeper than a knife. It was just the difficulty in learning and understanding that cause them to lag behind even in the simplest of tasks.
Being despised by the society, friends and even family make them lose a place to divulge their pool of feelings. Hence, their confidence got destroyed and they became very scared. As if layers and layers of hatred, formed the huge monstrous waves that rolled them into it. In fright, instead of discovering their own ability, they choose to turn their head away from their helpless soul and live in loneliness.
Yes, they are different but their distinctive qualities are the reason that makes them uniquely awesome.
They are not lacking in intelligence
As shared by Dr. Sankari Ganesh Narayanasamy, a psychiatrist in Hospital Permai, learning disorders are not due to lack of intelligence or desire to learn. People with learning disabilities are as smart as their peers, or even smarter. They just have difficulty in learning and developing certain skills. However, a proper teaching method can help them master these skills. Even a small modification will be leading in a big benefit to them.
Learning disability is a neurological disorder but often being confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, motor disabilities, intellectual disability, emotional disturbance, environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.
There are various types of learning disabilities but the most common are dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia.
Disorder of Reading
According to Dr. Sankari, dyslexia is a language-based disability that affects oral and written communication. Dyslexic people have trouble identifying letters or words and the symptoms appear to be in broad contrast for different levels of age. The children under five usually have issues with recognising the alphabet or alphabet sounds. They often mixing up letters when pronouncing word for example, ‘aminal’ for animal and ‘heilcopter’ for helicopter.
Children ages from five to 13 are often struggling with recalling simple facts and numbers. Additionally, they may wrestle with using writing tools properly such as pens. They are also faced with difficulty to follow directions in order and in understanding new knowledge. Those who age between 13 and above usually lost track of time and unable to manage it prudently. Also, they have trouble learning a different language or even retelling the main points of a story.
Disorder of Numeracy
Dyscalculia or math dyslexia is a mathematical disability that impairs a person ability in grasping number-related concepts and also in solving mathematical problems. According to Dr Sankari, they often have difficulty to perform accurate math calculation. Even telling time or counting money is considered complicated for them.
Young children are usually having difficulty in learning to count or recognising numbers. Moreover, their ability to memorise numerical characters is also very poor. While school-age children have trouble to learn math facts such as addition, subtraction, division and others. They could not perform the math skills even at the basic level because they have trouble in developing math problem-solving skills. They have a poor long-term memory for math function and most likely to avoid games that require strategy.
As for teenagers and adults, they are facing with the difficulty to learn math concepts beyond the basic math facts. Moreover, this group is faced with the trouble to spend the money wisely because they have poor ability to estimate costs like groceries bills. Also, finding different solution to solve a problem is considered as a tough task to settle with.
Disorder of Writing
Dysgraphia is a learning disability that cause a person to have difficulty in writing or forming letters. They have to struggle with spelling and unable to scribble in neat handwriting. However, Dr. Sankari reminded, having a bad handwriting does not mean that you are suffering from dysgraphia.
Young children show an awkward pencil grip and body position while writing and have trouble to form a letter shape. They are most likely to avoid tasks that involved writing or drawing. For the school-age children, their habitual writing style are saying what words to write out loud, because they have trouble to concentrate on what is being written. Also, they usually have trouble to think of what words to write. As for teenagers and adults, they usually have the difficulty to organise their thoughts on paper and they could not keep track on thoughts that are already written down.
A blessed deficiency
Being diagnosed with learning disorders does not make this minor a moronic in a society. Instead, they are the sun hiding in the rain, waiting for the chance to spread its light over the horizon, making them the brightest in the universe. Even the smartest person in the world, Albert Einstein, was one of the individuals afflicted with learning disability.
Every dog has his day and so are they. One chance is all it takes for them to fly high, higher than what the world can offer. They are the lonely soul, filled with awesomeness, waiting to burst once summoned. Hence, if they demand for better treatment, they are beyond worth to receive what they truly deserve.***