A shift of Perspective
Learning Disability according to psychological terms, is a neurological disorder or neurological processing problem. In simpler words, it is how differently a person’s brain is ‘wired’.
What is learning disability? Every layman who first hear this word would describe it as a person who is mentally retarded. We can’t blame him/her for this, in the society we are living in today people are not equipped with the right knowledge regarding psychological health or mental health/well being. People are not acquainted with the correct knowledge. Even I was one of them, until I had a personal experience.
Children suffering from learning disability may be equally smarter or smarter than the children of their age. They may pose problem in reading, writing, reasoning or organising information. Very few people might be aware of the fact that Albert Einstein couldn’t read until he was nine? There were many such renowned personalities who had learning disability still did not let that be a barrier in their path of success.
I have had a personal experience which actually changed my life. My experience has been really overwhelming with the fact that how my brother can suffer from a learning disability. As, in the Indian society that we live in has this mindset where having learning disability is considered as a big taboo. People are like Oh My God! How? Why? What are you going to do now?
Like we were not aware of the fact that he is having problem to retain things or understand them. I mean, even in my wildest dream also I won’t even imagine this could happen with my brother. He had been an average student till 7th standard, I mean he used to score in 50’s and we all used to be happy that at least he has passed we never forced him to be a topper or score in 90’s. So when he started with his 8th standard we saw a little downfall in his marks, but we thought that he did not prepared well that year in his exams. Then in class 9th we saw a drastic downfall in his marks. He did not clear few of the subjects however he appeared in the re-test and passed on the borderline and was promoted to class 10th.
He did not fare well in mid-terms; we were worried as 10th standard is a board class how is he going to clear if this continues. His teachers were worried too. As a matter of fact, we saw him put all his efforts. He stayed late at night studying memorising his chapters yet he did not do well. We were clueless as what should we do? We reached out to a psychologist and got his psycho-metric tests done. Though, we were very sure that nothing is wrong with him, but still we went along with the tests. To our surprise, when the results came out we were stunned, we all had gone in utter shock. He was suffering from ADHD commonly known as Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder. My father couldn’t digest the fact that his own son has some kind of disorder or he is mentally challenged? It took us days to process this fact. When we informed the school authorities the advised that the students suffering from such disabilities get extra time when they write exam, we were at a point relieved that he is going to have some help in writing the exam. But back in the mind we all just had one question, why him?
However, we acted as quickly as possible, we went to PGI Chandigarh. They had to run those tests again. The tests were positive, again it was extremely overwhelming. I mean we saw him and all we saw was that he was perfectly fine. Then we began with his treatment, he had his sessions so, we had to visit Chandigarh once in a week. This continued for a long time but during that process my parents and I had a shift of perspective. We no longer had the question why him? Rather we thought that he has been gifted with the ability nobody has in this world. We got to know something, CBSE no longer provides time to the students who suffer from ADHD, but we were not worried not anymore. We just encouraged him to do better and give his 100%. He used to study hard and to write things and learn them.
The major issues he had or the fear he had which he shared with us later on was that he remembered everything but got blanked out or was not able to produce the learnt things during the exam because of anxiety. However his boards approached, he did well! I mean with god’s grace, he had passed his boards with 60% marks. We all were top of the moon. So there is a little fun fact about him, that he loves watching movies. I mean generally you watch a movie once, you won’t remember the dialogues of the whole movie by heart and that too word by word, but whenever you sit with him next time and watch the same movie he will recite the dialogues before the dialogue comes on the screen and I usually ask him how? They have their own abilities; they are beautiful in their own ways. My brother is currently pursuing his 11th standard in humanities with IT as his subjects, when people ask what stream he has opted for. We no longer are hesitant to say that he has opted for humanities. We are happy with what he is doing. He is also a national level player of Taekwondo.
In today’s era, parents force their child to be a 100% achiever in all the things whether its academics, sports or music. They really need to understand that every child is blessed with his/her own hidden talents instead of making him/her an all- rounder they should focus on nurturing that talent and help them flourishing in that specific field. In the end, I would just say that kids who suffer from learning disabilities are not different or more specifically ‘challenged’ in any way, they have their own way of thinking, observing and own way of processing things. These kids are usually are not treated well. With the proper intervention and treatment they could do the wonders one could imagine. They are seen different beings but trust me they are way smarter than us. They may tackle situations in a better manner than us. Never see these children with the sympathy, trust me they do not ask for that neither they want to be treated differently. Just tell them they are not different from all the others they are capable of doing things like everyone else in their own way.