I wonder what life would have been if I did not have a specific learning disability. My disability story started when I was in Standard 8th. I had flunked my test paper. I was a very articulate child. My ability to talk helped me mask my difficulty in specific subjects like Maths and Science. I was good at several things, such as debating and dramatics, except for my studies.
The standard solution to the difficulty in studies was to go for tuition. But the regular tuition did not help me much. My mother sat beside me to teach me. We jointly worked on my difficult portions and let me study the easy ones. Still, I saw no change.
Interestingly, my marks used to fluctuate from test to test. My teachers would give a washdown to my mother on how I was not working hard enough.
Amidst my struggles, it was my mother who realized that there was something wrong. She gathered the courage to take me to a mental health professional. The psychological analysis indicated that I have an inherent problem with attention and learning. With my newfound diagnosis, I was told that I could get a little extra time in my board exam and I could get a writer as a scribe.
After all these years those words held me going : “you can give up those subjects you do not like and choose what you want at college”, he had said. And even now, at work, I have learned where I can excel, and I feel I have succeeded very well in life.
(This story is a creation of the writer and not a true story)
Dr. Anita Rego