Learning about adults with Learning Disabilities

Today was our first class with Dr Gerber. I found it quite engaging. The approach that we are people first and any kind of disability is second resonates well with me. It seems to be important to first of all connect with others at the level of being a human being. If I can remember this and really be present with my heart no matter what the challenges the other person is dealing with, then I’ve found there to be opportunities for a deeper connection and, I think, the respect for the potential of the other to contribute, whatever they can. Of course, there are my own challenges that may prevent such a state of being present. However, it has happened from time-to-time (somehow), and I hope that by becoming more conscious of what’s involved in learning disabilities that it will be possible to be more fully present more frequently.

One of the things that strikes me is that despite the challenges that are faced, people are able to go beyond the limitations and become successful in a wide variety of fields or areas of life. It seems that what is considered a ‘normal’ way of learning or doing something is perhaps just what is more common among a majority of people. It doesn’t mean it is necessarily the only way to do something or the only way to look at something. Surely, there are a variety of perspectives that are valid. And while it seems that there are many challenges with being learning disabled, there is also the possibility of the challenges being a motivating force to put in more effort which may also involve finding a different way to do something. And in this different way of seeing, doing (and perhaps feeling about…), there’s the chance to arrive at a perspective that might be quite new and fresh.

I guess one of the challenges to deal with is to somehow broaden the perspective about what is considered ‘normal’ in regards to how people with learning disabilities can function. In this regard, it seems important for anyone with learning disabilities, when deemed appropriate to be able to be specific about just what their learning disability is (particularly in the environment of education or a job). And yes, I can see that at other times in various types of social settings, it is not necessary at all to mention having a learning disability.

And if i really look at the list of various types of learning disabilities, I can find quite a few for which I raised my own hand. I guess most of us human beings have some degree of learning disability in some areas of our life. Perhaps that’s part of being human! The issue may be that in recognize at least some degree of our own disability, we may then be able to more easily accept and support others with learning disabilites.

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