May 27 – Persistence, Persistence

The video interview with the Dr. Oschsner, the MD was quite striking. One of the things that came through for me was the incredible persistence that emanated from her whole person. This was evident particularly in the intensity of her voice. A real sense of the adversity she has faced and passed through was transmitted. Clearly she has had many challenges and yet she never gave up, “failure was not an option”! Another thing that came through for me was the idea that, “just do it” is not really a choice for people with LD. It’s not simply a matter of effort. However, there are things that can help – specific instruction, coaching and particularly love and support.

It was really clear how the love of her family and their belief that she could succeed was critical in helping her move through the challenges of being a child with LD and even still as an adult. I believe she said, “If you feel loved, it is the best foundation.” The fact that her mom still serves a key role in keeping her office functioning smoothly was also interesting. It seems that when you are a young person with LD it is really a very challenging time. It still seems to be challenging as an adult, but as a young person it seems like the challenges of LD are quite scary.

It was interesting to hear more of the story about the first year teacher with LD that we read about. How he faced successive challenges as a teacher and then decided for another field of work. Even though he seemed to be quite talented as a teacher of special education, end the end the demands of working in a bigger school system put things over the limit as far as stress level and, I guess, anxiety.

One of the things that strikes me about a lot of the research findings about the model for success is that there are many things that could very well apply to people in general, not just people with LD. Reframing is one particular area that seems very interesting and one I could explore more for myself – the recognition, understanding and acceptance of my own strengths and weaknesses, and creating an action plan on how to work more effectively and efficiently with them. Yes, I have some awareness of my strengths and weaknesses, but a systematic approach could be helpful.

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