You’re pregnant! The happiest time of your life! For nine months your thoughts are consumed with your hopes and dreams for the future of your child. Aside from the obvious concerns, “ten fingers ten toes”, healthy heart, lungs, brain, you begin to wonder, “will he/she be a doctor, an Olympic champion, an Academy Award-winning actor, an award-winning film director, a journalist, a billionaire, teacher, a philanthropist, develop a cure for cancer, the next Nobel prize winner….?”
A few blissful years go by, your child begins to master all the developmental milestones, (is even “advanced for his age, as per grandma!) and enters school. Everything is going well..until it isn’t. He’s distracted, disorganized, impulsive, not learning the basic math and early reading facts. A comprehensive evaluation confirms a learning disability, dyslexia, dyspraxia, or perhaps, ADHD! You begin to mourn the loss of “the perfect child.” You begin to re-visit the hopes and dreams that pervaded your thoughts until this moment. STOP! Put the breaks on!
Let’s take a look at a shortlist of people diagnosed with any or all of these identified learning challenges and their successes.
- Anderson Cooper: award-winning journalist and author
- Winston Churchill: British statesman, Nobel Prize-winning writer
- Albert Einstein: considered to be the greatest theoretical physicist of all time.
- Steven Spielberg: Academy Award-winning Director, producer; Kennedy Center honoree
- Walt Disney: winner of 22 Academy Awards, Special Achievement Honors in the Library of Congress
- Bill Gates: Business magnate, software developer, philanthropist
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy: 35th President of the United States
- Charles Schwab: American investor and financial executive
- David Neeleman: Founder of 5 commercial airlines, including Jet Blue
- Cher, Orlando Bloom, Justin Timberlake, Daniel Radcliffe, Henry Winkler, Tom Cruise, Whoopi Goldberg, Adam Levine, Tim Tebow, Jamie Oliver, Howie Mandel, Jay Leno, Jamie Oliver, Michael Phelps
What’s the common thread? ADHD, LD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, OCD, ADD. In many cases we have to assume that these individuals surpassed even what might have seemed to be the unrealistic or unachievable goals of their parents.
The diagnosis of a learning disability or learning challenge does not come with a negative prognosis for success. It does indicate the need for accommodations, alternative teaching strategies, and a “toolbox” of skills designed for success. It DOES NOT indicate the need to mourn the perfect child or the abandonment of dreams. It DOES mean you take action to secure and ensure your child gets those supports, accommodations, and teaching strategies designed for success.
Feel free to check out our website if you are interested in a complimentary 15-minute consultation to explore how we may help you identify and find those essential supports.