Jul 282015
 

LD 2One problem with the term “learning disabled” is that it can give the impression that you not only can’t learn but that you’ll never accomplish much.  Both LD people and those unaware of what being LD means can assume this.

To combat that, and to give hope to any LD people suffering the same low self-esteem issues I once faced, here’s a list of a few things I’ve achieved after being diagnosed as learning disabled and given (during middle school) effective coping strategies.

  • I graduated college with a music degree (an intellectually challenging field), with a GPA of 3.89
  • As a programmer
    • I run my own consulting company
    • I’m a professional, highly certified software engineer (a field where constant learning is mandatory)
    • I’ve worked for the U.S. State Department, IRS, Army, Navy, Marines, DHS, TSA, and other government agencies
  • As a musician
    • I run a music publishing company/record label, coordinating the recording, packaging, release, and promotion of albums
    • I own a recording studio and am the producer and recording engineer for all guitars (and other instruments) on my albums
    • I’ve released five CDs, writing and performing all guitar parts and sometimes all other instruments
    • Many consider me a virtuoso guitarist.  I also play drums, bass, piano, and percussion
    • I’ve earned endorsements from three major audio companies for my guitar playing
    • I’ve built three electric guitars
  • As an author
    • I run my own publishing company, coordinating the editing, packaging, release, and promotion of books
    • I’ve written six novels and a memoir
    • I’ve published three novels (under a pseudonym), two of them reaching the Top 20 of their category on Amazon

Click the mp3 player below to hear a song on which I wrote, played, and engineered every performance.

What “Learning Disabled” Means For Me

The phrase “learning disabled” can mean different things.  To quote the Learning Disabilities Association of America’s website, “Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or […]

0 comments

What I’ve Accomplished Despite Being Learning Disabled

One problem with the term “learning disabled” is that it can give the impression that you not only can’t learn but that you’ll never accomplish much.  Both LD people and those unaware of what being LD means can assume this. To combat that, and to give hope to any LD people suffering the same low self-esteem […]

0 comments

Why I Blog About Attention Deficit Disorder

Like everyone who has it, I was born with ADD, and it’s permanent.  Technically, the name has changed to ADHD, but that’s misleading for me because I don’t have the “H” – hyperactivity. I’ll be blogging about this because it’s part of my overall story in ways more profound than you’d expect.  I hope to shed […]

2 comments

Why I Write About Being Learning Disabled

I’m learning disabled and have been all my life, as it isn’t curable.  It’s just something you deal with and hopefully learn to overcome – every day.  I’ve decided to start sharing my story to give hope to those dealing with it, either because they’re learning disabled or someone they know, like their child, is.  I’ve […]

0 comments
Jul 212015
 

define-learning-disabilityThe phrase “learning disabled” can mean different things.  To quote the Learning Disabilities Association of America’s website, “Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention.  It is important to realize that learning disabilities can affect an individual’s life beyond academics and can impact relationships with family, friends and in the workplace.

“…Learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps; of mental retardation; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.

“Generally speaking, people with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. There often appears to be a gap between the individual’s potential and actual achievement. This is why learning disabilities are referred to as “hidden disabilities”: the person looks perfectly “normal” and seems to be a very bright and intelligent person, yet may be unable to demonstrate the skill level expected from someone of a similar age.

“A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge.”

The site lists a number of specific learning disabilities, but I’m not sure which one applies to me because these terms are newer than when I was diagnosed and treated from 1983-85.

But here’s what I can tell you: I can’t remember any sequential information given to me verbally.  This includes a stream of numbers (like a phone number), which made math very difficult.  I also cannot remember a series of steps to take, which made just about everything almost impossible.  I’ve often joked that there’s a stereotype that guys never stop driving to ask for directions when they’re lost, and I wouldn’t either, not because I have a big ego about my ability to get from one place to another, but because I wouldn’t remember anything you told me anyway.

I’ll soon post about how I overcame this.  And do every day.

What “Learning Disabled” Means For Me

The phrase “learning disabled” can mean different things.  To quote the Learning Disabilities Association of America’s website, “Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or […]

0 comments

What I’ve Accomplished Despite Being Learning Disabled

One problem with the term “learning disabled” is that it can give the impression that you not only can’t learn but that you’ll never accomplish much.  Both LD people and those unaware of what being LD means can assume this. To combat that, and to give hope to any LD people suffering the same low self-esteem […]

0 comments

Why I Blog About Attention Deficit Disorder

Like everyone who has it, I was born with ADD, and it’s permanent.  Technically, the name has changed to ADHD, but that’s misleading for me because I don’t have the “H” – hyperactivity. I’ll be blogging about this because it’s part of my overall story in ways more profound than you’d expect.  I hope to shed […]

2 comments

Why I Write About Being Learning Disabled

I’m learning disabled and have been all my life, as it isn’t curable.  It’s just something you deal with and hopefully learn to overcome – every day.  I’ve decided to start sharing my story to give hope to those dealing with it, either because they’re learning disabled or someone they know, like their child, is.  I’ve […]

0 comments
Jul 142015
 

LDI’m learning disabled and have been all my life, as it isn’t curable.  It’s just something you deal with and hopefully learn to overcome – every day.  I’ve decided to start sharing my story to give hope to those dealing with it, either because they’re learning disabled or someone they know, like their child, is.  I’ve become quite successful academically and professionally and hope that some details of my story can help those in need of encouragement or help.

This is something the public isn’t very aware of, either – I want to do my small part to change that.  I’ve hidden this disability most of my life due to the likelihood of people having no idea what I’m talking about and jumping to unhelpful conclusions.  No one should have to hide basic facts about themselves for fear of misunderstanding, judgment, or discrimination.

Today (and for a long time, really) I don’t need any special help, so hiding it hasn’t been causing any problems for me.  But I’d still love to admit it and not get a bad reaction.  There’s a stigma associated with any disability, especially mental ones, when there shouldn’t be.  Frankly, many “normal” people are not exactly a pinnacle of mental health or rationality but don’t have a condition they can lay the blame on! And yet those very people can look at those with a mental disability as if we’re diseased or something.

I’m not at all ashamed of being learning disabled.  I’m quite proud that I’ve overcome this for decades and that most people have absolutely no clue what I went through, how it affected me, or what coping strategies I use everyday to excel at so many things I do.  I don’t think we’ll ever reach the point when I can say “I’m learning disabled” and someone will respond, “That’s awesome!”  But a guy can dream.

If anything I write resonates with you, please let me know in comments or with an email. I’d like to hear from other people and their successes or struggles.

What “Learning Disabled” Means For Me

The phrase “learning disabled” can mean different things.  To quote the Learning Disabilities Association of America’s website, “Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or […]

0 comments

What I’ve Accomplished Despite Being Learning Disabled

One problem with the term “learning disabled” is that it can give the impression that you not only can’t learn but that you’ll never accomplish much.  Both LD people and those unaware of what being LD means can assume this. To combat that, and to give hope to any LD people suffering the same low self-esteem […]

0 comments

Why I Blog About Attention Deficit Disorder

Like everyone who has it, I was born with ADD, and it’s permanent.  Technically, the name has changed to ADHD, but that’s misleading for me because I don’t have the “H” – hyperactivity. I’ll be blogging about this because it’s part of my overall story in ways more profound than you’d expect.  I hope to shed […]

2 comments

Why I Write About Being Learning Disabled

I’m learning disabled and have been all my life, as it isn’t curable.  It’s just something you deal with and hopefully learn to overcome – every day.  I’ve decided to start sharing my story to give hope to those dealing with it, either because they’re learning disabled or someone they know, like their child, is.  I’ve […]

0 comments