They Called Me Dummy
Growing old with a learning disability
As a child, the author suspected there was something wrong with him. In his mid-thirties, he sought help and that is when he discovered and confirmed he had a learning disability (LD). This book is about his experiences growing old with several forms of LD. The author writes of events that span from his childhood up to his golden years. He shares his struggles, his victories, his pains, and his joys. His story will give you an insight into the frustrations, anxieties, challenges, and depression associated with LD. The author explains how he learned to understand and accept his limitations, which helped him to live a positive, satisfying, and rewarding life.
What it is and is not
This book is a series of events about my life’s journey with a Learning Disability (LD). This book is not a clinical study of LD. nor is it medical information of the life-long condition. The purpose of this book is to share with you how I lived my life with LD and reveal my struggles, my successes, my pains, and my joys.
If you have a learning disability I want, you to know you are not alone there are many people like you and me. If you have a child with LD, this book will give you an insight of the struggles your child is currently going through. You will also have an idea of your child’s future struggles and how your child’s life will unfold as he or she mature. As you read, you will observe some of the mistakes by my dear parents made as well as the educators I had in my early years. Without a doubt, I made my share of mistakes also. Perhaps reading about my life’s journey you will learn from someone else’s mistakes and avoid making them yourself.
Learning Disability is said to be a neurobiological disorder something to do how the human brain intakes, processes, stores, and uses information. The severity of LD varies from person to person. LD can affect speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling, organizing information, and numbers with mathematics. One can have one form of LD or a combination of several. The severity of the learning disability also varies from a mild to severe. The National Institutes of Health stated the one in seven persons has one form of a learning disability. The sad truth is that there is no magic pill, treatment, or a medication to cure it. Unfortunately, it is a life-long condition. The good news is that these days LD is diagnosed early and there are programs in school to address and help children prepare for the future.
When I was growing up in the late fifties and early sixties no such programs existed to help children with a learning disability. If such programs existed, they were not in the schools I attended. People from my generation had it tough. I don’t know when our educational system began to address LD but from my experience, it took many years. From what I have observed, many schools still don’t address the problem, as it should.
One of the things I learned in my life is that everyone is unique. Everything in life is relative. We are all different. What is cold to someone is hot to someone else. What is slow to someone is fast to someone else. What is easy to someone is difficult to someone else and vice versa.
My experience with a learning disability is not a reflection of everyone nor do I speak for everyone with LD. It’s my story but many people can relate to it. I will unfold my narrative starting from a young age. Each chapter is dedicated to a significant event in my life. I tried to write each event to the best of my recollection. At the end of each chapter, I added my thoughts from a current perspective.