I remember playing Hide-and-Seek as a kid.
Our very best games were down at the state park by the beach because there were lots of fun places to hide. We got such delight out of fooling our friends with a really great hiding place.
In the right context, hiding can be fun. But hiding your learning challenge from your peers or your boss is not a lot of fun at all.
Even at a very young age, smart kids who struggle in school can look around the classroom and recognize that they are not performing as well or as easily as their classmates. In spite of extra effort, excessive time and energy, and lots of help from Mom and Dad, they can’t seem to make the grade. They become embarrassed and their under-performance begins to chip away at their self-esteem.
And the hiding begins.
Like everyone else, these kids are survivors. At a conscious or sub-conscious level we do what we have to do to cope with the cards we’re dealt. And smart kids, coping with dyslexia and other learning challenges, can fool the important people in their lives. Here’s what I imagine these kids (or teens or adults) might say:
I can fool you into thinking:
- I don’t qualify for special services/help at school
- I’m lazy
- I just need to try harder
- I’m not really that smart
- School’s not my thing
- I don’t care
- I’m a bad kid
- I have ADHD
- I’m just a class clown
- I’m just shy
The truth is:
- Because I’m actually pretty smart, I can do just well enough on the school tests that when you average out the numbers, I don’t meet the criteria to qualify for help.
- I’m working harder than all my friends to do the same work but it takes me twice as long and it’s only half as good.
- I’m already trying so hard, I think I’ll burst if one more person tells me to try harder.
- I’m smarter than a lot of the kids in my class, but for some reason, some parts of school aren’t working for me.
- School’s NOT my thing, but not for the reason you think. I’d like it if I could be successful and my efforts paid off.
- I do care! I hate struggling, but if I act like I don’t care, maybe people will notice my attitude more than my Fs.
- I’d rather be known as the bad kid than the dumb one.
- I can pay attention to things I understand, but when I just don’t get it, my mind drifts away.
- If I can make people laugh, they forget how “lame” I am with schoolwork.
- If I’m super quiet and “shy,” maybe no one will know that I’m missing half of what you’re saying and feeling really lost.
No More Hiding!
Children and adults with average to above average intelligence do not have to continue living with dyslexia and diagnosed or undiagnosed learning disabilities. By identifying and developing the underlying learning/processing skills that support efficient learning, these smart individuals can learn and function at their potential!
Want to know more? Check out these resources:
At Wit’s End, A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle, Tears and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities, by Jill Stowell. Available at www.amazon.com.
FREE Information Meeting: Go to www.learningdisability.com for details
PEACE – FREE parent support group: Go to www.learningdisability.com
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