Learning disability is actually more common than we could imagine. Most people will not admit to it because of common shame. My family, friends, and those who had known me for years would never have imagined that I have a learning disability. Fake it until you make it; that was the secret behind my successful life. There are many just like me that live a normal productive life. Still, in reality, we struggle every day with how we process our everyday tasks, jobs, relationships, organizational skills, and self-esteem.
The most famous scientist that made this world a better place had a learning disability. For instance, Thomas Edison, who invented electricity, the telephone, movies, and sound recordings, plus 1,093 patents in a variety of fields. He was considered a hyperactive, stupid, and slow learner by his teacher. He had problems in mathematics, difficulty with words, and a speech impediment. His mother decided to take him out of school and do homeschooling with him because she identified him as a brainy kid.
Albert Einstein, a mathematics and physics genius, had a speech disability and could not comprehend as fast as other students in his classroom. He is best known for devising his theory of relativity, which revolutionized our understanding of space, time, gravity, and the universe.
Learning disability does not mean we are stupid or that we have a brain disease with no cure. It just means our learning approach needs to be presented differently with minimum distractions as possible. Learning disability is a neurological disorder. This means our brains are wired differently and does not mean we cannot be productive in this world.
I graduated high school with many struggles and obstacles on my way, but I was determined to finish what I started. I attended a Tech high school and was placed in Special Ed classes with a small group classroom. I wanted to take a Cosmetology workshop, but because of religious regulations, my mother did not permit me. Then I signed up for a computer digital workshop, but my student council told me my academic level would not permit me to sign up for it.
My last option was Culinary Art, and within the middle of the year, I was removed because my workshop curriculum grades were too low. Then I was placed in a coffee workshop where special mentally challenge kids were being taught the basic cooking. This workshop did not have curriculum classes, so when I was not in the coffee shop learning how to make breakfast and lunch sandwiches for teachers, I was placed in a study hall.
I started to figure my learning skills and techniques as I got older and had two daughters. My youngest was identified as a learning disabled student in second grade. They told me that her reading level was below average. Because of what I went through in school, I promised myself my daughter would not be identified as learning disabled. I bought Hooked on Phonics books and worked with her, reading every day. Her teacher told me her reading level had improved tremendously within a year, but her Math was below average.
I started to work with Math flashcards every day, and her sister that was 3 years older than she, did very well in explaining to her strategies on how to figure multiplications and addition problems. My baby’s grades were not a problem in no time, and she was put in regular classes. Well, she turned out pretty well; she is a welder and has been considered one of the best in companies she has worked for. Now, who has a learning disability?
As I got older, I discover my learning technique is visualization, which means if my task is explained verbally or written instruction, I will be lost. Still, if it was taught to me visually, I will execute it. After doing it repeatedly, there is no stopping me because I will find other strategies to perfect my job performance and execute it.
I have been promoted in every job I had taken. I am trilingual; I speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese fluently. I took a few college courses to become a Case Manager and worked in that field for a few years, but I didn’t enjoy it; I wasn’t fulfilled. I dreaded going to work every day, so I quit.
I went to Cosmetology School finally, and within 17 months, I got my hairdressing license. Though this will take an average student between eleven to twelve months to achieve, I achieved what they said was impossible in the long run. However, the curriculum and anatomy part was not easy. I had to hit hard on the books and study for hours, especially on the anatomy section, but my hard work paid off.
I owned two salons, have done many advanced courses, and own a few colorist certificates. I love what I do; I had a great relationship with my clients and loved going to work every day; I felt fulfilled.
As I got older and in my 50’s I decided to do the last challenge that I was denied when I was in high school, exploring the digital world, learning how to make money on the internet. The digital world has advanced through the years, and I must admit, it was quite intimidating for me. I have done my research, but it’s difficult to get someone to handhold me through the process; all that was available were video lessons that I couldn’t relate to; I want someone I can relate with and ask questions if need be.
This obstacle had delayed my progress, and a lot of these digital courses are priced too high. Well, while on Facebook on a particular day, I saw a free digital workshop that promised to walk me through the step by step process of starting an online business. I was particularly intrigued by their core value statement, which is,
“We are here to give you the tools, training resources, and community support to help you succeed in an online arena.”
Since it is free, there’s no harm in trying it out; the community support is also important to me, as I didn’t want to feel alone on this new career journey. That would be a little scary for me.
I feel so blessed to be part of this Digital Expert community. I have been on this for about 16 months now. I dropped out for a few months due to difficult circumstances, but I came back full force. Working full time at my salon and finishing my final courses was too overwhelming to me. So I closed down my salon suite after building up my savings to support myself for a few months and moved to another state and paid my full attention to my final module courses.
I am so proud of myself and glad I didn’t let my learning disability get in my way. I was stopped from doing this 39 years ago, but here I am today. My life has been a journey, and I have so much more to share with you. I could not have done any of this without giving credit to the creator of the universe, “God.” It took a lot of meditation and affirmations to do all the things I have accomplished in my life. My life is not a fairy tale with pink and roses. I had to change my thinking, and that was a journey in itself.
I hope you come back again and visit me. Please don’t hesitate to drop an email with any questions or make my day special and say hello in the comment section.
MY EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like more information on the free digital course I took, you can check them out on the link below.