Learning Differences mean many things, but mostly apply to those classified as part of the Autism Spectrum. Many people are living with ADD-ADHD-Dyslexia–Dyslexia–Autism–OCD learning differences. These learning differences are sometimes labeled natural variations or neurological diferences. There is also a new term: 2E, or twice exceptional. This blog is our story: two lifelong friends who realize how learning differences have shaped their lives.
Our experiences living with Learning Differences are complicated. We are hoping to start a conversation, maybe even a movement. Apparently there is a need: when we Googled “Living with Learning Differences” there were no exact search results. There were plenty of articles by doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, parents, and partners dealing with these learning differences in others. But there was no first person account of living an entire life with the differences.
A Caveat for Learning Differences
We are here to tell you our stories. It took decades for us to piece together, research, analyse and understand exactly how these learning differences shaped our lives. We have agonized over every little failure, trauma, success and complication was affected by our learning differences. We think it would be a small miracle if our story opens a conversation for more understanding, empathy and support for people, especially adults, with learning differences. We can see why 35% of teens drop out of school, 30% of students have to repeat a grade, 35% suspended from school and 300% are more likely to become alcoholics or drug addicts. Along with the 86% that are also inmates, these people may not be criminals at all but people suffering from un-diagnosed learning differences. Richard Branson was the first celebrity to talk about his learning differences. He often tells the story about a teacher who declared he would either end up in jail or become a millionaire. Now he has over 100 companies employing over 60,000 people, and the founder of Virgin Units Foundation. His link above is of a Tedx talk he gave at Ironwood California State Prison about second chances.
Please help us make this the most inclusive site on Living with Learning Differences. Contact us with your thoughts and experiences. This Blog is evolving everyday and may become that much better with contributions from you. And,
A new list of books just came via the Blog: Nerdy Book Club. Kacy Smith, middle school teacher uses the term 2E, meaning twice exceptional, to describe students with autism, OCD and ADD, along with natural variations or neurological differences. I found her recommendations of ten books for middle school, young adult and adult books to be refreshing and encouraging. The list includes:
- Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg,
- A fish in a Tree by Lyda Mullaly Hunt,
- A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass,
- The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson series) by Rick Riokdan,
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon,
- Look me in the Eye by John Elder Robison,
- The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson,
- OcDaniel by Wesley King,
- How to Speak Dolphin by Ginny Rorby,
- Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine,
- On the Edge of Gone by Corine Duyvis,
- Thinking in Pictures and How a Girl who loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World both by Temple Grandin.
“Religion is very useful personally, but it can be used to divide.”