He listened to the adolescents innocently frolicking beyond the school. The merry-go-round is full of petticoats and saddle shoes, as very young men in dungarees and penny loafers fair the propulsion. Life was grand back then – hide and seek, dodgeball, and tag….except for the little child who remained on the school steps writing in his loose-leaf notebook. Teardrops fell onto pages filled up with dreams – sketches of boats and homes. A little child, reserved in dialog, smiled at the others as he drew a world others had never seen.
Parked on the hard concrete steps, weathering-in a t-shirt, shorts, and Keds, sat this little butterball of an overweight kid. He sketched his life away, believing in his brother’s “Boy’s Life” magazines, and dreamt that someday he’d find his way to those pristine places.
A door opened, and a teacher kicked him from behind. “Let’s go!”, she said as she blew her whistle. “It’s time for class. Lunch and recess are over.” He slid to the side, so as not be stampeded, and grabbed ahold of a rail, hoping the herd of classmates didn’t trammel his dreams. Last in class, he pulled his chair up to the front by the teachers desk. Everyone unmercifully laughed him.
But in his world, time didn’t matter – just the joy of living somewhere else other than at a dirty desk of pencils and crayons. Trying to comprehend as a little child, the shortest in class wandered off in the middle of arithmetic. He took up space until the pre-dismissal bell rang. Finally! Another day of being made fun of had come to an end! So, he walked home with Peter, his next door neighbor.
And as the night drew near, the portable black and white waved it’s tinfoil rabbit ears. It was time to stick his nose back into the books of things he couldn’t remember. His little school desk at home sat in front of the window. He stared into the dark and tried to count the lightning bugs. His mom would blurt out, “Okay, let’s go over your spelling words.” So he bluffed his way as if he had studied but there was no use – letters were reversed. Another night. In the tub, then saying prayers by 8:30. If only his father, who didn’t live with him, was there! He prayed so hard to him.
No one knows the artistic mind of childhood dreams, especially when many things in life are incomprehensible. Dyslexics only observe their life like a race. Their peers succeed, leaving them behind to only hope and think, “Why can’t I be as lucky as them?” But our God above knows, like a mother’s love, when one is so distraught. Frustrations grew, and discipline was physical abuse. His living became more difficult.
Looking to the heavens today, where only answered prayers are sent, we see this little child again, struggling to do another mission – God’s work. We now read the innocence of a silent voice – one that brings home the memories of messages of long ago. For no one could ever imagine this little child, today, would ever become an author! No one! Not even him.
You have just read an emotionally-charged, true story written and lived through the eyes of its “author”, Dana S. Bicks. Though it was very difficult for him to recall and write these early moments of his life, his message can be read loud and clear – NOTHING IS UNATTAINABLE! With God’s hands lying over top of his, dyslexia has come as his greatest gift….the gift of creativity.
But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”
I do not profess to be in this medical field so my notes, here, will not dwell into the causes of learning disabilities. Rather, I prefer to expand your knowledge about the thought processes of adults with these types of handicaps.
Your chances of knowing someone with an LD are pretty good. Do not assume that learning disabilities are always a bad thing. For many individuals, an LD gives them a distinct advantage. Consider these facts:
- People with dyslexia tend to be broad thinkers, and intuitive. They are a sign of character and strength when tackling every day’s problems.
- Dyslexics are often said to possess exceptional creative skills and an ability to bring together ideas from different areas of their life – an original and out of the box thinker, if you will. (Excellent story tellers and writers, you think?)
- Many individuals have the dual diagnosis of being both gifted and LD. Therefore, everyone stands to gain from their brilliant mind.
Do you or someone you know, suffer, as an adult, with learning disabilities? Here is a list of suggestions to overcome LD adult fears of success:
- Work at a job that takes advantage of your strengths.
- Get lots of physical exercise.
- Identify people who, “say what they mean and mean what they say” and hang out with them as much as possible.
- Find that special thing that you do extremely well and run with it!
- A positive attitude makes a big difference.
- Remember that you do not have to be perfect!
- Work in an area with few distractions so as to remain focused on the job at hand.
- Use books-on-tape and assistive technology, such as screen readers, voice-recognition computer software, and spell check features.
Above all, pray for God to bless you with all your capabilities! He does answer prayers! God uses the disabled for His glory. He allows some people to be disabled to show His awesome love for all of creation and to help us imitate His love.
Learning Disabilities and the Law:
Public Law 105-17, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, is the federal special education law. IDEA was signed into law in June 1997, with final federal regulations published in March 1999. This law replaces all earlier versions of Public Law 94-142, the Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975.
In 2004, there was a reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, where significant changes were made as to the identification of individuals with learning disabilities so that they can receive the needed educational services.