What’s It Really Like?


I am so snidely arrogant to think that I, more than anyone in my school, understands what my students go through with their learning disabilities. Maybe I know my students better than many in the school, but that doesn’t mean I know what they are struggling with on a minute-by-minute basis.

I have my own issues attending wholeheartedly to work that I must accomplish, which isn’t helped by the fact that I sometimes have music, the television, the iPad, and the stove going all at once while I’m doing work. The difference between me and my students is I can cope with the distractions I bring upon myself, and that’s usually accomplished by simply eliminating them (I’ll catch my show later). Really, my students aren’t bringing the distractions upon themselves – they’re just handed them to deal with.

To my discredit, I have been guilty of believing that my students can do the same, IF ONLY…! How unfair of me.

Why the sudden enlightenment? A great web site came across my desk. It totally reminded me of Rick Lavoie’s F.A.T. City (see below), where adults are put in the position of kids with learning disabilities and made to understand just how difficult school is for them.

The web site is from PBS in conjunction with a series called Misunderstood Minds. I highly recommend you click through to experience some simulations that give insight into what students with learning disabilities deal with. I tried many of them and found myself struggling to answer the questions. Certainly opened my eyes.

From Rick Lavoie’s F.A.T. City, a clip highlighting the issues students with learning disabilities and dyslexia deal with when reading and decoding. Highly beneficial watching, I assure you.

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One response to “What’s It Really Like?

  1. Wow, what an eye opening video! Thank you for sharing that. I’ve taught a few students with dyslexia in the past, some of whom were amazing at spacial tasks. One was able to make 3 dimensional objects that were so intricate and beautiful but was unable to spell simple words. We did a lot of work with clay and giving him a fixed and 3D view of what the letters looked like within words. It worked very well for him. His spelling improved an amazing amount.

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