Learning Disabilities

February 28, 2011

The Housewife Returns

I had to stop myself before filling in the customs re-entry form on the flight from Heathrow to Boston last Wednesday. Name: fine. I remembered it. Address: ditto. Carrier, flight number, passport number, passport issue date, passport expiry, yadayadayada. At the bottom — profession. I gripped my pen…and then I remembered: “housewife.”  I had gone to India as a housewife, so, I figured, I’d better come home as one, too.more >

August 15, 2010

It’s No One’s Business

Lily came out of her interview at a small, elite New England liberal arts college sure that she’d had a good conversation but frustrated by the content. She knew she was supposed to “take charge” of the interview, so she asked a question about how well the college accommodated students with learning differences. She wanted to know, specifically, how she would go about fulfilling a language requirement given she’s dyslexic. The interviewer reassured her that the academic dean was always willing to go to bat for students with documented disabilities. Some professors wouldn’t “get it,” the interviewer said, but college policy would always back up LD students. With accommodations, Lily would be able to fulfill her requirements, just like everyone else. “Besides,” the interviewer told Lily, “it’s no one’s business.”more >

April 25, 2009

Something between Always and Never

What’s the right answer?  A teenager with LD issues, especially organization, is struggling. How much to intervene?  I don’t have a right answer.  I know that “always” isn’t right.  And I know that “never” isn’t right, either.  It’s the in-between that’s so confusing to me right now.

I’ve had a jam-packed week of these quandaries.  I don’t know whether I’ve done a good job or whether I need to make a sizable contribution to the kids’ lifetime therapy funds.  Maybe I’ll never know.

Sam overslept and missed his ride to school Tuesday.  By 1, when I hadn’t heard from him, I began to worry.  He didn’t answer the home phone or his cell.  Lily hadn’t seen him at school. Neither had the dean of students.  I walked home quickly from work to check on him.  I was out of breath as I opened the back door into the kitchen.  There was Sam, looking as if he’d been tossed around in the dryer half dozen times, eating an ice cream sandwich.  “What are you doing?” I barked.  “Eating an ice cream sandwich,” he blinked. Sam got himself to school in time to get homework assignments and learn his penance: a 9 AM Saturday study hall for two hours. And if he has any more unexcused absences, he could lose credit or even be suspended.  Mark and I disagreed in our approach but ultimately spoke in one voice.  We told Sam everybody makes mistakes, we still love him (this of course elicited much eye rolling), that we believe in him so much that we know he can handle the lumps, and that we wanted to hear his thoughts about making sure he didn’t oversleep again.  Told him he’d have to re-schedule the community service he had signed up for. And let him know he’d be responsible for paying for the cabs he’d need to get him from the T station to school and back. This proved to be a more difficult part of the deal.  He lost his wallet two days later.more >