Tips to Encourage Students With Learning Difficulties Accomplish Their Dream Goals in Life

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By Education Today

Posted on April 6, 2022


3 min read

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  • To be attributed to Ms. Leena Kotwal, Head of Senior School, The Aditya Birla Integrated School

What do Tommy Hilfiger, Sir Richard Branson, Michael Phelps, Steven Spielberg, Jamie Olivier and Agatha Christie have in common? Besides being well-known personalities in their respective fields, they were also known to have learning difficulties and conditions ranging from ADHD to Dyslexia. The difficulties and the related challenges did not limit their horizon to reach for the stars.

Research from Cass Business School in London revealed that 35% of entrepreneurs in the US and 20% of entrepreneurs in Britain showed signs of dyslexia, and in a survey of 69,000 self-made millionaires, 40% of entrepreneurs were found to show signs of dyslexia.

These statistics indicate how learning difficulties could be used as a strength!

  • Paul Orfalea, the American businessman who founded the copy-chain Kinko’s, considers his learning disabilities to be “learning opportunities.” According to him, his learning style helps him see the heart of the problem and flush out the unnecessary details. This helps in decision making.
  • Focus on strengths and be resourceful. It is said that Tom Cruise found learning dialogues difficult. So he used visual imagery to remember his dialogues and stay in character.
  • Thinking outside the box, creativity and innovation are the stepping stones to success for most of these entrepreneurs. They always approach problems in the most unique way.
  • Delegation of the ‘difficult’ tasks like writing and taking notes helps them to focus on the crux of the matter.
  • Being aware of their weaknesses also allowed them to work on their challenges early. It is said that Michael Phelps, took to swimming to increase his focus as he was diagnosed with ADHD. And the rest is history!
  • Growing up with learning difficulties makes people tough and most of the people who have climbed the ladder of success took their difficulties as a challenge and ensured that nothing came in the way of their goal.

So if you have a dream, go for it! Don’t let learning difficulties be the unsurmountable obstacle. In the words of Henry Ford, who was also known to have dyslexia, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

  • Find out more about your dream career. What are the specific skills that are required? Are there any specialised courses that can add value to your learning? Many universities in India and abroad provide concessions for learning disabilities.
  • Look out for internships. Spend your time learning the nitty-gritty of the job.
  • Talk to people in the field. Get inspired and get ahead.
  • Never shy from hard work. The cliché – “There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs,” rings true in every situation.
  • Focus on your strengths and your skillsets. New avenues have opened up a plethora of offbeat careers. People have made successful careers out of their interests and talents.
  • And remember, once out of the education system, difficulty in spelling and arithmetic calculations, are not the largest of stumbling blocks! You can rely on software for that. What is important is the ideas you need to express and how to make sense of the given figures.

In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”