Defined

That first week of school it became clear how the school was different. John’s class only had ten students in it. The amount of attention he received and the level of concern for the instruction were evident even to John. He was immediately enthused with the activities they were doing and how he seemed to catch on right away. It was automatically easier to make friends and to find out that everyone in the class has specific needs. John made friends with another boy named David who was also new to the school. They became best of friends and supported the other as the school year progressed.

Competence

After supper, I went to do my homework and finally got ready for bed. I was really very tired from my work shift. As I got into bed. My usual prayers for family and friends turned to work. I prayed for wisdom and grace at work. That I would learn and show competence. My fear inside was that I would fail and be embarrassed at work, or fired. After praying, I was quickly falling asleep, and I heard a tiny voice say, “You are competent.” My eyes shot open, I scanned the room for a figure or source for the voice. There was none to be found. I laid awake for some time nervously thinking about the voice. Finally, I relaxed enough again to fall asleep.

Confused

Well, a week went by, and Grace had watched the video several times a day every day. After the third time she could watch without crying, and after the fifth time, she could be less critical of her movements. By the end of the week, Grace had watched it and just enjoyed the artful beauty of the dance, not even thinking about herself. She grew in her confidence and assurance that she could perform. Shelly called her near the end of the week and asked how she was feeling. Grace and Shelly had a nice chat and agreed to meet for practice, the next day.

Spelling

Jimmy has brown hair and loves baseball. He knows all kinds of facts and history on the sport. He is a fanatic for the Kansas City Royals, who has only watched on TV, despite living less than an hour from the ball park. He wears his Royals hat to school nearly every day. Jimmy is energetic and friendly, loves to play especially involving games or using his imagination. To know him without knowing his learning difference you would never suspect it. Now Jimmy does try to cover up his spelling and at times is embarrassed by his scores. This frustrates him and he tends to not really put much effort into his spelling.

Forgotten

It was not long before my mother was overwhelmed with her situation and with my problems. She was pregnant again and couldn’t conceive of managing with me around. That is when she put in an orphanage so that I could receive the kinds of support I needed. So, at two years of age, I was alone in an orphanage, unable to talk, and walking was difficult. Everyone assumed I was cognitively involved. Months after I arrived in the orphanage my mother died in childbirth along with my only biological sibling.