Learning Disabilities

By: Suzen Richardson – Propel Braddock Hills

Growing up with a learning problem is difficult enough when kids rub it in. But when a teacher gave me “modified work” it practically waved a flag saying, “Hey look at me! I have special needs! My work looks easier than yours!” I wanted to crawl under my desk and hide. Kids would look at their tests and then at mine, raise their hands and then blurt out that mine was easier. Everybody would complain and the teacher would have to explain to everyone that I was different.

Kids also complained when I was asked to leave the class to go to a different room for small groups. They asked why I was going, where I was going, and if they could come. When teachers gave me easier assignments, I pushed them away or gave them back. I did not want to seem different to my classmates so it took me longer to do class work and test’s, especially in math. That pushed me back further and I even began refusing computers as a kid. For the longest time teachers never understood the fact that I was embarrassed by this. Kids made fun of me. When teachers called on me to answer a question, I did not know how to solve it. It made me sick. I was so scared to get it wrong and to be made fun of, that I would whisper the answer.

The teachers that helped with the smaller groups understood more than the teachers inside the classroom. Now that I’m in high school, this does not happen. I have a good group of people who get it, and the teachers understand completely. Well, most the time but more now than they ever have.

I wish that adults in schools would understand that kids don’t always like standing out if they have a learning disorder, or a disorder of any kind.


Suzen Richardson 2 Suzen Richardson is a 10th grader in Propel Braddock Hills High School and lives in Wilkinsburg. She has submitted writing pieces to organizations around Pittsburgh.  She loves photography, drawing, jewelry making, and creating stories.

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