According to a survey done by the National Centre for Learning Disabilities, a third of the population attribute inaccurate causes to learning disorders. 22% think learning disabilities can be caused by too much time spent watching television, and 55% wrongly believe that corrective eyewear can treat certain learning disabilities. The most shocking are the 20% believing that people who suffer from learning disorders are less intelligent.
When I was eight years old I was diagnosed with a severe case of Dyslexia, and I was told I may never be able to properly write and read.
Although I was able to fully understand the lessons at school, I had trouble getting the words down in written assignments. Some of my teachers and classmates would think I was lazy or simply stupid. I sought refuge by spending my afternoons volunteering at a dog kennel with the animals that were my greatest source of joy.
At the age of 15 I decided to take an advanced dog-training course, which required a complex entry exam. This was a turning point for me: For the first time in my life, I set myself a goal: to achieve something I was passionate about. In order to do that I had no choice but to read and write.
The kennel manager became my mentor. He believed in me and pushed me to challenge my way of thinking. Creating mechanisms that helped me cope with the challenge, I broke down every topic into small and simple parts, making it easier to comprehend. I realized that I could visualize and identify patterns, which helped me digest vast amounts of information.
Informed I was one of the top achievers in the exam, I was offered a seat in the course. For the first time I experienced the incredible feeling of success, and a flood of achievements followed. I successfully graduated from high school, completed my military service, pursued an academic degree and kicked off my career in consulting, where I felt I could continue to challenge my own abilities on a daily basis. After achieving 710 in the GMAT exam, I look forward to being successful at Oxford, and in my future career as well.
Although some advancements have been made in changing the public perception of people with learning disorders, many talented, intelligent and creative children get overlooked by the traditional education system. This eventually causes the same people to get passed over later in life. I would like to change this negative perception, which I personally managed to overcome. As education is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of discrimination that children with learning disorders often face, I think that increasing educators awareness and elimination of some traditional teaching methods will provide them with an opportunity to achieve their potential and shine. I plan to increase awareness for the importance of appropriate curriculums in schools and I will encourage companies to recruit talent based on the advantages that are attributed to certain learning disorders.