“My son, be warned … excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.” Ecc.12:12
Amen. College has resumed for two of our kids with learning disabilities, and you should’ve seen them taking their sad selves back to their proverbial prisons. After every break they wait til the LAST possible minute to move in, and when the torture is finally over they escape campus the minute their finals hit the teachers’ desks. (Granted, I did the same thing.) One attends a state college, the other a private Christian school, and I’ll tell you this – it makes no difference. They might as well chain their 10 lb books to their ankles and drag them around that way, because reading those texts is their ball and chain!
Both are absolutely great kids and both have learning disabilities. And that’s where the similarities end. They handle the stress of their disability in TOTALLY different ways. One bursts out of the classroom into the nearest high energy or high risk activity – climbing campus buildings at night (thankyou, Facebook) or spelunking caves. After trying and failing to get good grades, the thought seems to be, “School expectations are crazy, and I’ll go crazy if I try to meet them.” You’ve never seen so many creative ways to reinterpret course requirements. The other one by nature is just as determined to do every line item in the syllabus, reading from the minute the requirements are handed out until the final is turned in … getting good grades by saying, “I will meet these course expectations if it kills me.” Witnessing both struggles gives me gray hair.
Either way, as summer ends, their shoulders sag, and the cheer in their voices evaporates. There is one light: the Student Disability Office. It should have a red beacon on top, just so drowning students can see their way to shore. I want to give a shout out to those in D.O. offices. Getting extra time on tests, or a quiet testing environment HELPS. Getting paper copies of the teacher’s slides is golden. Nothing makes it “all better,” but every bit helps.
“…what will it profit a [student] if he/she gains the whole world and forfeits his/her soul?” Matt. 16:26
As a mama, I believe, as in “I choose to believe,” this hard labor camp occupying the first 17 out 22 years of my children’s lives is being used by God to put iron in their souls, not just a ball and chain around their ankles. They both have to wait for the salvation of the Lord (deliverance from school!) and I wonder if this whole disability trial is His “severe mercy” (C.S. Lewis), saving their souls….
…it is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he should bear the yoke in his youth … He has laid it on him. Lamentations 3:26-28