Have you ever felt you couldn’t do something, but everyone around you thought it was something very simple?
Have you ever been told to do something, but something or someone was always distracting you? Have you ever felt like no one truly understands how difficult learning really can be for you? This is the way one out of every five students feels each and every day of their life, and there is a program that lets you experience their problems firsthand. It is said that in order to fix a problem, a person needs to fully understand the problem.
What would provide a better understanding than experiencing a learning disability yourself?
PBS started a project called Misunderstood Minds in 2002 with a documentary television program and later added an online resource. This documentary shows students having difficulty learning. It offers stories of parents and experts helping children overcome learning obstacles in their life. The Misunderstood Minds online resource takes visitors through several exercises known as Experience Firsthand. Parents, teachers, and child care providers can work through a series of activities that allows them to experience a child’s learning disability firsthand. After going through these activities related to attention, reading, writing and mathematics, users will understand the basics, the difficulties, and potential solutions to specific kinds of learning problems. Thanks to PBS, Misunderstood Minds can help anyone to understand a student’s disability. And understanding is the first step in helping them to succeed.
The author of this article is Aryel Williams, a junior from Chicago studying s
special education at Southern Illinois University. Aryel received a scholarship award to study in Egypt during summer. She plans to use her experiences abroad to help teach future students.