David Cohen asked a group of Mill Pond School fourth-graders what they’re good at.
“It could be video games. It could be music. It could be all these different things. You all are good at something,” the fourth grade school counselor said.
“How many people have things they’re not so good at? My hand’s up.”
The questions were part of “Understanding Many Ways to Learn,” Mill Pond’s annual learning disability awareness program.
On Feb 4, Feb. 7 and Feb. 11, two fourth-grade classes met with Cohen, visited three learning stations focused on a different challenge, and then discussed their experiences.
The learning stations, led by parent volunteers, were: mirror boxes, which presented hand-eye coordination challenges; auditory/visual discrimination, which presented challenges related to concentration; and memory, Cohen noted in last week’s Virtual Backpack.
The program is part of Mill Pond’s monthly character education efforts, Cohen wrote.
“Not everyone has the same strengths. Not everyone has the same challenges. We’re all a little different,” Cohen told a group during the Feb. 7 session.
Cohen asked the students what a disability is.
One student said that a disability is when it’s “hard for you to do something.”
“If you’re coming down the street and you see somebody in a wheelchair, or with a seeing-eye dog or a cane, you can tell they have some kind of disability. And most often, people, being kind, will open the door and let them through,” Cohen said.
“But, there are disabilities you can’t see. Those are called learning disabilities. You can’t look at somebody and say, ‘They don’t understand math.’”
Alexander Graham Bell, Terry Bradshaw, Jewel are among the public figures with learning disabilities, Cohen said.
“They had struggles in school, too,” he said.
“Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean they’re not smart.”