Back to School for LD kids

August. Time to start thinking about going back to school.

I went back to school many times: preschool, kindergarten, 1st through 11th grade (I skipped 12th), 4 years of college, 2 years on my master’s and 3 years of classes on my PhD (when I was working on the dissertation there was no summer break). That makes 23 back to schools! Sheesh. All that for a guy who wasn’t supposed to ever go to college.

But when people talk about “back to school” I think they usually mean grades 1-12.

Many kids dread going back to school. For a lot of years (6th grade through 11th) so did I. But perhaps my reasons were different. I dreaded it because school had students. There were a few teachers I really didn’t like, but most of them I could deal with. And I liked learning stuff. And I never had academic problems. But those other students!

I think a lot has changed in the decades since I was that age; schools are more aware (but still not aware enough) of bullying and teasing and there are programs to deal with those things, although obviously they aren’t effective enough. In my day, at least in my schools, there was nothing. And I got teased and bullied a lot.

What can parents, teachers and others do about this? I’m not really sure. But anything that reduces bullying is good. And if you have things you can recommend, well, that’s what comments on a blog are for!


  1. I really enjoy reading your blog. Since awareness and resources weren’t very plentiful while you went back to school, what helped? How did you become so successful?

    Thanks again!

  2. Hi Cindy

    Well, with my LD, it wasn’t academics issues that were problematic. And maturity helped a lot. But I don’t really know what I did!


  3. Peter,

    Have you seen Atypical on Netflix? It’s about a kid who has high functioning autism, and he is obsessed with Antarctica. Do you think that people with NLD like yourself feel the same way, but are interested in social rather than natural phenomena: celebrity, racism, gender, sex, politics, etc. Are people suffering from NLD more likely to be less idiosyncratic than people with aspergers. For instance, the main character in Atypical cannot have his back touch the seat of busses, so he cranes he chest forward. My counselor is a Ph.D. I think she is very smart, and knows the autism issue inside and out, but she is positive that NLD is an autism disorder and should be treated as such. The scene of this show that prompted me to have a communique on your blog is when the dad (Michael Rapaport) is digging through all of the tools, he finds flashcards of facial expressions. As an someone with NLD, I felt some disconnect with what my counselor tells me in terms of having autism because I have always gotten by, at the very least, with my grasp of reading facial expressions.

    I would watch the show on Netflix. It has some stars. It’s a little camp; probably because it’s the first time that autism has been this well represented in television, and they are starting with a place where they don’t offend anyone with anything disturbing[???].

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