So What’s Good About Having a School Learning Difficulty?

Firstly we all need to be aware that having a school learning difficulty can and does provide advantages. That’s right I said ‘advantages’. There are skills that some struggling school learners excel in that many others do not. Maybe you can recognise some of these strengths in your own child or maybe even yourself.

Physical Strengths

Magic Johnson

  • Be equally capable with both the right and left sides of their bodies or maybe be extremely dominant on only one side to a high level of skill.
  • May have incredible energy levels.
  • They may excel in physical skills and as a result be incredibly capable sports people.
  • May have exceptional reflexes and be able to respond to physical stimuli almost instantly.
  • May have excellent hearing, often hearing sounds moments before others are aware. “I can never mutter under my breath when my son is around, he always hears it.”
  • Can be amazing singers, mimics or musicians.
  • Are often incredible movers, gymnasts or dancers.
  • May have excellent dexterity leading to high-level computer keyboarding, piano, organ or accordion skills.
  • Can have high physical endurance levels.

Personality Strengths

  • Can be excellent communicators, making them extremely popular amongst their peers.
  • Are often fantastic organisers who efficiently organise people and tasks to get things done?
  • They can be great delegators, ensuring that projects are completed in a timely fashion by choosing the right person to complete certain tasks.
  • Can be incredible orators able to speak, recite and perform with great skill while keeping everybody’s attention.
  • May be incredibly quick witted and funny with words.
  • They may be able to effectively explain, describe or communicate instructions, ideas or information to others.
  • Are often outwardly thoughtful, caring and empathetic towards other people and animals in need.

Mental strengths

Albert Einstein

  • May have a very high pain tolerance.
  • Can have incredible mental perseverance, never giving up until they achieve their goals.
  • They are often extremely inquisitive, asking thousands of questions about the world and wanting to know how everything works.
  • Agatha Christie

  • They can achieve great success overcoming obstacles, long after everyone else has given up and gone home.
  • Are often fantastic at memorising long paragraphs of written text, verses, songs, poetry, speeches or lines for a play etc.
  • They may possess an amazing understanding of mechanics, electronics or computers.
  • Jamie Oliver

  • Can often be found in kitchens concocting and inventing amazing dishes.
  • May be excellent at math and able to think in numbers making them incredible mathematicians and statisticians.
  • Can sometimes use their imagination to tell amazingly, detailed, descriptive stories.
  • May have a very ordered mind enabling them to take in large amounts of information, retain this knowledge and then apply it to other areas of knowledge or tasks.
  • Steve Jobs

  • May be big picture people, able to use high-level strategy, management and delegation skills to reach favourable outcomes.

Visual strengths

  • Can often visualise in 3 dimensions making them excellent inventors, planners, engineers, designers, architects, builders and overall creators.
  • Pablo Picasso

  • Can see incredible detail in the world around them giving them an appreciation for their surroundings.
  • Are often able to see the world in an amazing spectrum of colours.
  • Can be fabulous artists or photographers.
  • Are often incredible sports people in sports where hand-eye and foot-eye coordination are required such as ball games

Sir Richard Branson

Business strengths

  • If you look through this list it doesn’t take long to realise that people with school learning difficulties can have incredible skills and talents giving them advantages, which academic high achievers may not possess. This can make them exceptional employees in the right job, and incredible business people in their own right.

“Encourage your child to aim high. There is no reason why they shouldn’t. There are ways to achieve greatness. You can inspire your child to dream and to find them.”

Don’t be disheartened if you cannot really see any of these strengths in your child yet. Watch them closely when you can. Sometimes your child is putting so much effort into trying to cope with school and meeting learning benchmarks, there is no time or energy left to enable them to develop or display their true talents. It is often after formal schooling is completed that individuals with school learning difficulties begin to shine.

Learning to live with a school learning difficulty is a learning process in itself and with your help your child’s brain will eventually develop and find a way to succeed. With you on their team they will have the confidence to find their strengths and their developing brain will help them to excel at them.

Are you wondering where this list came from?

  • Personal observation and interviews
  • Directly from word of mouth accounts of parents of children with dyslexia
  • From teachers who teach or have taught children with dyslexia
  • From verbal accounts of adults with dyslexia, (many of whom are now highly successful)
  • From employers who prefer to employ people with dyslexia
  • From tertiary educational institutions who recognise and have direct contact with students with specific learning difficulties

If you start to do your own personal research, as I did, you will be able to identify with this list of strengths and maybe even add to it. Whenever you meet someone who indicates they may have a school learning difficulty, ask them what they are really good at?

There is always an answer. Those individuals who have capitalized on their strengths invariable end up extremely successful.

Incredibly Successful And Famous dyslexics

There are amazing people all around us who have learnt to live with learning difficulties. There is virtually no job they cannot do and if you ask around you may find some great role models for your child, or even a potential mentor. Some of these people are public figures your child may even have heard of. These famous, highly successful individuals, can motivate, inspire and instill confidence in your child. For this reason your child needs to know all about these people so they can see the possibilities and imagine a positive future despite struggling to learn at school. Go to and you will find lots of great examples of people who have excelled in life regardless of struggling to learn at school. Make sure your child is aware of it.

One day your picture and your story about your success could be in my book or on my website.

It’s up to you…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *