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Advice On How To Embrace Your Learning Disability

How to not let your learning disability hold you back


People who believe they have a learning disability often claim to have limited skills and an inability to perform certain tasks and often say that there is something wrong with their brain. Similarly, I hear the same things from people who have already been diagnosed. Holding such views can severely limit your ability to develop your strengths, achieve and succeed, and attempt new things. All of this can undermine your confidence and self-esteem, leading you down an unfulfilling path in life. Another common statement I’ve heard is, “My brain doesn’t work like everyone else’s”, and that, I think, is true. 

Your brain is unlike everyone else’s, so stop attempting to make it function like everyone else’s.


Here is some advice on how to grow confidently, not in spite of but with your learning disability.


Embrace it rather than fight it.

This applies to a wide range of factors that will assist you in maintaining a healthy mind when confronted with a challenge. When we deal with something that cannot be changed, we often grow to hate it and then fight it, which exacerbates the situation and can lead to a path of self-hatred, which becomes a bigger mountain to climb. Fighting it and attempting to accomplish things in a way that plainly does not work for you will only increase your frustration with yourself and your learning disability. 

This will work nicely and make more sense as you combine it with the following points:

Get to know your brain.

It is critical to let go of the idea that your brain does not function properly or that you are incapable of performing certain tasks. It’s a matter of getting to know your brain and determining what works best for you. Do you perform best when things are slowed down? Do you digest information better when you write it down? Are you more likely to recall things if you make a list?


Do you feel less overwhelmed when you make plans, routines, or schedules? 


What works best for you in different situations?

Once you’ve been in a situation that you’ve found overwhelming, challenging, or impossible to overcome, take a minute to reflect; perhaps there is a better way you can approach it next time that will allow you to complete it without feeling so overwhelmed and defeated.

Don’t compare yourself to others.

Everyone functions differently. People work at different paces, and people can handle different things. The amazing thing about the world is that there are over 8 billion people in the world and what makes it go round is that we are all good at different things and have different interests. We all have different abilities, strengths and weaknesses. If we all functioned the exact same way, we wouldn’t be able to serve one another in different ways. So embrace how YOU function and what your strengths are. 

Whatever your weaknesses are, don’t be afraid to ask for help and support to potentially strengthen them or to rely on someone else’s strengths in that area. You can appreciate other people’s strengths but don’t compare yourself to them.

Don’t limit yourself.

You may have objectives you want to attain or things you want to explore, but you have convinced yourself not to pursue them because you might see your learning disability as a limitation. Push yourself; whatever you’re thinking of doing, go for it, or at the very least, investigate and consult with specialists in that field about how it might be tailored to your needs.

You will continue to limit yourself if you use your learning disability as an excuse not to try things that, in the end, could work really well, you could be really good at, or at least enjoy. This can also turn into a positive cycle of trying new things, liking some of them, being good at some of them, and giving yourself the confidence to try other things.

Self-acceptance increases self-esteem.

Research by Jung et al. (2022) explains that accepting a disability has a significant impact on someone’s self-esteem. It then discusses the benefits of self-acceptance, which entails accepting their disability healthily, allowing them to have higher self-esteem. It also investigates the risks of the core mental health difficulties that may arise when people have low self-esteem as a result of their self-denial. Self-acceptance is recognising that you have a learning disability, which cannot be ignored or grown out of, but that accepting it also teaches you how to accept how your brain works and what it needs to function successfully and in a more controlled manner.

You can read more on the National Library of Medicine Website with the article “ Impact of the Acceptance of Disability on Self-Esteem among Adults with Disabilities.”

This can be hard to do on your own, so if you need additional support, contact the counselling team, and we will help you take the next steps. Our counsellors can help you work this out and even help with building your confidence. Additionally, if you are reading this and you are someone who is even just 80% sure that you have an undiagnosed learning disability, don’t wait for that diagnosis before taking action. That can be a long process and can take a while, but that does not preclude the advice on this blog from being applicable to you. 

If you’re having trouble coping, start figuring out what works best for you and your mental health.

You can also follow our social media pages for ideas on how to help manage your learning disability.




Written By Eva Domingos, a counsellor In Nottingham at My Solution Well-being. T: 0115 648 7912

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By MSWB Team on 19/04/2024 in Wellbeing

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