Do You Know of Any Young Stars with Learning Disabilities

Updated on October 04, 2015
V.T. asks from McKinney, TX
9 answers

I think my daughter may have a learning disability. Since she is my first child and everything academic came easy to me, I don't know if I'm over reacting or if I have legitimate concerns. I have scheduled a meeting with her teacher to discuss my concerns and to move forward with intervention if she indeed has a problem. I have a feeling that is she does have a disability, she will think something is wrong with her. I found tons of stuff on older actors and business people with disabilities, but she won't know them as she is 6. I haven't been able to find stuff about younger stars she may know. Possibly Disney stars or a young pop star. Considering that right now she wants to be a rockstar/actress when she is older, I'm hoping that I can arm myself with people she may know that have overcome a disability and did great things. Anyone know someone?

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answers from Washington DC on

i don't get researching role models for a problem you don't even know is real yet.

first things first.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Your focus should be on an evaluation for your child and not focused on what star/actor/singer overcame a disability.

Secondly, maybe you expect too much from her. Just because you are good with academia does not mean she will be. She could very well be a normal little girl and you are placing her with disability in your mind due to your expectations.

Have her evaluated and try not to destroy her self esteem by allowing her to believe she has some disability. If she does not have a disability, that is great! Enjoy her as she is! If she does have a disability, then do what you have to do to help her overcome.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If you think she might have a learning disability, I think the first step is to have her evaluated and find out if that is true.
Finding out what the issue(s) are and seeking out ways to deal with them is priority.
And THEN you find out about people who have had the same issues and overcame them.

What if she's evaluated and they find nothing is wrong and she's just an average kid?
The goal is to be the best person you can be.
And for some people (myself included) being a B+ student IS the best you can be.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You may be getting ahead of yourself but the suggestions below are great. Just don't be disappointed in her, she can still live a great life. If it is framed well, I don't think she will be crushed.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Please spend your time getting an evaluation and spend more time learning how to-- and how not to-- talk to your child about their challenges. Most counselors and specialists would not recommend outright telling her 'this is what's wrong with you', but "I see that X is really hard for you", giving lots of empathy, offering support (via empathy, tutoring, interventions) and most importantly, *focusing on the areas where she does do well, playing up her strong suits*. Balance is everything.

When it comes to identifying others with disabilities who have succeeded, we've always stuck with "oh, you know, I was reading about (so and so) and they really had a hard time with that too! I think it's something that's easy for some people and hard for a lot of other people. Isn't it great that they kept on working so they could become XYZ?"

I have a son diagnosed with ADD and he has some processing issues. We don't talk about those words(deficit, delay, dysfunction, etc), we talk about *what's happening* in his head. When his brain is going so fast that his language recall gets stuck, we encourage him "take a breath... sometimes you are thinking of so many things, your words can't keep up, huh?" When he's discouraged about a timed assessment, we let him know that this is just a picture of how he's doing today, and that we aren't worried about it. It's one piece of information, that's all. We praise his wonderful creativity, imagination, reasoning and then also teach him how to be kind to himself when he's frustrated with other areas of his development, and work with him on being responsive to everyday societal expectations, just as every good parent of any child, typical or atypical, should do.

And just two cents here, but it's worth finding neat biographies and articles on young girls who are spending their time making a difference for others. YOU can start exposing her to real heroes and not just Disney people (whose lives usually take a rather disappointing trajectory once these young women hit their late teens). You can find great picture books --ask your local librarian-- of young female characters who have overcome great odds. Folks stories of heroines from around the world who embody the types of ethics and characteristics which are worth focusing on. Just saying that some pretty girl on tv 'has' the same thing your kid 'has' is an oversimplification of what she really needs-- help in accepting her own self and a balanced appreciation and awareness of her strengths and deficits. We ALL have areas in which we excel and we ALL have challenges.... that's life learning.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

See if you can find the American Girl books about McKenna... She was the girl of the year in 2012 I believe. Competitive gymnast with a learning disability. Maybe you could read the books to her? There's a McKenna movie as well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Bella Thorne from Shake It Up Chicago is very open and a dyslexia advocate. She is obviously older now, but your daughter won't know that if you google the videos of her from the show and the you tube videos of her speaking about it. She's still pretty young. She was my daughter's hero (my daughter is dyslexic and dysgraphic)

The other option is to actually contact Disney and ask. They're fairly responsive to this type of thing

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

i just wanted to say I get where you were headed with this and no need to feel bad about what people are saying. You just wanted to inspire your dd.

The thing with kids is that unless someone makes them feel bad, they usually just accept things as how they are. Oh i need glasses to see, wow look things are so clear now, its great to have glasses. doesn't give it another thought.

Definitely have her tested and see, talk to her educators and the doctors and go from there. I just saw a youtube video of a teen that had lost her sight but posts make up videos because that is what makes her happy and makes her feel normal. lots of inspiring people are out there.

the most important thing though is that your dd gets the tools to help her learn best.

It makes me crazy that people would let their child suffer and stumble just so they aren't labeled. guess what when others see you stumble all the time they usually end up labeling you anyway as the weird one, the stupid one, the bad one, what ever, better to have a truthful label. dyslexic, aspergers and tools like special text or therapy to help them be confident and succed than to be just that weird kid.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

At the age of 6, if you only "think" that your child may be experiencing a learning issue, it's too soon to start thinking about how to overcome a disability. Your child may simply not have been taught in the way that makes sense to her, or be slightly delayed for any one of a hundred reasons.

There are many learning differences. Some kids learn better by doing and touching, some by hearing, some by seeing. Some kids need extra help at first and then take off like a rocket. Some will struggle for a long period of time because they view letters backwards or have difficulty focusing on words. Some need just a little extra time, or they need the key that makes it all make sense, and some need the help of an educational specialist or an occupational or speech therapist.

If you tell her that she has a disability and that there's something wrong with her, she'll believe that. If you tell her something like "oh, your teacher thinks that she has figured out why reading a whole page is hard for you and she's got some great ideas that is going to make reading SO much easier and more pleasant" then she'll get your enthusiasm.

And please be prepared to learn from the teacher. She may suggest to you that your worries are affecting your daughter, or that your daughter needs extra reading or math practice at home, or that she requires some assistance from a remedial program at school, or that she just needs some time to mature. Often, the teacher needs the parent to be on board and perhaps take suggestions.

Make sure that your daughter's eyes have been thoroughly checked (just treat it like a routine trip to the dentist for a cleaning, or a regular well-child checkup by your pediatrician).

And most of all, relax. Don't go looking for disability resources for a possible, suspected learning difference! It doesn't sound as though the teacher is concerned, and your academic style of learning may just be very different from your daughter's. Right now she wants to be a rock star or an actress, but probably next year she'll want to be a nurse and then a dinosaur expert and then a dancer and then after that an elephant trainer, and on and on. Relax!

1 mom found this helpful
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