Technology has helped give non-traditional learners a more level playing field, but the understanding or appreciation of what these unique minds can offer society remains an unknown to most people. I am a very non-traditional learner. When I was younger I was one of the children who was falling through the cracks. No one really understood why I was having difficulty, so I was on my own. In my attempts to be like everyone else, I came to realize how different my mind really was. At first this was a source of embarrassment, but over time it became a point of fascination for me. I had always been poignantly aware of all of the things I couldn’t do, but I was also under the assumption that everyone else could see and do the things that came naturally to me. I was very, very wrong!
On my path to self-discovery I have come to wonder if the individuals our culture has labeled as “learning challenged” might actually be the “untapped resource” we need to resolve many of our cultural, environmental and socioeconomic difficulties. When you have a uniquely wired mind, you get used to taking multiple detours and creating multiple adaptations in mid-stream to accomplish what others take for granted. Over time this process changed for me from a “problem” into a game–a fascinating and attention grabbing game. At this point in time, my mind doesn’t accept the concept that something is impossible. I know deep within the core of my being that all things are possible; you just have to peel away your limiting beliefs, and shift your perceptions to open the door to amazing magic.
When I was writing Passage of Change, A fable based on the research of Bruce Lipton,Ph.D. (http://innereyepublishing.com/passage.html) my editor informed me that it was impossible to convert all of Dr. Lipton’s research into rhyme—I had to do it in prose. I responded, “If I can’t do it in rhyme, I am not going to do the book.” Why was I so adamant? This was how I saw it in my mind. I saw the size, the illustrations, and I heard the rhythm of the words in my body. I also knew that by reducing all of Dr. Lipton’s research to 2000 words, converting it to rhyme and fully illustrating would make his life-changing research accessible to more unique minds, learning styles and ages, which was the point of the project.
Education today is mainly designed for the linear thinker, but you only have to turn on the news or read a newspaper to know that our world needs lots “out of the box” thinkers right now to resolve many of our current problems. So if you have a student or children with “learning challenges,” take the time to discover and appreciate what their unique mind can do that others can’t. Then help them develop and see how their unique mind could be an untapped resource for the world. This is what individuals learn how to do in the I Create What I Believe! Program.