Writer Nalo Hopkinson on Learning ABILITY not DISability



I have nonverbal learning disorder it's a learning disability I can get lost inside my own home I was reading Shakespeare by age ten but I have trouble filling out forms I can write a novel but not a to-do list certain types of touch sound smells and tastes of torture for me words make more sense to me than gestures if you think I'm cute don't bother flirting it just confuses me send me an email or tell me to my face I can grasp quantum theory but I can't make change a love wearing beautiful clothing but I can't be bothered to match my socks but since my verbal perceptions outpaced my nonverbal ones I have an intuitive grasp of language and story and since many social conventions seem like a waste of time to me I'm not so judgmental of people who break them it's a good brain for a writer to have I also have attention deficit disorder I spend an exhausting 90% of my work time trying to focus call it procrastination but that's like saying people who use wheelchairs are just too lazy to walk I get memory lapses don't ask me how my toothpaste ended up in the fridge my brain is constantly active seeking new stimulus yet I'm easily overwhelmed by detail I have two perceptions of time now and never deadlines are only real in the moment of the deadline not in the time preceding them outer sites is out of mind so every surface in my home is piled high and clutter I literally cannot concentrate on things that don't interest me but I'm endlessly curious I have no patience for boredom and I grasp new ideas quickly I may read the world differently than most but somehow I've found a way to engage in interact I find ways to make it work for me as trade-offs go it could be worse you

8 thoughts on “Writer Nalo Hopkinson on Learning ABILITY not DISability

  1. You are my twin! You could be professor at Darmuth for all I know. So glad to know there's an adult out there in this big, dark, dreary world. I would have to judge that you came from a well,-to- do family, and loving siblings. BTW, Do you hate to iron too?

  2. I have maths disability, a processing deficit and attention deficit disorder. however, my grasp of language, the meaning of words and reading are fantastic. loud, noisy, chaotic places are overwhelming (casinos, UGH) and i'm hypersensitive to certain sensations, especially things things like some types of denim, seams, tags, and other things.

    I LOVE THIS VIDEO SO MUCH. I relate to so much, and her positivity and acceptance and love of her brain is inspiring. <3

  3. I resonate with a lot of her self-description. I'm pretty forgetful, but maybe not so lost in my thoughts as to put toothpaste in my fridge. I agree with her message. I was labelled as learning disabled as a child, but my mind working differently has definite advantages. It's nice to see someone like her who has used her differently functioning mind and found a way to be successful with it. Too many people like her probably just fall through the cracks.

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