Are the interelated? Do they cause one another? Which comes first depression/anxiety or the LD? With the push for inclusion, I'm hoping that both teachers and students become gentler and more tolerant of others disablities; whether emotional, physical, social or mental. I can rmember my peers teasing other peers because they wore glasses or were slower than the rest of us. Dental braces on the other hand were as common as the new fad of sneakers; no one got teased.
Grade school through high school, I was always part of the in crowd, top of my class and involved in everything. I never teased my peers. Maybe because I was trying to hide what was goin on at home that I overcompensated at school. No one ever knew my home issues. Many still don't. However, in college I was a victim of vicious crime. Everything fell apart. The lie I was living, I was normal, healthy, well adjusted. I began skipping class to avoid any type of run in with my attacker. My grades dropped. My self esteem dropped. My anxiety increased 100fold. I lived in fear. Many of these LD students, I am sure feel the same way. If they are being teased or put down by teachers; they may fear coming to school. If their grades are lower than peers they becomed depressed that they can not keep up with their peers. They may begin to blame themselves when in reality it may be a diagnosed/undiagnosed LD that is causing the poor grades. We do not know what goes on behind closed doors, the student may be in a neglected or abusive environment at home. In high school I can remember teachers ridiculing students for their low performance level in class. These were students who were trying and being put down by the teacher. The teacher was creating a hostile environment. It is important to notice changes in behavior in our students. Also important to notice atypical or inappropriate behavior as well. I truly believe early intervention is a massive tool and needs implemented more; not just LD. I have seen first hand how early intervention with autistic children can work. Many of my old clients no longer need TSS services. No one would even know that they even had a diagnosis unless they were told. A lot of autistic children have self stimulatory behavior which could bring negative attention from others. The negative attention could be in the form of teasing, mocking or pointing. This in turn could lead to low self esteem. We as educators need to help our students with LD notjust with learning but socially and emotionally as well. We can create a safe environment for our students to learn in even if its only in our classroom. The support we provide may be enough to help overcome the other barriers.