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Updated: Jan 23, 2020

Honestly, for years I’ve been questioning those looks. It is beyond my understanding how so many people just don’t get it. It’s not like everybody is perfect. And truthfully between you and me, is anyone really perfect? I certainly don’t think so, and anyway what does being perfect really mean? The pressure to be “perfect” is excruciating. What’s wrong with just being me? I’m sure kids and teens who feel they do not fit in, struggle with that question everyday, and struggle with those looks.

There are books for children with learning disabilities, kids books about ADHD, books for kids with dyslexia and I could go on and on… I’ve written two books dealing with these issues as well. It is my hope that my YA fiction “If Only…” and my children’s book “I am Me and I Can” get the important message across of how kids feel when they get those looks. Believe me when I tell you it is so difficult to depict that actual moment in writing. I’m sure the feeling is much worse in real time.

When a child leaves the classroom, to meet with the tutor for learning disabilities, that child feels all classmates’ eyes penetrating right through their back. In reality, only a few classmates might be staring but that doesn’t change how the child feels at that exact moment, walking out the door. I’m guessing that child feels like the entire world is looking right through them.

And what about the teen who has ADHD? There’s fidgeting going on, maybe noisy tapping on the desk, and sometimes more disruptive behavior in the classroom. Surely that’s not acceptable. How would anyone learn if there’s a whole lot of noise and commotion going on? There must be some way to diffuse this but that is a whole other discussion. So here come those looks from the classmates and the teacher. It’s that fed up look with a shake of the head and a grimace. I’m guessing that teen with ADHD can’t control themself so when those looks start coming, that very teen probably wants to crawl right under the desk or better yet probably wants the earth to suck them right in so they disappear.

Then there’s the student suffering from Dyslexia. How do they feel when called upon to read in front of the class? Maybe the teacher forgot for a moment that this student struggles with reading. The student tries so hard, reading so very slowly, hoping that all goes well. But it doesn’t go well at all. The other classmates get restless, the teacher looks at her watch to see how much time there is left to call on other students and the looks begin. Those looks of the scrunched up foreheads with folded arms and the faces that say all over them, “Come on already!” The student suffering from Dyslexia is totally embarrassed hearing their own heart beat jumping straight out of their chest while there is utter silence in the classroom waiting for the passage to finish.

I’m sure if we all put our heads together we could come up with so many more examples. I just wanted to give you a taste of how it feels to get THOSE LOOKS and to never forget THOSE LOOKS. Maybe we should all try to imagine ourselves in these situations and understand what it really means not to live up to being “perfect.”

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I’m sure most of you have heard the expression, “If looks could kill.” I would like to upgrade it a notch to “If comments could kill.”


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