Outward Signs

I don’t like it when people use the phrase “come out” to describe the disclosure of an “invisible” “disability.” As many people observe, politely, less-politely, and sometimes insultingly, NLD is a semi-visible condition. Sometimes clinicians define NLD as a “disability,” but I take issue with the word “disability.” Too often, people wrongly assume that a learning disability makes a person “less bright” than someone without one. I am compelled to dispute this point, as an expert told me to have a learning disability, someone must be of at least average intelligence. I’m not sure I know what average means, but it probably has to do with being neurotypical, or somewhere in that zone. Returning to my original point, the phrase “come out” often implies the telling of a person’s sexual preference. Maybe I’m over-attaching a definition to this phrase. I know it can technically describe other attributes of identity. And yet I’d rather not think of it as a “coming out process.” I wish people would find more creative ways to discuss the existence of an LD issue. To me, the phrase “coming out” is reserved for conversations about sexual identity. Perhaps it is an NLD symptom that I have this literal take. At the same time, NLD is very difficult to describe to people I don’t know, and I would rather not deal with the added awkwardness of a phrase that is still finding its context in modern language.

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