A little known secret about Steve Jobs is that he had a learning disability in the form of dyslexia. Sadly, special needs students are often bullied. In fact people who are different are frequently bullied and many times special needs children are perceived as being different. Children with special needs may be dyslexic as in the case of Steve Jobs or they may be autistic. They could also have ADD (attention deficit disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), have a visual or auditory impairment, or be gifted.
There are many examples of famous people who had special needs, yet were able to compensate for their challenges. Some examples of famous people with dyslexia are: Tom Cruise, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Cher, John Lennon, Sir Richard Branson and Steven Spielberg. Other famous people with learning disabilities are: Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.
In many classrooms there are children who are very protective of their special needs classmates. However, sometimes special needs students suffer relentless bullying.
We can all help special needs students achieve success by making sure they are not bullied, and by creating a classroom culture of protection. After all, special needs children often have amazing talents and abilities as the list above indicates. Remember, Stand Up Against Bullying in every school classroom, home and community!
Bruce Langford is a bullying prevention advocate who teaches peace strategies. www.standupagainstbullying.com