A St. John’s area man has written a book that he hopes will help children diagnosed with a learning disability understand that they are capable of great things.
Frank Ryan was told he had a learning disability when he was just 7 years old, but it wasn’t until Grade 9 when he was formally diagnosed.
Ryan says by that time the damage to his self-esteem was done, and he struggled through the remainder of school, leaving without a diploma.
As an adult he applied to The Murphy Centre to get his high school diploma after an injury prevented him from returning to work.
He says the support he received from instructors “was so empowering” that for the first time in his life he knew he was capable of achieving more.
He enrolled at the College of the North Atlantic and earned a 4.0 Grade Point Average in his first year.
After volunteering with the Learning Disabilities Association, he decided to write a book to help other children who may be suffering from low self-esteem due to their learning disability. He says support would have gone a long way when he was young.
He says he wanted people to tell him they believed in him, not that there was something wrong with him. “Telling them they won’t amount to something because of something that they can’t control, is…it ruins their self-esteem.”
“Why Am I Different?” is available through his website, at TSL Physio on White Rose Drive in St. John’s, and The Never Ending Story bookstore on Commonwealth Avenue in Mount Pearl.