Overcoming Learning Disabilities and Achieving Success
"Breaking the Label" is an autobiographical self-help book by Paul Geise, who shares his personal journey of overcoming self-doubt and academic challenges due to a learning disability. The book is intended to inspire and motivate students who feel inadequate in their abilities to learn, and to provide practical advice and strategies that have helped the author and others like him succeed academically.
Nonfiction / Self-Help / Education
Date Published: March 22, 2023
Geise shares his experiences growing up in Metro Detroit, Michigan, and feeling frustrated and defeated in his early years of education. He discusses the challenges he faced due to his learning disability, including being told that he would never be able to keep up with his classmates and pursuing an academically-based career was out of the question for him. However, he refused to give up and found ways to work around his disability and develop his strengths.
The author shares practical advice on finding one's strengths and learning style, developing effective study habits and techniques, and utilizing resources and support systems that can be helpful for students with learning disabilities. Geise provides examples of his experiences working with teacher consultants in each primary subject and the instructor's teaching methods, as well as what he did to help himself work through these issues.
After graduating from high school, Geise still felt inadequate in his educational abilities and had to convince himself that he was not helpless. He went on to complete his Associate Degree and numerous other technical certifications without the help of a teacher consultant. He now understands the importance of taking control of his education and the learning curve that comes with it.
Overall, "Breaking the Label" is an inspiring and practical guide for students who feel like they are not good enough, especially those with learning disabilities, to overcome academic challenges and achieve their dreams.
Read an excerpt below...
excerpt from "Breaking the Label"
I remember sitting through the results of my IEP tests with my mom and teacher consultants from elementary through high school. I remember feeling insecure about my educational abilities when they read my exam scores. My reading level in high school was at the 4th-grade level, which I don’t believe to be true to this day. I know I didn’t read a lot and only read what was necessary, but I think I just didn’t care about the test. Reading something just once and answering a question didn’t work for me. I know I needed to read passages more than once to understand the text. If you are an IEP student, I am sure you know what I am talking about. …
I want to give you an example of a student not doing well in school. In 1961, before IEPs were established, a student named Ben Carson lived in Detroit, Michigan. He was doing poorly in school, and his mother, who only had a third-grade education herself, found out. Ben’s mother restricted his distractions and leisure time, replacing them with reading. Ben and his brother were required to read two books a week and write book reports for each book. After one year, Ben went from the bottom of his class to the top. He is now a world-renowned neuron surgeon. There was a movie made about him titled Gifted Hands.
Don’t underestimate the power of small steps and time. You can do as Ben did, as well. You need to limit your leisure time (screen time) and replace it with a book.
As an IEP student, tests would give me anxiety, and I just assumed I would fail. When you’re a “learning disabled” student, this is how you feel about a test in school. This is why you put off until the last minute to study and cram the night before and become stressed. This has become a habit you developed that needs to be broken.
Create a plan for tests and stick to it. My method uses sight, sound, and motion.
Sight: reading the text.
Sound: listening to the text.
Motion: writing the text.
Most of the tests you take will be either True or False or multiple choice. If the test is True or False, you can guess it and get a 50/50 chance of getting it right.