by Nancie Payne, President
Nancie Payne, President

“It is essential to share our positive stories as we are all great in many ways.”  Think about these short scenarios. 

A middle school student hears a high school student tell about his learning disability.  The high school student describes his learning disability as an asset.  He adds that it makes him feel different in good ways.  Yes, he says, it is sometimes difficult to figure things out but he always tries to keep a positive attitude, which he explains substantially contributes to his continued achievements and success.  The middle school student with the learning disability begins to see things differently – more positive – after he hears the story.

A special education teacher shares with others in her district how she makes a conscious effort to give each of her students  positive feedback and praise.  She says she is sure her practice promotes a positive attitude among her students and that they are able to perform at higher levels because they believe in themselves. 

Take just a moment and think about a success story you recently heard.  It could have been a student of yours who just completed their first semester of a college program or a student who aced the order of operations for division.  It could be the CEO or president of a company who has a learning disability and because of a continued positive attitude has succeeded.  Our communities have many such stories. 

This positive story sharing does not always automatically evolve as we work and volunteer.  Frequently, we are so busy doing the meaningful work we have set out to achieve that we forget to stop and tell the story.  That is where each of you can contribute to the growth and success of LDA – locally, statewide, regionally, and nationally – by telling the story.  Stories shared in positive ways foster a desire for communities to become more involved in the organization.  The more engaged and involved our communities become the more opportunities for success for children and adults with learning disabilities – the more positive stories for LDA.  Not telling the positive stories hides the wonderful and dynamic work being done by you – LDA volunteers – throughout the nation. 

 In my last message I asked you to tell us when issues and needs arise so we can be responsive; as well as within the month talk to five people about your LDA experiences and ask them if they are a member of LDA – and if not, ask them to join.

In these coming months, I am asking that you share the story – the positive aspects of learning disabilities in your life, work or community.  It could be a personal story, or one related to your affiliate or LDA group.  It could be a positive relationship that has been formed between a teacher and child, a school and community, or a program and a business.  It could be identification of a positive policy or political movement, a grant that was acquired, or a new volunteer.  In other words, it is time to tell the positive story.  These stories are enthusiastically welcomed on our Facebook page as well as in correspondence (emails and letters to the National office.)

My opinion:  that positive thoughts and beliefs create productive mental images and visions.  Combined, these form a positive attitude for success.  The outgrowth of this type of thinking results in new opportunities and actions, which promote accomplishments.  All of this is lost if we forget to tell the story.

Join the many volunteers, and me, in sharing our positive stories, as we are all great in many ways. 


Nancie Payne, Ph.D., in addition to being a former secondary reading teacher, has served LDA of America in various capacities including the Executive Board and Treasurer, Board of Directors, Professional Advisory Board, Adult Topics Committee Chairperson, Program Committee Chairperson and Co-Chairperson. She has significant experience serving on Washington state and Northwest regional boards. She is currently CEO/President of Payne & Associates, Inc. assisting children and adults with non-apparent disabilities and providing professional development throughout the United States and Canada. 


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