I have lived with learning disabilities for over 30 years now and not once have I wished to be anything other than who I am.

I have dealt with “medical professionals” who told my parents that I wouldn't amount to much because of my learning disabilities.

In a nutshell, I wasn't going to be worth anything!I have dealt with potential employers who have not been too sure of how to treat me when discovering my condition.

I remember one in particular who was very hesitant in taking my resume. I was tempted to say behind my smile, “Don't worry. It ain't gonna bite ‘ya!” After several years of similar behavior, I just gave up and went down the self-employed route.

I live in a retirement community in Florida with my parents and I have encountered some residents who look down on me as if I were an incompetent child.

I'm often waved at and even talked to as if I were a real-life Forrest Gump! To my parents, they speak normally... and then their voice reaches a high pitched squeak...“And how are you doing, Amy?”

I don't know how it doesn't hurt their throat. I have been tempted to ask, “Doesn't that hurt?” but I haven't...yet.

I have come awful close, though.

Most of my encounters are when I am working (I am in the dog care field) and I have often come home and complained about how annoying it is to be talked to like I’m stupid.

I have a client who often repeats their requests on how they want me to treat their dog.

Whenever I am given a request more than once, my parents will shake their heads and say, “Man! How many times do they need to tell you!?”

Earlier this year, I had a temporary gig walking another couple’s dog right after and a couple of times I was running late and inadvertently forgot to lock the deadbolt... although I did lock the doorknob.

They went into freak mode!

Every day for weeks I was asked if I remembered to lock the door.Needless to say, I feel like wanting to scream.

I want to shout as loud as I could and say, “I am not stupid, so quit treating me this way!”

I meant what I said at the beginning of this article... I have not wished to be anything other than who I am.

And I honestly don't understand why being learning disabled is such a big, hairy deal.

Why is it being looked at like it is a contagious disease by the non-learning disabled?

I could go on and on if I had the time… but I don't.I have wasted too much of it getting all worked up over what basically amounts to nothing.

Please forgive me for getting all worked up as I have.This is obviously a very touchy subject for me.

I just want to be respected just like everyone else. I am ending this by speaking to my naysayers…I let you control my life for far too long.

I have every right to be here and I am definitely not going anywhere! So you might as well get used to seeing me!