Elizabeth Bartold has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and dyscalculia, a math deficiency.
Those are heavy labels for adults, let alone a high school senior.
But she likes talking about her learning disabilities.
“It’s something I’m almost proud of because I’ve overcome it,” Elizabeth said Tuesday. “I can laugh about it. I know I’m not alone, and we help each other.”
Elizabeth credits Alan Pocock’s LEAD class at Cheyenne Mountain High School for her ability to rise above her disabilities.
“Before, I didn’t understand why my brain did what it did,” Elizabeth said. “Once I realized what was going on in my brain, I learned how to make it acceptable.”
“And not be ostracized,” added senior Rachel Weiner, who has been diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia and depression.
Pocock, or “Po” as he’s known to children and adults alike, started LEAD (Learning and Educating About Disabilities) 18 years ago at Cheyenne Mountain High School.
Almost daily, teens sit on couches for a class period and chat about their inattentiveness, their emotions, the pros and cons of medication, the stress and anxiety they feel and other issues.
Under the tutelage of Pocock, students also are taught how their brains work when they have learning problems and how they can counter those neurological stumbling blocks.
The program has gained national recognition from several prominent organizations, schools and leaders in the field.
It’s now on the verge of vaulting to the next level, with the help of students sharing their own stories.