When I was growing up, I had no idea I had any intelligence. The world communicated this to me in more ways than I can remember now. I was always placed in “special” classes, which was of course code for the class for not-very-smart kids. We were considered uneducable, which meant we were given busy work to do, and not paid much attention. I attended speech classes because I lisped and stuttered, which made it very embarrassing for me to speak to anyone. I was told by teachers and my father that I would never "amount to much." I believed these stories for many years.
Fortunately for me, in my late twenties I met people who saw something different in me, and with their help I began to tell myself a new story about who I am. I started attending adult education classes and learned I had an affinity for computers. With help getting past my fears, I discovered that I have a very special brilliance all my own.
Most times, changing the lens through which we view the world by just a few degrees can create a very different perspective. I am very, very grateful to all the people who believed in me, and pushed me to believe in myself. Awareness of "different ways to think" is growing. Here is an opportunity for people who experience the world like me.
(I was also interviewed by CBS, a few years back. You can see the video here.)