Laughing Allegra

"She doesn't belong here."


Laughing Allegra is a story written by the mother of a child with a learning disability. It tells of the journey she and her daughter both faced as they came to learn about and accept Allegra's disability. In this story Mrs. Ford, Allegra's mother also provides insightful and helpful information for parents as to how to help their child learn life skills when they reach the age of young adulthood.


The story never specifically states what kind of learning disability Allegra has; it just says she has developmental delays that affected her in multiple aspects of her life. She was unable to focus in class, had trouble organizing multi-step directions, participating in activities with her peers, and forming relationships with children her age.

"My tears were selfish tears. I wanted everything to be safe and secure. I didn't want to have to find another school and face rejection again and again. I wanted Allegra to graduate from a school where my friends' children went. I wanted the disability to go away!"

Quote Reflection

I chose this quote because I feel as though it is a perfect representation of the story. It sums up the emotions Mrs. Ford felt when she found out something was 'different' with her daughter, as well as throughout Allegra's entire childhood. She wanted nothing more for her child than for her to have the same opportunities as other children.

Story Reflection

I learned that raising a child with learning disabilities can feel lonesome at times. Mrs. Ford felt isolated and didn't know where to find support. Everyday was a new struggle for her and it took her years to accept. I learned that children with learning disabilities often are unaware there may be something wrong with them until someone else points it out. They are often content and happy in their 'own world'. I was baffled at many of the things highly educated professionals said to Mrs. Ford and am thankful at the progress our society has made in accepting people with disabilities, even if there is still much room for improvement. This story gave me insight to both the life of the mother of a child with a disability and the life of the child.