Monday, March 15, 2010

Disability: Overcoming the Challenge

I have had many obstacles I have faced and overcome. Grades do not come easily for me. I have to work hard to achieve the grades that I have earned. I work on a problem until I fully understand it. Imagine having important needs and ideas to communicate but being unable to express them. Or trying to read or add but not being able to make sense of the information.

I was just starting the second grade. I started yelling at my mom “I DON’T WANT TO GO” you could tell my mom was getting very frustrated with me. I hated school. I was a little behind on my reading, math, and writing skills. The teachers all thought I needed to get some testing done to figure out why I was so behind on all of these skills. These tests dragged on day after day for an entire week. They were each two hours long for a whole week. I was sitting in a small square room no claiming pictures on the walls, with a guy named Steven. Steven was about five feet ten inches. He had short brown hair and was very thin. My hands were extremely sweaty before meeting with Steven. He kept asking me all these questions with a bold voice and had me to read him a lot of stories from a gigantic book each page had a different sentence and then he would turn to the next page very slowly. After that week, my parents had to wait for a couple of weeks for the test results to come in. As we waited I wonder what was going on with me. Once they came in, my parents and teacher had to attend a meeting with Steven, my teacher, and the principal. They discussed what was going on with me and why my reading, writing, and math skills were behind compared to other students.
The test results stated that I am a person with a learning disability. I have experienced a cycle of learning failures and lower self-esteem since the age of eight. Having a learning disability brings overwhelming frustration. The most important information I had to remember is “with a learning disability, I can still learn.”

Now, I feel like I am always hitting the books. While my friends are meeting up after school, I am back at home in my room reading and rereading the same material. But no matter how hard I study, I have difficulty remembering things and my grades remain average. While my friends, who never seemed to study, always aced their tests. It does not seem fair. I get so frustrated.

When I was diagnosed with a learning disability, I felt relieved to know what was going on; I was also worried. I did not like the “disability” label. I was concerned about what it might mean for my future. Would I be able to go to college and study special education like I hoped while accomplishing all of my goals? In my senior year of high school, I was determined not to let my learning disability get the best of me. I promised myself I was going to go to college and afterward teach special education. I worked very hard to get scholarships and to improve my grades. All of this hard work paid off. I earned three scholarships because of the hard work I put into those essays to get the scholarship. By my senior year I learned a lot and I tried a lot of new things. I am now at a point in my life where I realize I can do anything I want to accomplish if I put my mind towards it. This was not an easy process but by the end all of the hard work was worth it. I am now excited to be able to graduate college and help students who are having problems with learning. I believe I can help these students because I have been in their positions. I know how hard it is when someone is teaching you something you do not understand and the teacher acting like you should. This becomes very frustrating I hope I will be able to teach these students they can do anything as long as they are going to work hard toward their goals.

The first step in solving any problem is realizing there is one. I no longer believe I am dumb, and my use of words has improved. I am making slow but steady progress in all my classes. No matter what I have to learn I always learn the material. It just, may take me longer and I may need someone to help me at times. I study in all the free time I have. I always have an open book in my hand. I utilize my time to my best benefit.

While I have a learning disability I learned that not every one learns the same way. Some people are visual, auditory, or even kinesthetic also known as tactile. Some people are a combination of all three. The best way to get through learning something you have never seen before is to figure out your learning style and learn how to solve the problem your own way. All of us are different. If we were the same it wouldn’t be as changeling and fun to teach someone who does not see the way you see things. We each have our own ideas and thought which create more discussions and seeing others point of view. As of for me I had to work extremely hard to accomplish all that I have done in school. When something does not work for one person a teacher needs to see that and find a new way so that person can learn.

Having a learning disability has taught me how to deal with people, how to learn, how others learn, and also how to be a hard worker. I deal with my friends better because I have to be more patient. A learning disability has taught me how to be more patient. I can help others learn because I understand how hard the material can be. My hard work comes into play every day. If I was lazy, I would not overcome this challenge. A learning disability is a very hard challenge to overcome. People need the right support from teachers, family, and friends to help overcome a disability. My learning disability is a hidden handicap.

Word of wisdom: everyone learns at a different speed and different ways so be patient and creative if your way of teaching someone does not work

1 comment:

Derek John Boczkowski said...

Great links!

Do you know what is up with the formatting of the second paragraph>