Kylie, a grade 7 student wrote an essay about what it is like to have a learning disability and who she wants to be.
Who I Am, Who I Want To Be
Questions, questions, questions. It was a very long day of me answering one question after another. Puzzles, games, sorting, thinking. I was only in Grade 3 when my mom took me to a psychologist. My mom told me that we had to go to see someone to determine what was happening in my head. It actually only took a day and a half of these questions but it felt like an eternity. In the end, the doctor diagnosed me with three specific learning disabilities; Visual processing, auditory processing and dyslexia. My parents said that this diagnosis would help them give me the support I needed.
A girl with a learning disability. That is who I am. But sometimes I feel that people don’t understand me or the fact that I need more time to think and understand then other people. For some people, they can look at a question and finish it right away. But not me. I need things written out like a recipe. Step-by-step instructions. Getting these instructions or making them more simple does not mean I am lazy. Kids sometimes think I am getting special treatment because I get a photocopy and they don’t or I get something read to me. But this is what I need to learn and show people what I know, to have equal opportunities to an education.
Sometimes I feel that I am different, like a rose in a daisy field. But really, I am not any different. It takes me longer to read a simple paragraph or write notes from the board. My heart beats as fast as a cheetah running for its prey when I’m asked to read aloud in class. I’m always afraid that I am reading too slow or that I won’t know a word. I want to be a teacher when I am older. I really want to teach Grade 1 because in this grade, student learn everything like how to love school and how smart they truly are and how much potential they have. I had difficulty learning to read and learnt strategies to help me. I think this will make me a magnificent teacher. I can tell the kids that I struggled through and I made it, so they can too.
I can learn. I just need extra help. I need teachers and also my peers to help me and understand that I am just as smart as they are. I am not different because I have a disability I am different because I am tougher, more committed and don’t take my education for granted.