More than a Disability

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of The Prowler. 

Ever since I was in second grade, I always felt so behind. I was confused as to why my peers were able to catch on to what we were learning so easily, and I just didn’t understand.     

In third grade, when everyone was learning how to divide fractions, I remember I was never able to understand. I even had teachers put me in a small group with a few other kids. I still could not figure out how to do it. On Fridays, if you had any corrections, my teacher would leave work on the table as everyone else played. Instead of spending time with my friends, I would often spend my lunch and free time making corrections or finishing my work.

As time passed, I ended up doing testing that my parents said would “help me understand how I learned better.” I didn’t know that I had learning disabilities. I just thought that something was different about me. I moved schools and still continued to struggle. In fifth grade, I ended up going to a school called Park Century, a school that specializes in learning disabilities and individualized learning. 

Eventually, I found strategies for overcoming my dysgraphia, ADHD, sequencing, and visual processing struggles. Some of the strategies I use are to take notes while teachers are talking so I don’t forget the directions, and I got glasses to help with my visual processing problems.

After over a decade of struggling, I can confidently say that I’m actually thankful for my disabilities.

Yes, it is frustrating to feel like I always have to work harder than everyone else, but my disabilities make me who I am. I am a resilient person who won’t give up until I reach my goal. Despite all my struggles, I’m in honors classes, I hold multiple leadership positions in and outside of school and, most importantly, I’ve become someone who is proud of who they are.

I hope that anyone reading this knows that they are more than their disability. Learning challenges may cause bumps in the road, but they will never define us.