One of the most challenging things for me is overcoming that I have dyslexia. I remember the day that I found out that I was diagnosed with dyslexia I was just in second grade. But at that time, I didn’t quite understand what dyslexia meant or how I would be labeled as with a learning disability. When my mom told me that the way I learned was different from other second graders, she said I would have to work harder than others.
My classmates would tease me about how I struggled with reading, so I started to really dislike reading. When it came to popcorn reading or being called on, it triggered emotions such as fear, embarrassment, and panic. Meanwhile, watching my classmate’s reactions while I stumbled and got words backward, and stuttered while trying to figure out the words made me even more self-conscious. The writing was even more frustrating because I would get angry with myself and overwhelmed because my thoughts were not coming clearly due to constantly misspelling words.
Friends would attempt to help me, but it would only make my emotions skyrocket. When it came to my school work, I would consistently repeat my reading or writing assignment over and over, which I found very frustrating, because I really just wanted to read it twice and be done.
As a child, I can remember when people were reassuring me that I was such a bright and outgoing kid. But there were times that I didn’t feel that way.
I’ve always thought they were wrong about me and just trying to get my self-esteem up. But when fifth grade came rolling around, I had this one outstanding teacher who understood me and gave me the additional help that I needed to get me through the last year of elementary school. With all her help I started to make big progress in my reading and writing. This was quite a huge accomplishment for me. Then, in my sophomore year of high school brought many more challenges. I took a semester of school in Washington DC at one of the top schools there while my mom had a fellowship in DC. I pushed myself to do my best as I could and out of my courses there, I got “A”, and “B,” I was quite proud of myself. But it’s not always shining rainbows. English was still my hardest subject when we were assigned to do a paper, I received a “C” and was disappointed. I started to wonder if my dyslexia were starting to get in the way because the teacher started to challenge us more on our essay’s by doing them time in class. I struggled with this a lot because my thoughts weren’t coming together clearly. So that made me start thinking that couldn’t pass or even keep up in her class. At the end that didn’t stop me, I went in for tutoring to see what I could do. The next time we did a paper I received a “B” and I was quite pleased with that grade.
Ever since I’ve been keeping up and receiving a letter grade higher so that tells me that my hard work is paying off. Now that I’m in college I think about this quote “To think of dyslexia as a learning disability is to misunderstand it. My dyslexia and dysgraphia… are the reason I am a keen listener, have strong verbal skills, and strong imagination” (Catherine) As that said my learning disability has brought many challenges. I still struggle with reading and writing today. However, I utilize my accommodations in order to meet my course load objectives… With that said, my dyslexia has taught me how to be confident, brave and how to advocate for myself. At the end of the day, the best thing in life is challenges because it makes you work harder and push yourself to accomplish them.