Everyone who reads my blog knows that I have OI, but I also struggle with something else on a daily basis. All of 1st-5th grades in school, I excelled in all of my courses but when 6th grade came around everything changed. My grades started to slip which was devastating because I was used to being on the honor roll. I struggled with reading, reading comprehension, math, lack of focus, and more. We originally thought it was caused by my having ADHD, which was true, but there was also something else.
I had testing done and was diagnosed with a learning disability. Finding out I had a learning disability was extremely difficult. It defeated my confidence and it was too humiliating and I wouldn’t talk about it with anyone, including family. I have a reading learning disability (not Dyslexia) which means I have trouble reading, understanding what I read (reading comprehension), problems with working memory, writing papers/essays, and even trouble with math. It made me feel dumb and not as smart because of my grades. I had to learn different tactics that helped me focus more in school such as sitting in the front of the classroom, sitting away from my friends (so I wouldn’t be tempted to talk), and would get extra help from my teachers. My grades improved and I was beyond happy.
When it came time to 7th grade, I transferred schools and once starting at my new school. my grades slipped again. I was nervous and stressed about starting at a new school because it was a different environment than my previous school so that could’ve been a factor. However, I had more testing done for my learning disability and I qualified to get specific accommodations in school. Accommodations made it more of an even playing field for me to succeed with my classmates. Some of my accommodations were that I had extra time on tests/quizzes, a separate room to take tests/quizzes, test questions read aloud to me, a note taker, and more. The accommodations seem to have helped; however, I still have some struggles. I’ve had accommodations ever since but every three years I have to be re-evaluated to make sure I still qualify.
In high school, the dynamics were different compared to grade school. All four years I worked with the speech/language pathologist at my school. I took all of my quizzes and tests with her and it helped tremendously. She taught me different tricks on ways to help me with my reading comprehension and working memory. I also worked with the math specialist for three years which was beneficial as well! I absolutely loved my high school because they wanted to see me succeed even if I struggled from my learning disability.
Check back at the end of the week for Part 2!