At the age of 6, I was in a public school with large classrooms and a board in the front of the room that I couldn't see for some reason. Yes, I was able to look at the board but I wasn't able to understand anything that was written on it or anything that the teacher was saying. I was a first grader, who felt trapped in the way of not knowing what was being said as well as not understanding how to talk about my feelings or difficulties with others. Luckily my parents knew that I wasn't at the right place and they didn't make me feel bad about it all. My caring parents told me that it would be time to switch to a school with my twin sister so we could learn together in a better learning environment.
That would be my first time enduring on the journey of a special education environment with teachers that would know me by name as well as my strengths and weaknesses. I didn't think anything negative of the process due to the positivity that surrounded me and they want to only succeed and reach my goals. Processing, the aspect of education that we all need in order to fully understand and comprehend information. That's my learning disability, processing which is one of the most frustrating. It never came easily to me to watch something and immediately be able to do it or to hear something and memorize it.
I would sit at my desk for hours studying for tests in tears due to not being able to process the information at an "appropriate" speed or in a way that my classmates did. I always compared myself to other people because I never knew what "normal" was, it was a constant scavenger hunt to find it. Every year presented a new difficulty which made me want to do even better and attempt to get into the mainstream classes that were not in the special education category. I thought that would be the answer, to be with everyone in a "normal" environment and to not feel different.
So I worked as hard as I could and convinced my special education teachers that I would be "ready" to be in mainstream courses. I went in and I did ok, my friends always performed better on tests and that was something that upset me because of how hard I worked to do the same thing. That's when it hit me that I do learn differently and it's one hundred percent ok, which was extremely difficult to come to terms with. I needed a smaller learning environment at a slower pace and some extra help here and there. It's still with me today and although it's not something visible and seen to the general public, It's always with me and still seen.
As soon as we hear the word "disability" or "disabled" we are immediately drawn to the visual aspect of a person to see what looks or sounds different. Yet, we don't realize that all disabilities are different and there are so many that we don't see which still do exist. I do have an invisible disability and although it's hard and frustrating sometimes to find the light at the end of the tunnel when things get hard, I always remember that I got here. I'm a junior at a University far away from home with all of the support I need and I got MYSELF here.