13-17yrs, 18 & over, 8-12yrs, blog series, commentary, Education, inspirational, Motivational (Coaching, Speaking, etc), personal development

Despite My Disabilities: Education was not in the textbooks . . .

Hello again smiles. In this installment I will be discussing   obstacles I faced through out my education. I guess I should begin at the genesis. I reached all my milestones at about a year and a half to two years old.  At the age of three or four, I began at a program for children at a center with special needs where I received classes and occupational therapy. However the experience was less than stellar. Instead of being taught and aided as I was supposed to, I was molested by two male staff members. Well after my stint at the center, I entered kindergarten at a private school near my home, that in itself was an ordeal. I was first made to take and IQ test as a prerequisite to admission. I was above average in many areas I was also below average in many others. Something else that was required was that I needed bodyguard while on school grounds since I was the only disabled child at the school.

As a result my mother had to come to the school three or more times a day to take me up and down the flights of stairs as there were as many as five flights per staircase.  Add  that I looked extremely different as I had olive skin, was chubby had braces on both legs and was the only student in school that wore sneakers all day –sigh-.

My disabilities and the braces made running and playing impossible so I became the typical outcast shunned by others and kept to myself. The other kids didn’t understand me or my situation so they laughed and bothered me going as far as sexually harassing me for years and we think that young children cannot sexually harass each other —guesses again.

Under the schools policy ‘kids will be kids”, nothing was ever done until I exhibited severe emotional affects.

To top this all off, from grades first to six I was absent the first semester of the year pretty much because I would have surgeries during the summer.  I was homeschooled the first six months of school and mainstreamed the last six months . My experience with home schooling was a literal joke because it was so easy and made no sense to me at the time….in essence I had six months to cover one year of education which by the grace of god I managed every time with a near 4. 0 average (yes I’m a book worm lol). My only problem was in the first grade where I was left back because the teacher did not take the time to evaluate nor understand my situation thus she decided to retain me. I was forced to repeat the grade without a valid justification.

High school was an entire new experience it opened a brand new world to me I moved from a private school to a public High school. The experience to me at first was scary and exciting.  I had to adjust to new people and new teachers. For the first time in my life, I was transporting myself using mass transit instead of depending on my family for help. However when I hit those doors I new it was a new ballgame for me. Lucky for me that I made a close-knit group of friends that helped me understand my surroundings.

School work was fun and the after school activities were great I was confined to use the elevator all through out high school that was a problem because the aides had the keys and sometimes they were not there when I was around if not the elevator broke often so I was not able to go to class and had to remain in the library the entire day making up what ever work was necessary for those days by myself and with a paraprofessional (a person who in cases when a student is unable to attend class retrieves their course work and lunch  and supervises). Despite my obstacles, I was put on the advanced track, which is known as the regents track.  I sailed smoothly in all my classes except math.  Due to my many medical conditions , I missed lots of school and math required your daily attention . One of my teachers offered to try to put me in resource( a special education service) for math specifically but I did not qualify since I was talented in my other academic areas.

Despite my math  and mobile challenges I managed to work. I was part of the after school program was a reporter for the newspaper writing several crucial reports and in general thoroughly enjoyed my High school experience. Graduating with a near 4.0 average in 2001.

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