An advantage in life…

Rachel - Glen Head, New York
Entered on June 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: disability
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Rachel Burke 6/07/08

I believe a disability is not a disadvantage, but an advantage in life.

It has changed me. It changes millions of people every day. Reading, writing, something you take for granted. But what if you couldn’t read? What if you couldn’t write? What if you had dyslexia?

School had always been fun, Blocks and snack time made every day enjoyable. But as the years went on and the work began to get header I began to slip and fall back into an unfamiliar world: where letters flew across pages and sentences looked like paragraphs. Reading and writing became an epic battle for survival.

I created a way to survive. Cheating on spelling tests, pretending to read chapter books, having babysitters do my homework, it wasn’t going to work anymore. I began to teach myself. I developed my own way of reading and spelling, and it worked. Soon, what the teachers had to say just didn’t matter anymore.

As I entered Middle School I was confidant my method of learning would continue, but was I wrong. It was as if I was starting over in a whole new world. Everything seemed to be ten times more difficult. I felt so stupid, I felt little, and I felt as if I just wanted to crawl in a corner and cry.

My parents and teachers began to realize something was wrong. I was failing every class, but I was trying my hardest. I guess it wasn’t good enough. They took a few tests assessing my knowledge . It was mid January, when the frosty air brought the news. I was dyslexic.

Hard doesn’t even begin to describe what life was like for those next months. I worked day in and day out, starting at a first grade reading level. I began to push myself. Hard work and determination, it’s what got me through.

There were nights I just wanted to throw in the towel and quit. No matter how hard I tried, I no matter how late it was, I just couldn’t do it. But quitting never got anyone anywhere and it was definitely not going to help me.

It’s that feeling of accomplishment that made every minute worth it. I passed. I thanked everyone who helped me, my parents, my teachers, my friends, my family; they helped me along the way.

I probably wouldn’t be the same person I am today if it wasn’t for my learning disability. You give hundred percent; I have to give one hundred and fifty percent just to get the same result. I have to work harder and longer, but what’s life, if you don’t persevere?

I have a disability and it makes me, me. It’s my advantage in life. I get the chance to work harder, to learn more, and to truly push you self and be the best I can be. Isn’t that what life’s all about? Pushing yourself to top anyone’s expectations of you.