I Believe In Learning Differently

Jasmine - Honolulu, Hawaii
Entered on July 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Have you ever felt inadequate but didn’t understand why? Why you seem to be the only one in the world who is not able to wrap their brain around something that seems so simple to the rest of the group. 10-15% of Americans are diagnosed with dyslexia but only 5 out of 100 people will be tested. I am one of those lucky five people. I believe in learning differently. I have a bohemian, diversified mind, and it is working fine for me.

“Its reading time everyone.” called my third grade teacher, Mrs. I. I slowly trudged my way over to the bookshelf where a variety of books ranging from colorful picture books to short chapter books took refuge. I picked up a picture book, got a pillow, and sat down in my usual corner. I would look at the pictures, but trying to read the words was a hopeless task. The random symbols stamped on the pages had lost hope in me long ago. Never in my whole life had I ever read a book by myself. Mrs. I walked over to me and asked how my book was; I began to cry feeling so helpless. She sat down next to me and looked into my eyes, not seeing a dependent seven-year-old, but seeing a human with emotions that didn’t understand what was wrong. The only way my feelings of being insufficient could escape my body, was by the tears that came from my eyes. I told her that no matter how hard I tried to sound out the letters it never made sense, and how pathetic it felt being the only one in class who could not finish a simple first grade picture book. She wrapped her warm arms around me into a hug that I have never felt before. Her love filled my whole body with reassurance that it would be all right. She picked up the book that I had just been pretending to read and softly recited the words into my ear. I was lucky to have a teacher like Mrs. I, or for all I know I might still be in the dark, veiled by the cloak of learning differently.

After a year of working with Mrs. I it was decided that I would do much better at a school with a curriculum specifically designed for kids with dyslexia. I was there for three years and their teaching methods were very effective. They taught us Latin roots so that when I was reading I could connect the derivative to have an educated guess on what the word might mean. I was able to transfer out and go to one of the most prestigious schools in all of Hawaii. I have been there for three years and I am doing quite well.

Dyslexia makes me different from everyone, which is not a bad thing. People who are different are the ones who make a difference for society; I hope I can be one of these people. Being different creates variety, which creates ideas, this is the reason that scientists make new discoveries or why artist have the inspiration to create something unique and beautiful. Theatre is my passion and being on stage is doing art for an audience. You are expressing yourself through characters and channeling your emotions to spectators. Dyslexia is not a learning disability, it is a learning difference, and I believe in being different.