Disabilities

This blog is honestly more like a journal. I can’t really ever imagine anyone actually reading this besides my mom, (hi mom) yet it is so hard to share something like this where other people could read it. But it is a part of me, and honestly, I feel like being okay with sharing can help other people, even if no one ever reads this. It changes my attitude, and that’s why I am sharing this. 

I have something called dysgraphia. It’s a form of dyslexia, and I am sure everyone has met or heard of a dyslexic person. My condition is similar, but a bit different. I can read just fine (in fact, I read at 12th grade level in 3rd grade) but writing is really hard for me. I love writing, but my handwriting is atrocious, and it takes so much energy to write anything. Even a simple worksheet can become daunting, because if i try to make my handwriting readable, then it takes forever and it is exhausting. My mom, the awesome special ed lawyer, has made it possible for me to use a computer in all my classes. I just carry a laptop. And that is awesome for schoolwork purposes. But it was also hard socially.

It singled me out. I was that girl with the computer. If people asked me why I had it, (and plenty of people did) I would tell them why. I don’t mind questions. What’s hard is the stares. The first time I pull it out, I can feel the stares. As a sixth grader, that is terrifying. Even now, I don’t really enjoy being the center of attention that much. I like being noticed when I am doing something, like at the Zoo, I don’t mind presenting stuff to a crowd; in fact, I quite enjoy it. But having everyone look at you for doing nothing, just having to sit there and refuse to acknowledge them was daunting. 

The other thing that I hated was how people treat me after I first tell them. I am twice exceptional, which is a term that means I have a disability, but I am also gifted. I know that people are used to thinking of gifted as meaning “smart”, but that’s not what it is. I’ve done a lot of research into this, and what it is is actually the brain aging slower. A 5 year old is able to learn new things much faster than a 10 year old. The brain can just remember facts and absorb information better. Well, gifted children can learn things on the first try. They don’t need repetition, like other kids do. And yes, usually they are smart. But it is not simply being smart. Usually we are really bored. I know I was. And another side benefit- weird textures make me throw up. Seriously. A sensitive stomach and mouth are another symptom of being gifted, one that hardly anyone knows or cares about. 

So, yes, I am gifted. I often finish my assignment first, and I am fairly clever. So when I tell people that I have a disability, for a week of so,  they treat me differently. It’s like people cannot understand that someone could be smart and have a disability. Yet there are people like Stephan Hawking who constantly prove that wrong! Albert Einstein was dyslexic, or dysgraphic. Many gifted kids have dysgraphia. It comes with the territory. So, I don’t know why everyone treats me differently. I’m not saying I am like Stephan Hawking or Einstein. What I am saying is that yes, smart people have problems in school to.

I have had teachers that were wonderful, but I have also had horrible ones. They can’t accept that one day I am teaching the math lesson, because the teacher doesn’t understand (true story, happened in 5th grade) and then the next day I cannot do the worksheet at all. They think that I am just not trying hard enough. I also tend to be extremely disorganized when stressed, so I would complete an assignment and then start to read and lose the paper somewhere in my mess. I love being organized, but it is something I have to try really hard to do. 

Honestly, I don’t know why I am posting this. Like I said, I don’t really expect anyone to ever read it. I guess it’s a little like cheap therapy. It’s nice to talk about things. 

Hugs and Kisses,

Aspen

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