Uncontrollable Situation

May 26, 2008
By Bradley Johnson, Inverness, IL

When you are born, there are things that you cannot control. In life, there are roadblocks that are set in our way that we must overcome. I have known for a considerable amount of time that I was different. This used to trouble me and cause me to focus only on my shortcomings, but as I have grown, I have switched my focus to my strengths. I discovered just how different I was in 1st grade.

In kindergarten and 1st grade, I was having a particularly difficult time trying to read. This was alarming to my parents because I tested in the top percentiles for my age in all other subjects. My parents then arranged to have me tested for learning disabilities and discovered that I was a dyslexic. Prior to the diagnosis it felt like we were just poking around in the dark, but when we knew the cause, we finally had a target.

Although it was a relief to know the cause, we now had a new goal of trying to get help for the problem. We first went to the principal of the private school I was attending to try to see what, if any, extra help I could get at the school. As it turned out, they did not have any way to help me with my dyslexia. After a short phone call, we discovered that I wasn’t eligible for the public school programs.

I am very thankful that this next option was a possibility because of my socio-economic status. We turned to private tutors. After a search of the tutors in the area, my parents chose one that had a doctorate, from Northwestern, in learning disabilities. With her help, I have been able to overcome the majority of problems that are caused by my dyslexia and have since grown into a person who loves literature.

I understand that although my problem may be common, the help that I have gotten in the attempt to overcome it, is not. I’m very thankful that my parents were able to get me help from private tutors. I will end with a response my mom once gave someone for why I don’t use Individual Education Programs, “Out in the work world he won’t get any extra time for assignments, so he needs to learn to use his strengths to compensate.”

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