You know you are rare

I talked infront of a group of Special Education Teachers this last week. I really enjoyed it. I always find it interesting to learn what the group that is trying to help does. I really wonder what it would be like to be a special ed teacher sometimes. That is what I started out wanting to be in college but I didn't know at that time the breath of different things you could do in the disability world. I was with a group of what I like to call my Disability Activist group. I love them it is so good to feel so comfortable with a group of people with diverse disabilities and talk about disability in a way that challenges all my views. I also just feel comfortable with them.

Anyways, I was on a pannel something I have done many a times at this point in my life. Hi my name is Val and I have a learning disability. It always goes something like that I let them ask anything. I have heard anything you name it I have heard it. So as someone with dyslexia can you have kids? Are you scared about passing a genetic condition on to those kids? Can you read? All these things that to me I find kinda silly but I know being able to ask these questions and learning the answers really do help people be okay with people with all disabilities specificaly those with LD. It just is sometimes kind of hard to hear how unaware people are. I do however love the ability to feel connected to something that allows people to better understand disability.

The most common thing that happens when I talk about my disability is that people want to make it out that I am a unusual or unique case of people with LD. They might clap, stand up, talk about how inspirational, or unusual I am. I think they see this as a complement as my uniqueness perserverance what ever. I honestly see it very sad because all I can think of is I haven't done anything really all that unique, getting to grad school was but all the things about going to college or graduating high school not so much. A lot of people do this even getting the masters. The sad part about it is I am one of the few LD kids who do get all this. I don't see my acomplishment as a shining achievement I think that this acomplishment doesn't happen that often as a glaring failure.

I exspecially think the fact that I can articulate my disability is not unusual and shouldn't be. I think the main fact is that people are not told about their disability their parents learn to fight for acomodations but they do not or a lot of people do not. I think haveing to fight can give you a lot of confidence and a lot of acceptance. I guess certain disability you might not be able to articulate but if you are going to college you have to.


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