About me: a letter about my disabilities

Hi Blog world,

Well, I tweeted and asked a question on Facebook for you readers and subscribers about what you wanted me to blog about, and you answered. So here I go. A letter about my disabilities.

I was born 28 weeks gestation, 12 weeks premature, weighing only one pound five ounces and I was only 12 inches long. Because I was so small and sick, I was put on support to help keep me alive. The doctors were not sure if I would make it or what kind of life I would have if I did survive in fact, I was only given a five percent chance of making it. With the prayers of people in the community, the love and support from my parents,  the medical training from my doctors, and very powerful technologies of the late 80’s I made it! But, not without a price, the doctors had to give me high doses of oxygen and that made my eyes very sick. I have a rare eye condition called congenital Nystagmus. This condition is caused by a part of my eye, called the macula, to be under developed and  this causes my eye muscle to bounce and move around. I also have mild Cerebral Palsy (CP), this causes me to have pain when I write for a long time. When I was a young girl, I had to have physical therapy and Occupational therapy. This helped me learn how to walk and write. The doctors don’t know why I have CP but they do know that I had  a small brain bleed when I was three days old.

When I was in 2nd grade I was diagnosed with a learning disability called dyslexia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKekE10b82s&feature=related This learning disability makes reading and writing hard for me.   It was also during my elementary years that I was taught learning strategies  to help me read, but I was  not taught to spell. I spell the way I think words are heard, and I also sometimes think in Pictures, when my Journalism law teacher says constitution I spell it “contstion” and I think of a picture of the constitution.   It is important for me to read my writing, and tests papers out loud whenever possible. This helps me understand my writing and understand what is being asked during a test.  To learn more about my life with Dyslexia, click here https://amandagene.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/dyslexia/

Because of these problems, I was  placed  into the Special Education Program called Exceptional  Student Education (ESE). In my early elementary years, my ESE teachers were not very helpful, and they used to say, ‘you will not get anywhere in life.”  It was like they didn’t care.
By the time I was in high school, my teachers were very helpful and they worked with me.   I was still in the ESE program until I was  in 10th grade, during that time,  I made the choice that I didn’t want a Special Education diploma and that I wanted to go to college.  The head of the ESE department was against this choice that I had made and they told me to forget the whole idea. But the teachers that were behind me helped me fight against the people who told me no. My education was so important to me.  I wasn’t going to give up without a fight.  It took me an extra year (three years total ) to get my regular diploma, but in May of 2008, I not only graduated with a regular diploma but with honors too.

In the Fall of 2008, I started my freshmen year at the local state college.  I had accommodations  to help me complete my work, but it still took me three years to get my AA degree because I struggled with math. But I didn’t quit.
Now I am a junior, and so far I am doing well.

Blog soon,

Amanda Gene

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