Tag Archives: IEP

Young Author Celebrates Learning Disabilities Month

The other day I posted a blog about being able to write a book in a week. Some people are born to write and I was one of them, but it wasn’t always apparent that I would be a writer. Before I had this ambitious dream to not go to college and be an author, I was a fifth grader reading at a third grade level.

I would like to say that I was horrible at everything. I loved loved loved learning, but when I was tested on a subject it seemed like I wasn’t learning at all. It bummed me out when I never had a sticker on my paper. My teachers, even in third grade, were asking for me to stay after to re think things. On projects I always got high marks because I had a creative mind. I was always looking for a way to take a project to the next level. I remember having a project on animals and I video taped an interview with a giraffe or my project on “Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William Mckinley and Me, Elizabeth” I made a quilt to show the stages of the book. My way of showing what I was learning was different from everyone else.

Different. I don’t think teachers were trained to have different kids in their class. I had teachers that were older and they were set in their ways. It was as if they didn’t see that kids could have different ways of going about things. I don’t know whether they didn’t have time to help or didn’t think the extra help would work. One of my teachers told my mom that I just need to work harder, but they didn’t understand that I was frustrated because I was giving them 110%.

Finally in fourth grade I had a younger teacher, who paid attention to detail. She saw that I was writing letters backwards and even forgetting whole words. Looking back I can remember one time when she asked me to write with her. I talked and she wrote everything I said. I had always been a great talker and I think she realized that I could talk well, but something was happening when I tried to write. She talked to my mom and I got tested. It makes me so happy that I’m almost in tears that she got me tested. Being tested was a turning point in my life.

They found that I had auditory processing disorder. My brain couldn’t process things like other people. I was getting the message, but when it came to spitting it back out on a test I couldn’t do it. Fifth grade was a learning year. I was placed in the special small classes and given many different ways to complete test. I absolutely loved the small classes. I really felt cared for in those classes. I was still a bit shy when asking questions about things I didn’t understand, but my confidence started to build.

My first A in math in fifth grade was one of the happiest moments for me and my mom. I was dancing around in the kitchen singing the I’ve got an A song. My butt was shaking. I didn’t care I was on top of the world. From that moment on I’ve always had the attitude that practicing and working hard I can do anything. I used to think that I was just horrible at everything, but I wasn’t. I just had different way of seeing things and finally I was being taught the way my brain needed.

I remember riding in the car with my mom and her explaining that I have a learning disability. She was explaining everything that was going to happen and the meetings I would have to attend with her. After she explained everything to me, I quickly told her that I don’t have a disability I have a difference. Learning disability to says that I have thing that’s disabling me from learning. No, I’m not limited on things I can learn. I only learn differently from everyone else. The Individual Education Plan or I.E.P that I got explained why I learned differently. I think this made my mom happy to know that I didn’t look down on myself.

By high school I was caught up to a normal reading and writing level. I still had trouble with a few things and I went into small classes for certain subjects. I was good with asking questions and making sure that my teachers taught in ways that I could understand. My counselor wasn’t the easiest person to talk to. To me, she was lazy. I would tell her that a teacher doesn’t pay me any attention and I needed extra help, but wasn’t receiving it. She would tell me to just put up with it. I skipped over talking to her. I went straight to my LD office and they would say this is what your IEP says and you aren’t receiving it, so we will get you into another class. I spoke up and got what I needed.

Aside from teachers there were also students in and outside of classes that seemed to look down on the LD program. I had many classmates see me alk into my small class room and say are you in a stupid class? why is your class so small? You know the small special classes are for stupid people? Then there were people in my own small classes that would say to people, we’re in small classes. we are stupid. I HATED THIS! Of course I stood up for the classes and I stood up for people in that class. We aren’t stupid. We learn differently and we learn at a different pace. We are learning the same thing as everyone else and we take the same standard state test. I don’t let people talk bad about a program that has helped me succeed.

The learning disabilities/ difference program helped me plan out my thoughts that I could see in my mind. The planning that I used for small projects when I was in elementary school helped me and continues to help me. I believe that the LD program turned me into the fast writer that I am today. I am a success story. I’m so grateful to all the teachers and parents that supported me and taught me to be a better me.

I’m always explaining to new kids in the program that they aren’t stupid. Don’t let anyone tell you that. You pay attention in your classes, you do your work and you will see that what these teachers in this program are teaching you will help you in the future. So many people are surprised with what happens after they are put into a program where teachers work with them and care for them individual.

Sometimes I think I should be a motivational speakers as well. (:

 

Ellie Grace

http://www.elliegracenation.weebly.com

http://www.voxacademyseries.com

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L.D. Kid

I am and always will be an L.D. student. L.D. stands for Learning Disability. I don’t like that label because it seems as if I am saying that I am disabled and cannot learn something. That is clearly not true. I can learn anything that a normal student can, but I have a different way to feed it into my mind and remember it. To me I have a learning difference.

Most people never know that I have a learning difference unless I talk about it. I am realizing now that I need to talk about it more because there are L.D. students out there that feel they won’t be able to ever get to the same place as the rest of the students at their school. I felt this way when I started out in fourth grade, but as the years went on things started to work so smoothly for me. I give so much credit to the L.D. program and the teachers who worked with me for my success with writing.

If you told me in fourth grade and any years before that I was going to be a published author by the time I was 18, I would have never believed you. Before I was in the system I was in normal classes and things were really hard to understand. Many of my teachers told my mom that I wasn’t working hard enough and that I pay attention fine in class, but I am not working hard enough in my work. My mom knew this wasn’t true. I loved all my teachers before fourth grade, but fourth grade was were I started to appreciate a teacher for what she really does. In fourth grade, my teacher noticed that something wasn’t right. She took the time to talk with me and try to figure out what I was trying to say. She realized that I was a lot smarter than I was putting down on paper. She also realized that I was writing numbers and letters backwards. When I look at how my writing used to be and all the mistakes, I think how didn’t any of my other teachers notice this? I am just thankful that she noticed. Fourth grade was the year things started to kick into high gear for me.

My teachers noticed that I had a lot of ideas and I was always talking about things, but I never wrote them down. They started helping me use organizers and plotting graphs to help me figure out my thoughts. Once I reached middle school I started to write more. I kept a few journals and I wrote many poems. I didn’t start writing long stories till the beginning of high school.

High school was when I started to crack out of my shell. I knew that reading and writing were my subjects. Grammar rules and punctuation weren’t strong and I know I still have a lot of work with that, but my writing was an illness. Through my late high school years I wrote all the time and I didn’t want to do anything, but write. My mind was realizing that my ideas could really come to life now that I knew how to write what I was thinking and seeing in my mind.

When I talk about my writing style people start to see that I am a visual learner and you start to see that writing is what I was supposed to do. I get ideas for writing a story every day and every situation is a good one for a story I might write sometime. My mind plays movies that are waiting to be told. Even in my dreams at night I have stories that want to be told. If I could write all day without my hands getting tired I would finish books in 3 days. I see the story from start to finish in my mind and all I have to do is write. Without the L.D. program I don’t think I would ever be able to make the connection I do with my mind to my pen.

Many people have learning differences, but I don’t think you are disabled. I don’t think you should ever think that you can’t become something because you learn differently. It made may be a struggle, but when you make it to your goal the finish line is so much sweeter.  The teachers in the L.D. system believe in you and you should believe in you too.

-Check out my book, The High School Stories by me, Ellie Grace on Amazon.com. There’s a  cute short story in there about learning disabilities (:

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