A series of reminders that I wish I didn’t have to remind fellow students about, because they SHOULD be common knowledge:
- You should never simply assume that someone who has accommodations in school is just using their disability as a crutch to get privileges, or an ‘easy way out’ that no one else has. That is personally insulting to anyone who knows what it’s like to struggle through school and make good grades even though it is wicked hard.
- Do not miss the point of the accommodations. My accommodations are not in place to make sure I get a better grade than you do. They are not an unfair advantage. They are in place because I have scientifically documented challenges that manifest themselves in very real and frustrating ways during my everyday life.
- I do not get extra study time, nor are any of my assignment deadlines adjusted because I have a disability. You get two days? I get two days. You get two months? I get two months.
- I get extra time to take the test, and the test only, unless, like any other student, I have specifically arranged with my professor to make up an assignment. I get extra time on the test because, hello, I need the extra time. This is not a game of ‘I can take my test whenever I want and then leave early.’ This is the serious business of ‘If I don’t have this extra time, it’s possible that I will fail the test because of the way my brain works.’
- Getting these accommodations was not easy for me. First, I had to have medical documentation of a disability (which required extensive testing). Then, I had to schedule an appointment to go into the Educational Accessibility office and explain my challenges. This finally resulted in a list of a few things I’m allowed to do. Why would I go through all that trouble to get a tiny list of items if I didn’t truly need the accommodations?
- Just because I ‘don’t look disabled’ doesn’t mean I don’t face real obstacles.
Go walk in my shoes for a week. Experience what it’s like to feel dumb because you have to ask the professor to repeat a question, what it’s like to fall behind in class because you can’t write a sentence without your hand becoming shaky and sore, what it’s like to be laughed at because it takes you longer to figure out how to sign in to class. After you’ve done all this, I dare you. I dare you to come back here and tell me accommodation is ‘just an excuse.’I’ll bet good money that you wouldn’t dream of it.
Think before you speak. Ableism is real, and words leave scars. Be an ally. Be a friend. Always seek to understand.
Apparently, some of my fellow students think it’s OK to laugh at me.
I feel like anxiety is a switch in my head: when the switch is turned on, whatever crazy nonsense I’m thinking, no matter what it is, makes perfect sense. When the switch is turned off, it’s as if I completely forgot what it’s like to be anxious. Has anyone else had this?
I apologize for my absence, y’all. I am currently a freshly-minted college student. I don’t have too much time to do anything, let alone think about my disability. I do that enough for school already.
Anonymous asked: Do you ever feel like you're smaller some days and other days feel taller/bigger?
Yes, I think I get what you mean. My self-confidence fluctuates from day to day. Some days I feel like I could do almost anything (these are my ‘tall’ days). Other days, however, I find that I lack most of my self-confidence and/or pride in who I am. (These are what you’d probably call my ‘small’ or ‘short’ days.)
Hopefully, that answers your question!
I just recently realized how important it is for me to have my motivation wall (sticky notes on the wall with happy messages on them). I had to take it down when we moved the furniture in my room around. But now it’s back up, on a different wall. :D
Anonymous asked: Is being unable to visualize things in your mind a dyscalculic thing? I know it affects visual-spacial things, but I struggle to "see" things in detail when imagining or recalling them.
I don’t know…perhaps it could be for you.
I know it isn’t for me personally…I have…well, it seems sacrilege to say an eidetic memory, but I have an abnormally good memory for things I’ve seen and things I’ve read.
Every dyscalculic person is different, though, so, shrug, perhaps it might be in your case. :)
What the anon describes actually sounds like an NLD thing. I have the same problem—no visual map in my head.
Anonymous asked: just wanted to send you a message to say how great i find this blog and how helpful it is in gaining further understanding of life from my sisters perspective and hopefully being able to interact with her in a more mutual and enjoyable way (aka knowing to explain emotions/feelings im experiencing explicitly and encouraging her to do the same)
There are no words for how happy this message makes me. :D Thank you for writing!!!