14 May

Life is like a garden it is beautiful when the flowers blossom, but frustrating when you hit a rough patch and growth is stunted. How defeating it is when you plant a seed, tenderly care for it and nothing happens. Having a learning disability has caused me to hit many rough patches in my life. Many of these hard spots, have not been related to the disability itself, but rather the barriers created by others. I have learned how to manage having these patches, but other barriers create more difficulty.  I have experienced tough patches in school, the community, and in the workplace.

 My school years were the first rough patch I experienced. I can remember struggling with learning, especially anything math related. My teachers would plant the seeds of knowledge, but I struggled to grasp the information. I had to have specialty instruction and accommodations to learn.   My brain needed to have a different way to learn and process information. Despite the differential instruction, some things such as math, I am unable to learn

. Some of my teachers and other professionals did not think that I could go to college or achieve other dreams of mine because of my difficulty in math. They did not believe that I had the potential to bloom. Rather than provide me the resources on how I would best blossom outside of school, I was encouraged to go to a trade school. I decided to follow my heart and go after my dreams. I am glad that I did, even though I hit many rough spots along the way.  Thankfully I did find that I had subjects such as reading, and writing that I did well in, they helped me to get through the rough spots. I also reached a rough patch socially in school. I was picked on because I did not fit in with the other flowers. I did not learn like they did and could not hide my differences. The ground was tough and was not the ideal place to grow socially either.  No matter how hard I tried I could not make a friend and was bullied. I eventually found my friends, in gardens beyond my school community. I have hit rough patches in the community.

 I am unable to drive and when there is not transportation it can be hard for me. The bus service we have is limited and does not go into the rural areas of our community. When I used Para transit service for people with disabilities, I found it to be unreliable. The bus would either come too early or would come late. I was also forgotten about and left without a ride. I have had to turn down job opportunities because I could not get there and back.  My husband is able to drive me to work and wherever else I need to go. I also have a sweet coworker, who takes me home at the end of the day.I have also hit rough patches in the workplace. I have had employers who could not understand why it takes me longer to process information and learn how to do job tasks. Many times, people think that I am not paying attention, or I am lazy. I had a job that let me go because I made too many clerical mistakes and thought that I purposefully made these mistakes to be fired and collect unemployment. Some tasks such as math I simply cannot do. I have to advocate to myself by letting by coworkers, and boss know this information. I dread having to ask others for accommodations. It truly never gets easier, but it makes me a better advocate.   Every time that I do it, I become more skilled at it and have learned to work through the discomfort. 

 Once I have the right supports and accommodations in place, I can blossom and thrive. Hitting the rough patches is inevitable for me. I have struggled in the past with facing tough situations. I have had troubles in school, the community, and the workplace. Despite all of my efforts I could not grow and was stuck. I was able to get unstuck and grow through the rough patches. I will also experience hard spots in the future, but it will pass. The path will get smooth, and I will have a more beautiful bloom then I could ever imagine.

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