Having dyslexia, Mary has a strong will and even stronger determination to learn. Watching Mary while she studies, you would never know that she has dyslexia. Every day she can be found sitting at her study table, surrounded by books and papers spread out everywhere. Her big brown eyes are fixated on the pages of her book, not once looking up to check out her surroundings, but only a slight glance at her watch to make sure she’s not late for her next class.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder. It’s when a person is having difficulty understanding written language; some letters may appear scrambled, backwards or even upside down to those who have dyslexia.
Mary was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was in the third grade; it has always been a set back for her. Mary said, “I thought I was too dumb to learn anything, that’s why I was having so many problems in school.” But after speaking with Mary many times, I quickly learned that she is far from being dumb. She is so bright and intelligent; she just learns differently. If someone was to read to her instead of her having to read the material herself, she is more capable of learning a lot faster.
Mary allowed this disorder to stop her from continuing her education after high school. She stated, “I always thought that the teachers didn’t want to help me, so I always took all the easier classes. I had no idea that at that time they just didn’t know how to help me.” With her strong will and determination pushing her to learn, Mary decided that the only way to get ahead in life was to go back to school and to face her fears of learning head on.
Her determination drives her to study hard and to continue to learn. She still struggles, but she’s no longer letting her dyslexia stop her. Mary knows the challenges that await her and college can be hard, but she’s ready to face them and to prove to herself and to everyone else that she can do it. Mary plans on obtaining her degree in Medical Assisting in 2012, and possibly moving on into nursing. By making the decision to go back to school, she has not only inspired me to do the same, but she has also shown her two sons that when they have the determination, and set their mind to it, they can do anything.
There are times when she gets frustrated with herself because it seems like it takes her months to catch on in class. She has to read pages over and over again to make sense of things, because when she reads it the first time the contents seem so out of place. She said, “Sometimes I’m not exactly sure about what I am reading; at times it seems that the sentences jump around, but once I have read the material two to three times, the story begins to fall into place.” There are times that even in math class things get so scrambled up for her, sometimes she reads the numbers backwards and then the answer is wrong and once again she’s frustrated, but she keeps going.
Mary tells others that have dyslexia, or other learning disabilities, that they should never give up, just because they’re afraid to learn. There is help out there for people with learning disabilities; all you have to do is ask. Having her friends and family to encourage her, makes her more determined to try and do her best. It gives her the confidence she needs to excel and push herself every day.