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Disability and Access to Education

jrschwartz15's picture

" In addition to looking a little different, learning disabilities are common affects of Turner’s Syndrome. Before being diagnosed, many Turner Syndrome girls are actually led to believe they had ADHD or other more general learning disabilities. In my case, I had 11 years before my diagnosis told me the laundry list of things I shouldn’t be able to do and until the point had not been aware of the term “limits.” There are some Turner’s patients who are diagnosed earlier than I was, some even at birth. The average age of diagnosis for Turner’s, however, is around 15 or 16 years old. As a result, each patient has wildly different experiences in their formative years thus noticeably different educational experiences.  " 

For my essay, I decided to focus on how disability can define a student's access to education. As a person with a disability, I focused my paper more or less on Turner's Syndrome and it's impact. Surprisingly, I made some new discoveries about my own disability in researching for the paper. Newer research shows a connection between Turner's and ADD/ADHD. I was previously unaware of the link and a lot of the challenges I have faced academically now make sense. Upon this discovery I discussed it with one of my good friends back home who manages her ADD without meds. When I told her, she responded "You didn't know you had ADD?" I know I can be a little over the top at times and do often drift from work causing me to move at a slower pace, but I had never connected the dots...

This research was important for me personally because now I know another aspect of my general health and can find ways to better manage my disability. Particularly in the case of invisible disabilities such as Turner's Syndrome and ADD/ADHD, there is a profound impact on a student's access to education not only in having to compensate for the disability but how to work through the limits of being labeled by a condition. Going into detail about this process was informative and almost theraputic in helping me rethink my personal experiences.