“Learning Differences in the Classroom” – by Ash Anupindi

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This student story was originally published in blue bean‘s first print issue which highlighted the topic of learning differences. You can read this story, more never-before-seen student stories, exclusive articles written by our staff members, and media created by our staff artist when you purchase the issue here

For my whole life, I have struggled with ADD and ADHD, but the real story begins in my sophomore year of high school.

I spent a whole year of my life almost unable to read and write. When I was fifteen years old, I spontaneously began writing my letters backward. I was unaware that I was writing this way and was able to read it normally. Luckily, my teachers, coaches, family, and friends noticed that something was off and recommended that I test for dyslexia and dysgraphia. The test was negative and my family and I came to the conclusion that my backward writing was the result of an unusual amount of stress and anxiety. They reasoned that it’s very similar to how people bite their nails under pressure, but in my case, I just reversed my letters.

I was also struggling to read. The sentences on the page would blur and overlap and I was constantly seeing double. I was diagnosed with convergence insufficiency, meaning my eyes had trouble working together. With the help of neurologists, I was able to manage convergence insufficiency but I still suffer from it during especially stressful periods of my life. I have also been sent to an occupational therapist who told me to start from square one. She gave me one of those handwriting practice books that you receive when you are first learning how to write. This coupled with other exercises that I had to endure were emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. My mental health was at an all-time low and I struggled with severe depression. There were many who doubted me, but there were plenty more who believed in me, and I couldn’t have pushed through this without them. 

Graduating high school and going to college was a dream that felt unattainable for a long time. I am happy to say that I am now able to read and write and continue to improve every day. I am studying to become an occupational therapist to help kids who are struggling with similar issues.