Students Speak: School Was Always a Struggle for Me, Part 2

This is part 2 of our series from ResearchILD intern, Acadia Connor, a recent high school graduate who has dyslexia and is a college-bound honors student. Acadia recently addressed a State of Massachusetts Education Committee on dyslexia advocacy through Learning Ally. Check out part 1 here and watch the whole video below. Here is part two of her inspiring talk:

Despite stress, many tears, and hours of tutoring, I find myself in high school doing well academically. I am taking two honors courses — something I never thought I would or could do.

I am working to reduce my accommodations because in the workforce I will not be given extra time to write a report for my boss. I have begun to take less time on tests and take more quizzes in the classroom.

Having dyslexia has connected me to a larger community. For two summers during middle school, I attended The Carroll School, a school with a special dyslexia summer program. I was with other teens who were exactly like me and had the same struggles. Given that 1 in 5 people have dyslexia, I am constantly finding new members of this community rather than in a separate room.

I am inspired by how successful dyslexics are. Richard Branson, the CEO of the Virgin brands, is dyslexic and owns his own island! Branson has a positive outlook on dyslexia and how it helps you see things most people do not. He is the reason I am proud to be a dyslexic.

As the years go on, I have developed a love for being dyslexic. Dyslexics are special in how they see the world and can come up with ideas ‘normal’ people don’t. Dyslexia is a constant journey. I will always struggle with writing coherently in one draft, and I will have to check my b’s from my d’s. But I know that I have gone through a lot of adversity and that has only made me more prepared for the world. Do not underestimate dyslexics because that kid you laughed at in class could be your boss someday.

A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to speak to the school committee at the state house. The room was filled and people were spilling out into the hall. The committee seemed extremely engaged and concerned about the issue of dyslexia. The event once again demonstrated the amazing community of dyslexics.”

  • Michael Greschler, M.Ed., SMARTS Director