Trying to be the perfect mother, my mom subscribed my older brother and me to a book club during my toddler hood. Arriving in the mail box every week, hard back books wrapped in thick cardboard were anticipated by my family. Eagerly, my mother and I hand in hand walked to the mail box to receive our weekly reading material. My brother seemed to read easily as my mother gently held me tight as he perused the pages. He was only seven. I can remember thinking that reading will be difficult for me and I actually felt intimidated by his advance reading skills. Looking at the illustrations was my favorite. One book, King Bidgood, we read over and over.
Before long, I was able to recognize simple words but struggled with more than one syllable words. Sooner or later, I realized that my brother Stephen read at an accelerated level while I continued to work harder than ever to achieve the simplest forms of reading. While reading continues to be a challenge, I am excited to find that I now enjoy reading and also notice a significant improvement in my ability to read and comprehend.
Oddly enough, I realized that I had a learning disability before anyone else. Buying my favorite magazine, Seventeen, I found a check list to determine if one has a disability. Sadly, I answered nine out of the ten questions suggesting that I indeed did. Telling my mother, she was not surprised but chose not to pursue the problem earlier because she did not want me to be labeled. Then, we decided that being tested by the my junior high school would benefit me as I was working very hard and receiving average grades. My teachers were astounded because I had compensated for my disability by hard work with support and assistance from my mother.
Life suddenly became easier. Guidance counselors, teachers, and other support staff met frequently with my mom and me. Happily, I made the honor roll for the first time during ninth grade. Success was a new feeling to me and I liked it. I...