What its like having a learning disability as an adult.

What it’s like to have a learning disability as an adult going into the real world. 

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If you want to know about what its like having a learning disability I talked about it in a blog post here.  In this post I am going to talk about the struggles you face as an adult going into the working world with a learning disability. Because here I am with my difficulties I am writing a blog, got my masters in creative writing and trying to go into a career that has writing into it.

Being able to do that despite my difficulties really shows my character but I also hope it will shows others with or without a learning disability that even having these difficulties doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. You just work differently. You have other strengths and have extreme worth ethic.  A lot of time when working or when asked to do a job; we question ourselves if we can do it? We know what are challenges are, we worry about failing, but we say yes anyways. Because we learned to not only accept it but we know despite it we can do anything. However, there are times where we face it and we feel it all.

Once again at you and your sitting there trying your hardest to overcome it, to fight it, to succeed but its not enough.

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Those times come a lot when you get something back and it says “your spelling and grammar” or sometimes it can feel like everyone is telling you should know this when really you can’t–I have had MANY people tell me well your an English major you should know how to spell. And just cause it is called a learning disability it effects you outside of school too. Which makes it harder because now your face with new challenges all on your own-there is no IEP, no teacher, no resources. Just you.

You are struggling to write that e-mail. You’re faced with having someone spell their name but you keep hearing similar sounds. Your reading the requirements of a position and all you see is your difficulties.  You just want to tell people “Hey I have —” but not make it sound like an excuse but for them to understand you work differently.

As someone who writes and wants to go in a career that has writing in it and my grammar is not that great. It’s hard, because does that mean I don’t get the job. And this has always been my challenge that I not only had to work twice as hard but it’s something I have to fight towards others and show even though I can’t spell worth shit I have endless ideas because of my ADHD.

People with learning disabilities have had these challenges their whole life and fighting gets tiring a lot of the time because all we want is that career. And I think the most hard part is that having a learning disability isn’t visible. There is no red arrow above pointing at you. We are look like everyone else but our brains are different–so when we are faced with our challenges others  may see “are they stupid”. Sometimes

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Remember this: you have other skills that make you a strong key person to have for the job.

This has been ‘real’ for me my whole life. I have accepted my learning disability but here I am wanting  career that deals with writing maybe even visual communications despite my learning disability. Because I want it–and that drive will get me places. And the question I want to now ask everyone else is can you accept it? Can you accept someone with a learning disability? Can you not question them for writing the wrong their? Can you see how hard they work to succeed? Can you see their flaws are not flaws at all? Because someone with a learning disability needs the outside world to see how despite their challenges they can do the job. Maybe even harder then someone who hasn’t dealt with a learning disability all their life?

Note: Having a learning disability has other aspects including emotionally and mentally which I would love to talk more but I felt the focus of this was more on having ADHD & APD in the working/adult world.

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P.S if something is spelled wrong on here, I decided not to do the extra mile to emphasis more on how my learning disabilities effect and challenge me. It’s a metaphor. 

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Why Fidget Spinners are not a toy: lets talk about accommodations for kids with learning disabilities.

I am who I am and you are you, we are different and that is okay. 

I have a learning disability and the best way I can explain it to people is that my mind works different than others and sometimes I need things to help me keep up. This post is a talk about all things I’ve used and the frustration that comes along with it. Read to find out more.

fidget spinners how there not a toy blog post

I was in my economics class having to wait for the test to be passed out before I could leave. Usually I would come in and the teacher would hand me the test and I would go down to the room, no hassle. This time I had to awkwardly wait and then get embarrassed when I got up to leave, after the teacher nodded at me. The guy behind me tapped me on the shoulder as I got my bag ready, “why do you get to leave?” I told him “I need a quiet place, I get easily distracted, also I get my test read to me.” His answer was “I get distracted, why can’t I leave?” I was 11th grade, 17 years old, and knew exactly why and how I got those things said, “I have an IEP and I got tested, did you?” and walked right out.

This moment has stayed with me and re-plays in my mind when I come across similar situations. Like, fidget spinners; they are a popular thing that everyone’s selling, marketing, and treating like a toy, when fidget spinners are to help kids, like myself, to focus. It gives kids something to play with. It upsets me; so naturally, I’m going to write about it. And instead of going on a RANT I’m going to inform you about what I used to accommodate myself to succeed in school and in life.

  • Fidget ball: I got a fidget ball to play with in 1st grade. I remember sitting in reading time, legs folded up, ball in the middle. Playing with and being told I wasn’t supposed to show anyone or it would be taken away. I made sure of it. This helped me “fidget” around, get my nervous energy, or my energy somewhere while I could listen to the teacher. Even when I wasn’t looking or doodling in my notebook I still was listening. Being able to have that ball helped me; it wasn’t a toy.
  • Taking tests in a different room: I already mentioned the story about how I was asked by a student why I got to take my test in a different room than him. And I will say I never used it to my advantage, I always played by the rules. And even when taking a test in a different room it didn’t guarantee I passed the exam. I would love to show you my English syntax test. Taking a test in a room by myself helps me focus because there are no distractions I am able to feel a little at ease and read the exam out loud and talk out loud to myself.
  • Books on tape and/or having the test read to me: There were a couple of times in middle school that I would have the test read to me. Plus, I would get books on tape, or I would have my computer talk to me; I still do. Because I can easily misread or write the wrong word. I’m sure you have noticed that I will use the word “there” when I meant to type “their.” I just can’t see it or hear the difference. And sometimes I could read a word but it would be spelled wrong. And I WON”T SEE IT!
  • Notetaker/recorder/copy of notes: In college the one thing that was offered to me was a note taker, someone who would take the notes for me and/or I would get a copy of their notes so I wouldn’t miss anything. In high school, the teacher would give me their PowerPoint before class, or give me their notes, which was really handy. This was more for me to catch if I wrote down the wrong word and also for my comprehension.
  • Extra time on a test: I got either 20-30 minutes extra for tests so I wouldn’t feel rushed and could take my time. I know others can easily get test anxiety so I never took this for granted. Sometimes just having the extra time made me take my time. I did the extra things I needed to do to pass the test, like reading it out loud. I always felt guilt if I ended the exam early because I had the extra time.
  • Spellcheckers: Spelling is not my best, and yes I see the irony. But because I have dealt with this my whole life I work hard on my spelling. Checking it over and over; thank God for spell check. Yet, it isn’t enough. I use programs like Grammery or I have a handheld device where I type a word and it finds similar words I might want to use. And I create a cheat sheet of common words I misspell and how they really are spelled.
  • Smartpen: I had a few smartpens to write my notes and record what the teacher said. It was handy because the words I wrote down in the moment can play what was said at the time so if I missed something it was recorded. Also could put it on my computer.

And a lot more little things as well…

If people, like the kid behind me in my economics class, thinks having these things is a privilege they are 100% wrong. I needed these things, they weren’t something I took for granted, I used them to help me succeed. And even when I got to take my test in a different room I still had to know the stuff. I still failed some tests. The frustration is real, the hurt is real, and the unfairness or backlash I get is so unbelievable.

Having a learning disability means I just work differently than you and while learning I needed a few things to help me in the education system. I’m glad I get to talk about having a learning disability on here, so please let me know if you have any comments.  I was inspired to write this because of the fab with fidget spinners.

Life with learning disabilities.

 

I have written a post referring to my learning disabilities but I don’t think I have ever written a post about having to live with one. Because even referring to it as “learning” there are related things that affect how you function, how you comprehend, and how you handle things in everyday life.

Now if you didn’t know I have two disabilities; I have ADHD and auto processing disorder (meaning I can’t distinguish between certain sounds). I like to say I have double of everything- double being over whelmed, double short focus skills, double struggling with comprehension, and pronunciation. So that’s what I have and now after years of being so confused, and trying to understand what it was, how to tell people, how to apply myself, ask for accommodations in my courses, and to be okay with them. I have realized how to deal with my disabilities. Because they will never go away, they are a part of you and the sooner you accept that the faster you can just be you.

So here it is how someone lives with a learning disability from MY perspective….

Explaining to people….

First off, telling people leads to a lot of questions because most people are curious about my disability and surprised that I could have them. But in a few rare cases a lot of people can easily be judgmental. Or they tell me that they have one too and if they could do it then I can do it; or they felt that if I get to take my test in another room why can’t they? I just say  everyone is different.

The hardest part in telling people that you have a disability is making it sound like you are giving an excuse,  when really you aren’t. You’re telling them well my brain works different than yours. I do things differently than you (even if you have an L.D too). I never used it as an excuse; I never too advantage of my accommodations, and I try my hardest to overcome the obstacles that they through at me. And I like when people can see that instead of being critical.

I never use to tell people about the disabilities. I never use to write about them and now I can’t stop; and think that not only helped me accept them but also embrace them.

Social skills…

 Another difficulty is dealing with people because you can easily get frustrated, and they can easily get frustrated. You can easily appear to be too straight forward.  You can get easily overwhelmed in situations that seem so normal- small places and loud noises can get to you. So while others are in the coffee shop having a conversation you may be sitting in the corner trying to act normal when really you can’t sit still, fighting the urge to put your hands over your ears to block out all noises while you try to do things.

The story I tell people is about years ago shopping at MOA in the old Forever 21. It was large (not as large as it now) and it was messy, everything was everywhere and it could get overwhelming. I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t finding what I wanted, people kept crowding around me, and others’ opinions weren’t helping. My sister sat me down and told me to stay as she went and picked things out. I was probably around 16, unconfident, unaware, unsure of not only who I was but also what was going on in my head. It was really comforting that I had my sister there to understand and be my life preserver.

I think when it comes to being in the public and having to try your hardest to get over your struggles it is not only embracing but makes you feel vulnerable. I don’t like to seem vulnerable, but over the years I have come to terms to let people see how I can overcome my disabilities. Some people can’t handle it, which is alright. It can be hard to grasp yet I think that shows more about them than you.

Being different….

 This world is not designed for everyone; it’s designed for the average- if you fit on that average scale good for you, if you succeed even better. However, if you are under that line, you’re looked down on because you show how you do not function the way the world is built also to them you’re not going anywhere. But in reality you’re the biggest threat because you have more drive and will power to go places.

We say being different isn’t a bad thing yet when you are different there are always those negative, judgmental comments that make you feel like you can’t even be different that different has a standard as well. And it’s hipster.

So your brain works differently, so you see things differently, so you have to do things differently. That doesn’t make you different that makes you, you.

You are human….

This can easily be forgotten, especially for me, since I have these challenges I am always really determined to get through my challenging moments. And I’ve learned to tell myself and others that I am human, I am my own person and I have my limits. I have the right to be who I am.  You are not superhuman.

If you are like me and have many challenges you have to face and want to show you can do anything, but sometimes you can’t and that’s hard to grasp, for your own sake it’s best that you don’t overload yourself.

Conclusion…..

You are who you are, disability and all. It’s who you are- and if you can’t see that and embrace it well you are going to have a hard time, not only to control it but to overcome it. People are going to see what they want in you, but, ignore them and know that they don’t know everything.

You are you not what the L.D defines you as.

xox

Kole

 

 

Holiday Lookbook: 90s vibes

My Goals for Blogging for 2018 and lookbook for those Holiday Paries….

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I  was talking to my friend about how I wanted to do Holiday themed stuff but I don’t want to do what I’ve seen, that looks so perfectly places or an Ad yet I am not getting paid so why should I make it look like one? When I could make it more artistic, more me, more real? And that’s the thing that I feel so frustrating with blogging the lack of creativity, along with how its so copy and paste. I look at other accounts, other bloggers, see what they do, for inspiration but also to figure out what I can do to increase my blog. Looking at the hashtags they use, what they post, filters, what the say etc. And I do all that, but I’m still not getting anywhere and I question is it me? The Girl who isn’t afraid to be herself!?

I know I say don’t care about numbers which I don’t but to say that my goal by March, my birthday month, is to have 1,000 followers by than. It isn’t really me caring about the numbers but more of a goal and achievement. Here I am sharing realism, imperfection, flaws, writing about topics and subjects that not many bloggers talk about until after they have a following, but I talked right from the start about my body and tattoos, I talked about being a feminist, young girls, depression, having a learning disability, struggled of moving back etc. Doing that is so against everything what blogging is (big chunk but not always). People want flawless, they want perfection, they want to talk about clothes, you want christmas gift list, you want me to tell you when a sale is happening, have a discount code when really you could go on the website and see there is one there for you. I don’t want to reach 1,000 followers by doing that. And if I reach a 1,000 followers by being 100% that means I’ve changed something, I made an impact. A 1,000 followers would mean that there is change and finally being real and perfectly imperfect means something.

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But instead every time I DON’T post a picture of me standing in the street with an outfit, telling you about how I got a coffee and go to this link to find what I am wearing OR take the right perfectly places picture on the street- I lose followers. We say being different is good thing, than why do we still want to be like everyone else?

I could easily do it, I know how exactly what to be and wear to be liked, to get those 1,000 followers. But it wouldn’t feel good and I sure in hell wouldn’t be me. If I reach 1,000 followers instagram it is saying that its okay to staying true to yourself.Holiday Lookbook 90s Vibe A City Girl Story H&M silver tang top.jpg

Don’t get me wrong I don’t need strangers or anyone telling me that its okay for me being me. But the battle of staying true to yourself no matter what is still a hard one. Not only in blogging.   And if it doesn’t happen this year well maybe next year. Because to be perfectly honest my main goal is for people to READ my blog. And to not only love and enjoy the visual content that I work so hard to create but to read my words under the pictures–and to have a reaction, spark a conversation, not comment below with an emoji unless its the elephant one. Or text telling me how I’m cute just to give me a compliment that I didn’t need or ask for, when you could have read my blog and started a conversation via that instead. What I want is for you to read my words so if its not 1,000 followers at least 2018 let’s read my words and not make me give up blogging because my god this has been annoying year.

My other goals for blogging 2018 is to put out better more visual appealing content, I want to expand city girl story into different outlets which could be a little scary because I am a writer; writing is what I do. Podcast has crossed my mind.

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Trying to make it in the working world, the truth from a 20 something girl with a masters.

you hear it over and over again, we are snowflakes, lazy generation. And my response is you don’t know my life. So, if you really want to know what it’s like to be a millennium trying to make a life for herself in a society that makes you feel like you need to have that house, job, and so much by now read. 

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Holding my completed thesis from University College Cork.

If you’re not following me on instagram, why aren’t you? I posted something middle of July of a long caption basically confessing how I am going through something personal and how I think about if I don’t share it am I even being real. And how sometimes not sharing is just fine. THIS BLOG POST is me telling what’s going on, it wasn’t going to be it was going to be how to get through difficult days, but how many list can you read. I decided that after having the 100th disappointment come my way after 9 months of chugging alone, feeling so discourage, losing my determination;  I should write this what if someone else out there is in the same boat. 

People keep telling me that it’ll work out in the end, something will come soon. And how lucky they have so a positive perspective, I am not an optimistic at all–I’ve been disappointed and crushed by high hopes for so long I will admit I am bitter. What drives me is my determination, my mind set for when I want something there is no stopping me. But after so many ‘strike outs’ I don’t have that determination, I have frustration and tears, and fears that for the rest of my life I’m not going to get pass working retail and will never have that life I left Ireland for. It’s like I’m back in my final year of college trying to pass English Syntax; getting those test back with D’s all over them while the guy next to me got an A, but saw he had something marked off and he’s ready to fight. OH I”M DONE! That is exactly how I feel every time when I don’t get that job.

I began to wonder what can I do. Is it because of my blog? Being so honest and real, people don’t like that, talking about being a women in this world, having a learning disability. I wonder how other ladies do it, how they are so successful, how they make it through so many no’s to their face. I really get discourage when I find out they’re younger then me, and I’m like did I miss my door? Never compare yourself. 

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here’s a puppy to make life a little better

I read so many articles of millennium and the statistics of how we aren’t lazy but how we are a generation with the largest of jobless careers. (when I find that article I read I’ll link it here). What do you expect when they want for experience is 10 years and you’re like at 14, I was babysitting. Or what about how they combine writing with web page design. The pressure of societies expectations, from relatives faces, fact you knew how great your life was and now look at yourself. You can’t help but feel like a total fucking failure.  I’m not saying this cause I want pity I’m saying this to let ladies out there who are feeling like shit, disappointed, and looking them selves in the mirror with disappointment–that you’re not alone on the whole fucking suck scale. And you wish people will stop telling you it’ll work out because all you want is for it to JUST work out!

Because all you want is a life, for that apartment in the city, to afford the apartment in the city, to have benefits–don’t even get me started. To not feel like despite having a masters you’re worth it. To not feel like you wasted 4 years of a degree. They told you to go to college and that’s not even enough. SCREAM!

10 minutes and a work out later. I bounce back, with still struggles, still so many questions what else can I do, feel discourage for you don’t even know. The struggle is there are a lot of people out there-250 people applied for that position, the baby boomers are still working. And you’re kind of what can you bring to the table other than “yourself.” You really got to sell yourself, something I’m really trying to work on. I was asked “why me” the first time I answered:  “oh god what if the other person is nice,” that shows my character but guess you can’t show that your a caring person. Then the struggle in finding that actual job you want.  Honestly feel like this side of the world really does not put a lot of credit to creative jobs or people. For instance, I see other girls making content for a coffee shop or a pub in England. Here there is nothing like that. Trust me I looked, I even try doing freelance positions but again I feel like its the door thing & not much out there. It is worst than Ikea directions! 

quote.jpgThough, I don’t have any suggestions on what more can you do, what can you put on your CV or in cover letters, because I am still trying to figure that out. What I can tell you is so many times in school after failure, failing out of syntax and actually getting into my car ready to drop out of college, the fact I didn’t, those struggles were hard but I got through them. Look at all the stories I’ve said, the moments I shared.  I am not a patient and high hopes person, like I said, but I do know failure always wins. So I say take a break, try to take the pressure off yourself and wait to apply when you’re not feeling so discouraged but feeling confident. So many times when I bounce back still having tears in my eyes, looking at jobs kind of just makes it worst. I get it you want to have that career, you want to get out of this shit whole your feeling, you want to use what you not only went to school for, but love doing. And you just wish it would! My friend told me that there’s an Irish saying “whats for you won’t pass you” & so far a lot of the things/people that have pass me were never for me, it took awhile to realise that, so I believe in that saying.

WOW. that felt good to write. If you too are going through the same struggles and frustration let me know if this helped in anyway, or have any advise. That is why I wrote this not for pity I said it because someone else out there is probably sitting on her bedroom floor screaming into a pillow and wanting to give up just let her life be what it is.

2017 & A City Girl Story.

What’s to become of A City Girl Story in 2017.

If you follow me you know that A City Girl Story is my voice, my story, and a place where I write about things that I know and feel would be interesting to share with my readers. I’m writing for the every day girl because I am an every day girl. A City Girl story is a blog for people to read, enjoy, get advice from, and maybe become inspired. Sometimes I will write about personal things like my disability, but I am careful to be selective on what I share so that I am no too exposed. I will never hold a camera to my face and I will keep some moments of my life private because those moments aren’t a city girl story.

That being said I have some plans for 2017 for A City Girl Story, I plan to do:

  • creative writingI’ve said this a lot and I really want to put my writing on my blog, but its harder to share because a lot of creative stuff take time, edit, writing, and rewriting. But I’m quite fast. 
  • topics.  I’d like to talk about more issues that girls face. I’ve done a few pieces like these, a lot more talked about in my “city girl story” post. However I’d like to go away from the “I” and into more ‘looking at it’, lets talk about it issues like body confidence.  
  • more on style.  I say this a lot but I never really do  it, I post pictures and if I am in them I have clothes on but I never really did like a lookbook.
  • share my photography. not on my blog, but through A City Girl Story with a new Instagram account called Where She Stood. I am going to test the waters because it’s something to do during the evening. While some people read books, I edit photos.

A lot of these things are for me to just get myself out there more, to not be afraid or second guess myself and just post them out. I’ve done a lot of research about blogging and I learned to really be a good blogger you have to,

  • Put in the time and effort
  • prepare and plan
  • have good content
  • network and communicate with other bloggers
  • love it!

I’m learning that my skills I used in school planning, being organized and always being two weeks ahead editing, and really working at something are still useful. Those things will help me not only with blogging but to become a better writer and get me where I want to be in life. Because I want to get more into blogging, which I do, I post once a week, but I feel like I can do a lot more-I can create so much more then what I have done. And I thought I was going to go at in October but I wasn’t ready. Now 2017 I’ve done my research, I figured out what works, and how to put in my time and effort. Of course, content!

So what is to become of my blog A City Girl Story? I want it to become a voice for all girls!