I am a 22-year old young woman with learning disabilities. I have had a lot of services throughout my school life. Outside of the school setting in my early elementary years, I received vision therapy and occupational therapy. Throughout my whole school life I have had a lot of special educational services.
In kindergarten, I went to a private school. I then went to a school district where I was in Diagnostic Developmental Kindergarten. After the first part of the year in the DDK program, I went to DDK part of the day and I spent part of the day in first grade. The DDK program was at a school in a public school district.
From second to sixth grade I was a student at another elementary school. The services I received in elementary school were that I went to the resource from for reading, language, and math. I also received speech-language therapy, and I had occupational therapy for a couple of my early elementary years.
In junior high, I went to school in another district. At the school I was tested to see if I qualified for the learning disabilities resource program at the school but I didn’t qualify. I was in the reading lab which I think was lower reading class and I was in the low math class. The rest of my classes were regular. I graduated from eighth grade in 1993.
In the fall of 1993, I started high school in another school district. In my freshman year of high school, I started out by taking all regular classes. I think I was having a hard time with the classes or the work in my classes, so I was tested by the school psychologist and I was able to get special education services. I was put in smaller, special education classes for English and math. Eventually, in my freshman year of high school I was put into an integrated science class where there were students with disabilities and students without disabilities. In the rest of my high school yeas I was in integrated classes, smaller special education classes, and regular education classes. In my senior year of high school I was in a work adjustment class. In this class we talked about career related things. We got credit for going to this class at school and we got credit for working at a job. I worked at a day care center. I graduated from high school in 1997.
I continued to work at the day care center until I got a job in a school district as a teacher’s assistant. I think I worked at the day care center for 2 1/2 years. I have been working as a teacher’s assistant for almost 2 1/2 years. I worked at a developmental preschool at an elementary school and I also worked with Mildly Mentally Retarded students who are 1st and 2nd grade students at an elementary school.
Today I am an instruction assistant in a special education classroom in a public school district. I am going to college to get a degree so that I can teach children with special needs. Right now I have 19 credits at the local community college. I will transfer those credits to the state university where I will continue my studies for another two years. Once I complete those classes and my student teaching I will be able to help students with learning disabilities as a classroom teacher.