Another Adult Success Story

I was diagnosed  with a learning disability in the third grade.  My parents had told me that I was special and that it was okay.  I did not understand what they meant by the word "special", but I soon found out by the end of the third grade.  I had to repeat that grade.  I was  devastated and my peers were laughing at me the rest of my school days at that school.  They taunted me, laughed, pushed, slapped, kicked, etc.  I never made any friends, not even my sister was my friend, she was embarrassed.  Every year I had to take tests and be sent to a special classroom during the reading time.  I was bored.  All I did was things that I was good at.  I struggled for many years.  The only thing that I actually LOVED, and was encouraged to do was play music.  I played the piccolo.  It was the only time I felt alive and happy. On the outside of school was AAU Swimming Club.  It was a year round swimming club that would compete against other cities.  I belonged to RCAC (Redwood City Aquatic Club), and about every two months we would compete in a bay area city for a swim meet.  We would practice 5 days a week for 2 hours, rain or shine.

 

Then, I went to middle school, and I was hoping to find a friend.  Well, it was the same.  Every year I would take tests and my parents would go to the see the teacher with me to tell them that I was not doing good. Well, I still did not make any friend, because of the fact that the same group of kids that went to my elementary school also went to my middle school.  So again, I just got depressed.  I continued to play the piccolo in the middle school band.  It made me happy.  The thing about the school band, is that no one was ever less than another, everyone was a whole single group.  It made me feel like I was part of something.  Also, they did they have me learn to play the flute as well.  The only good grades I ever got in middle school, was physical education.  I also continued with my swimming club during the week as well.

 

By the time I entered high school, I was again desperate to find a friend.  Well, I did find one friend, but it did not last, he was a senior.  By high school, I was so so lonely, that I began to ride my bike on the weekends to cities as far as 45 miles away from my home.  I also, began to join the cross country school team.  I REALLY liked that, because most girls were not good in long distance running, but I was.  I normally came in the top 10 people of any race.  It always put a smile on my face.  Also, I continued to play the flute and piccolo in the high school marching band.  Those activities require all members in the group to become as ONE, not individual.  Again, I felt like I was a part of something important.  The only bad part to high school, was that again, I had to go to meetings with my parents and my special ed teachers to discuss what they were going to do with me.  This was also the time that I realized that I could also take classes that I wanted.  So I took, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Accelerated English, Algebra, etc.  I did not take physical education class during high school, because of my competitive swimming club, I was exempt.  Well, so I  became very busy and that was a way that I kept myself from becoming too depressed. 

 

I graduated high school, and off to college I went.  I had no idea of what I wanted to do with my life nor did I know what college to go to.  So, I decided to go to a local community college.  I knew my skills were not up to par to enter any kind of 4 year university.  So, signed up at Canada College , in Redwood City .  I was also given a name to the special education team there at the college.  Well, I was happier then, because no one from my public school system was there.  I took all my classes and eventually transferred to the University of San Francisco .  I graduated too from USF with a baccalaureate degree in Business Administration.  It took me  10 years to graduate with a BS degree. 

 

In 1997, I graduated from college and started to find a job.  That was another problem.  Well, first it started with my life.  I thought for sure that I could now get a job with a degree.  Well, I was dead wrong.  I had no idea where to go or look for a job so I decided for a year to work for the local school district as a teacherís assistant.  Well, that entailed me to work in the class inclusion, aids in the class, kindergarten classes, or special education classes.  Well, I thought I knew children so well, primarily I was one of them.  Boy did that bring back memories.  I could do nothing but retail jobs.  I kept trying jobs through temp agencies and only found a job in my field for about 6 months is the longest I ever had.  I was depressed.  Well, then I decided to keep looking and finally found a job in the federal government.  I started to work at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) while I decided to go back to school and get my medical secretary certificate.  I like the job there.   After about 2 years, I then transferred to the national archives and records administration ( NARA).  I liked the job there too.  The best things is that I could wear shorts and t-shirts and play my music while I worked.  That was great!  Well, I still needed a full-time job with benefits, so I decided to start volunteering at employee health at the

I was diagnosis with a learning disability in the third grade.  My parents had told me that I was special and that it was okay.  I did not understand what they meant by the word "special", but I soon found out by the end of the third grade.  I had to repeat that grade.  I was  devastated and my peers were laughing at me the rest of my school days at that school.  They taunted me, laughed, pushed, slapped, kicked, and etc.  I never made an friends, not even my sister was my friend, she was embarrassed.  Every year I had to take tests and be sent to a special classroom during the reading time.  I was bored.  All I did was things that I was good at.  I struggled for many years.  The only thing that I actually LOVE, and was encouraged to do was play music.  I played the piccolo.  It was the only time I felt alive and happy. On the outside of school was AAU Swimming club.  It was a year round swimming club would compete against other cities.  I belong to RCAC (Redwood City Aquatic Club), and about every two months we would in a bay area city for a swim meet.  We would practice 5 days a week for 2 hours, rain or shine.

 

Then, I went to middle school, and I was hoping to find a friend.  Well, I was the same.  Every year I would take tests and my parents would go to the see the teacher with me to tell them that I was not doing good. Well, I still did not make any friend, because of the fact that the same group of kids that went to my elementary school also went to my middle school.  So again, I just got depressed.  I continued to play the piccolo in middle school band.  It made me happy.  The thing about the school band, is that no one was never less than another, everyone was a whole single group.  It made me feel like I was part of something.  Also, then did they have me learn to play the flute as well.  The only good grades I ever go in middle school, was physical education.  I also continued with my swimming club during the week as well.

 

By the time I entered high school, I was again desperate to find a friend.  Well, I did find one friend, but it did not last, he was a senior.  By high school, I was so so lonely, that I begin to ride my bike on the weekends to cities as far as 45 miles away from my home.  I also, began join the cross country school team.  I REALLY liked that, because most girls were not good in long distance running, but I was.  I normally came in the top 10 people of any race.  It always put a smile on my face.  Also, I continued to play the flute and piccolo in the high school marching band.  Those activities require all members in the group to become as ONE, not individual.  Again, I felt like I was a part of something important.  The only bad part to high school, was that again, I had to go to meetings with my parents and my special ed teachers to discuss what they are going to do with me.  This was also the time that I realized that I could also take classes that I wanted.  So I took, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Accelerated English, Algebra, etc.  I did not take physical education class during high school, because of my competitive swimming club, I was exempt.  Well, so I  became very busy and that was a way that I kept me from become too depressed. 

 

I graduated high school, and off to college I went.  I had no idea of what I wanted to do with my life nor did I know what college to go to.  So, I decided to a local community college.  I knew in my skills were not up to par to enter any kind of 4 year university.  So, signed up at Canada College , in Redwood City .  I was also given a name to the special education team there at the college.  Well, I was happier then, because no one from my public school system was there.  I took all my classes and eventually transferred to the University of San Francisco .  I graduated to from USF with a baccalaureate degree in Business Administration.  It took me  10 years to graduate with a BS degree. 

 

In 1997, I graduated from college and started to find a job.  That was another problem.  Well, first started with my life.  I thought for sure that I could now get a job with a degree.  Well, I was dead wrong.  I had no idea where to go or look for a job so I decided for a year to work for the local school district as a teacherís assistant.  Well, that entailed me to work in the class inclusion, aids in the class, kindergarten classes, or special education classes.  Well, I knew thought children so well, primarily I was one of them.  Boy did that bring back memories.  I could nothing but retail jobs.  I kept trying jobs through temp agencies and only found a job in my field for about 6 months is the longest I ever had.  I was depressed.  Well, then I decided to keep looking and finally found a job in the federal government.  I started to work at the united states geological survey (usgs) while I decided to go back to school and get my medical secretary certificate.  I like the job there.   After about 2 years, I then transferred to the national archives and records administration ( nara ).  I liked the job there too.  The best things is that could wear shorts and t-shirts and play my music while I worked.  That was great!  Well, I still needed a full-time job with benefits, so I decided to start volunteering at employee health at the VA  Palo Alto Hospital to maybe get a job there.  So I knew that this was my last and final search for a good job and the future.  I finally got in permanently to the Palo Alto VA hospital in the supply, preparation, and distribution (SPD) department.  I fell in love with the job.  It fit my nonverbal disabilities, my deficiencies and I could meet people and the doctors and nurses knew exactly how to communicate with me.  The funny thing that happened to me is that I knew what the nurses and doctors were talking about without having worked there for 10 years or more.  In about six months I was understanding everything.  I was in my niche I was looking for for years.  I was the happiest person in the whole world.  The only thing is that still made me feel bad, was that I was not living on my own.  I was in my parentís house.  I knew I could not make enough to live there.  Other than that I was happy.

 

So I continued to work there for about 3 and half years until there was a job in Tucson , AZ in the same department.  I applied and I was hired.   To the present day I am working in Tucson , AZ and am living in my own apartment and paying my own  bills.  It is now my truest happiness. 

 

So in conclusion my point is that you need to keep on hoping and trying to find a job that fit all the deficiencies.  And I believe that there is a job for everyone out there.  I know it will be frustrating but in the long run it is worth it.