Phoebe Stothard spent years being called “stupid” by the teachers and adults in her life. But after being diagnosed with a slew of learning disorders and graduating top of her class with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication— she’s now giving a shoutout to the haters that doubted her.
Stothard spent her years being insulted and called “stupid” by the teachers around her, never realizing she had a host of learning disabilities. After struggling throughout her early schooling and three full years of university, she was finally diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and ADHD.
According to Understood, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia are brain-based conditions. While dyslexia can cause difficulty with reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes speaking, dyscalculia does the same but in regards to numbers (reading them wrong, writing them in the wrong order, having trouble with basic math, etc). Dysgraphia is language-based like dyslexia, but kids with dysgraphia struggle with the actual physical mechanics of writing, as opposed to just reading and spelling.
I’m not going to go over ADHD, because this is getting long, but my point is that while Stothard was being reprimanded and insulted for not thriving in school, there was a reason for these failures— and somebody should have caught on sooner.
In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Stothard tells her story:
To the teacher in the HSC who told my parents I should drop a class because I would drag down other students grades.
To the Uni teacher who told me “I obviously don’t care about my education” and made me cry in front of the class because I spelled words wrong.
To the parents who asked a teacher to not have their child sit next to me in maths because their child would “become stupid too”.
And to the education system that failed me, that told me I was only worth my 49 ATAR.
Well, this post is for you.
After going through UTS:insearch to get to University, in my final semester of my bachelor’s I was formally diagnosed with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, and ADHD. I have not only been able to finish my bachelor’s with only one semester of disability support but can proudly say have finished with one of the highest GPA’s of my course with the opportunity to do honors.
So to those people who shamed me for not fitting the criteria of the “perfect student”, watch your back because us disabled kids are smashing you at your own game in our own unique way.
P.s shoutout to my amazing friends, family and tutors who have always helped and supported me through my journey.
If you or someone you know has a learning disability, visit the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) for more information.
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Source: Phoebe Stothard Facebook