Then when you finally get that proof you have longed for showing that you are able and capable like your peers to accomplish a goal of earning a degree. Only to be dismissed as not being "disabled enough" by your typical peers and fellow disabled peers.
My success, my degrees, my goals are not limited by my lack of abilities. I have several individuals all say the same statements, "You must be more intelligent than me" or "Writing must come easier to you than me". Wrong. I do not believe that I am more intelligent than you. However, I know myself and I have learn what works for me and what doesn't. Writing does not come easy to me, actually it is one of the more painful tasks I have to do. In my records from high school to now, written expression is one of my major weaknesses.
The Four Stages of Becoming You With a Disability:
1. Accept It: You will always have a disability, you won't grow out of it but you will find ways to manage, cope, and overcome your weakness. You need to accept your "label" so you can heal.
2. Learn it: Once you accept, that will open you up to the learning stage. You need to learn everything about who you are as a person with a disability. When things go wrong, don't beat yourself up, learn from it. You will need to become friends with technology. Learn what tools work and do not work for you.
3. Implementation: I am the master of implementing what works for me. It is how I survive and how I am able to manage higher levels of learning. Once you find what works for you, you need to practice it everyday.
4. Owning it: I was stuck at this stage until about 12 months ago. I never wanted to own it. I never wanted to talk about my disability. A lot of pain comes with being a person with a disability. It took a lot for me to finally admit who I was and that I was not "typical". So many doors opened, once I decided to show people who I was as a person.