Students reach goals despite setbacks
Living with learning disabilities is difficult, and no two people know this better than freshman Ana Radosevich and senior Tiana Press. Radosevich has struggled with Dyslexia since first grade, while Press has battled both Dyslexia and ADD.
Press has been struggling with Dyslexia and ADD for her entire life, but it really became a problem in junior high. “I almost flunked out of junior high, because it was difficult to focus and read. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t comprehend what I read,” said Press.
Dyslexia is a disability resulting in the inability to process graphic symbols. Despite common misconceptions, Dyslexia is not caused by vision problems but rather by the brain’s inability to recognize and process common symbols. “You usually get letters and numbers confused. Your brain also has trouble remembering words, so you have to sound them out, but eventually you get used to it,” said Radosevich.
Radosevich works with a tutor, and often gets extended time on tests and quizzes when needed. Despite the difficulty that Dyslexia brings, she does not feel uncomfortable talking about it. “Some people take it super personally, but I don’t care,” said Radosevich.
Despite the difficulties that Press has faced having Dyslexia and ADD, she has worked hard, persevered, and is going to play for the Harvard hockey team next year. “The process was very difficult. I was interviewed on my official hockey visit by the admissions office. I had to take the ACT several times, and I had to take two SAT subject tests. I also did another interview in Minnesota. All of these things, plus my GPA and two formal essays were used to evaluate my admission to Harvard,” said Press.
As far as BSM goes, both Radosevich and Press have expressed gratitude for the understanding attitude of the BSM faculty and staff. “BSM has been so helpful by making a 504 plan that works best for me. BSM also teaches students with disabilities to advocate for themselves because most of the teachers make me ask ahead of time, at least a day in advance, to take my test somewhere else for extra time,” said Press.
Both Radosevich and Press personify the struggles and commitment that are required to succeed with Dyslexia or ADD and set examples of what people can achieve, with or without a learning disability.