By Mia Posternock
I am a college student. I am a college student with academic accommodations. I am a college student with academic accommodations who is sick and tired of the stigma. I am not lucky to have a prescription for Adderall and no, I won’t sell you some.
I am not the teacher’s pet because I have great relationships with my teachers. It is not unfair that I receive study guides before every exam and class notes at the end of every class. I am not weird because I don’t show up to class on test days. I am not overacting when I make comments about the noises other classmates are making when the teacher is teaching. I did not “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” because I am cranky in my afternoon classes. Yes, I have a headache most days and please top saying something’s wrong with me because I am always tired by 3pm.
I take Adderall in an attempt to learn like you do on an average day. It doesn’t make me super focused and give me tons of energy like it does for you. I have great relationships with my teachers because I spend countless hours working with them outside the classroom. I may laugh when you say, “that’s not fair” or “where’s mine” when you see my study guides and class notes, but it’s not funny. This is just a minor aspect of what I receive in hopes that I am placed on the same academic playing field as you, as all of my peers.
I may not show up to class on test days but I assure you I am taking my test. I am in a room without distractions and time constraints. The noises I hear in the classroom may not even be noticeable to you but to me the sounds are bouncing off of the walls. I am cranky because my medication alters my appetite and trying to get myself to eat during the day is sometimes impossible. I am cranky because I have a headache from the lack of food and the constant attempts to stay focused. I am tired because an hour of class feels like two hours to me. My bad attitude is frustration I don’t know how to deal with.
Stop telling me it’s unfair that I receive “more” than you do – trust me, it doesn’t make things any easier. Stop telling me I’m overacting and being cranky, it only makes me feel worse. Stop making comments about me always being tired.
Start asking questions, instead of being ignorant. Start listening, it feels good to know the people around me aren’t judging. Start understanding, there is nothing better than knowing I have someone to talk to. I won’t apologize for being different than you – the only thing I will apologize for is not trying to break the stigmas sooner.
The Special Education Department at McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick helps bridge the gap between parents of students with special needs and their child’s school to make sure every child receives the academic accommodations they need. Call or email us, we’re always glad to help: 856-642-6445 / [email protected]