Literacy Experience Essay

Submitted By enoconno
Words: 883
Pages: 4

Emma O’Connor
Passion vs. Inheritance Being born into a family of modern geniuses where everything comes easy to them, you would think that I too would be just as smart and inquisitive. From being able to read at the age of four to being able to look at any math problem and solve it in their head, my father, mother and brother have always impressed me with their intellect; however, my path to higher education was a bit different from the rest of my family. When I was born, I was diagnosed with a syndrome called sticklers. Sticklers both challenged and rewarded me through my grade school years. I know that God graced me with this syndrome because he knew that through it I would learn determination. This hard work all started when I was six weeks old. When I was brought into this world the first thing I saw was the bright light of the hospital room. This should have been an indication of how my future was to be, bright, as the rest of my families was, but the opposite occurred. The doctors saw right away that something was wrong with me. The roof of my mouth was gone. I was diagnosed with a cleft pallet, which is one of things that can happen with sticklers. At six weeks, I had my first surgery to repair the cleft. Up until I was six years old, I had three different surgeries to help repair the problem. Even though cosmetically the doctors were able to fix the cleft, they would not be able to fix the issues that surfaced as I began to speak. Growing up, I had a hard time speaking and expressing my thoughts. I had to go through several years of speech therapy. I vividly remember after each session, if I did well, I would get a prize from the prize box, which for me was always a princess sticker. No matter how many sessions I would go through or positive reinforcement I would get, I was still extremely embarrassed about how my voice sounded. Every time I would talk in school, I would get asked, “Do you have a cold?” or “What is wrong with your voice?” since having the cleft pallet caused me to talk very nasally. This insecurity of speaking caused many other issues in school. Since I did not speak much, other school related qualities suffered. I began to face issues with my reading. I was reading first grade level books such as the Magic Tree House, in third grade, which was a bit of a disappointment to my family, who read Harry Potter, books in first grade. My writing skills also suffered because I had a hard time expressing what I was thinking. When I was able to get words out, I would write them down so fast that I would skip over words as I was writing it down. For example, if I were asked to write down a simple sentence such as “The dog ate the cat,” as the teacher recited it, I would be so concerned about getting the sentence down before the teacher moved on that I would write a sentence like this: “The ate the dog,” you could imagine the issues that were brought about in my English classes because of this problem. Since I had all of these issues with