Hey Arielle! My name is Jeehee, also a UC Irvine student. First of all, thank you so much for sharing about yourself through the Positive Exposure project. I love your positivity and enthusiasm to continue learning/exploring!
Currently, I am in an Adolescent Learner class and was wondering if you would be able to answer some of my questions.
1) What are some hardships you faced during childhood and early adolescence due to albinism? Was it difficult to make friends at school?
2) Did other peers and teachers treat you differently due to albinism?
How did teachers at school assist you at school to help you learn better?
Thank you so much in advance, you are such a blessing to many! Keep learning and exploring!! :) Also, congratulations on your graduation and best wishes for your next adventure!
1). I would say middle school was the hardest. Most people saw me differently because I was so pale and because I didn’t see well. I was bullied a lot in middle school because of albinism (and some other things like being overweight … etc like any other kid) and eventually I just built a tough skin and moved on. However when I had friends who knew about albinism it really wasn’t a problem.
2) I was and still am a huge nerd so school is really important to me. This really helped because if one teacher knew about my vision then it would spread. And honestly when you’re a good student that needs a bit of help teachers are generally willing to help. Since vision is considered low incidence in special education, sometimes it’s hard for general ed teachers to understand. Most problems were caused by misunderstanding as oppose to avoiding accommodations. In grade school we have things called Indivual Education Plans (IEPs) which are under the IDEA act meaning they must give me appropriate accommodations in order to level the playing field. For me I received extended time, large print tests, magnifiers, audio books, and some other pieces of equipment in order to take notes in real time during class. I also worked with a Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI) who made sure I got everything I needed. I also did some orientation and mobility when I was in middle and high school so I would learn how to cross streets and navigate safely using a white cane (except I use one when I feel I really need it).
I hope I answered your questions!
Thank you so much, Arielle! :)
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.