University of Chicago
Reaching Out to Others Through Past Experiences
Describe a way in which you have reached out to others and tried to make a difference in an area of others' lives.
A few years ago, I learned that I have a condition called hyperlexia. This condition is characterized by learning language "out of order" in childhood - in fact, almost in the same manner that an adult learns a foreign language. I was actually misdiagnosed in childhood, however - I was thought to have a different but related disorder, and I was considered "cured" by the end of second grade. I'd always had some quirks, though. I learned that these were some lingering effects from hyperlexia (whose most obvious symptoms fade once the child conquers language). In order to learn more about myself and others with hyperlexia, I decided to join an email list sponsored by a prominent hyperlexia website.
The hyperlexia e-mail list I joined consisted of mostly younger moms - women in their 20s and 30s who had recently discovered that their children's eclectic mixes of gifts and disabilities were caused by this one mysterious condition. I gladly shared my experiences with hyperlexia, hoping that there were at least a few "lurkers" on the list that were adult hyperlexics and could share in my challenges. I did indeed meet some such people, which was a wonderful experience. But it wasn't until I...
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