Signora Bernardo

Tell us about someone (a teacher, parent or friend) who has made a difference in your life, and in what way.

As a teenage girl with hyperlexia - a communications disorder that causes some social problems - my life has had its share of interesting challenges. Although my disorder is not nearly as severe as it was during my childhood, it has left some residual consequences which can be detected by the trained eye. In one recent situation, that trained eye was my wonderful Italian teacher, Mrs. Bernardo. Through Mrs. Bernardo's continued encouragement and her caring, sensitive heart, I have transformed as a person and have become better able to face difficulties in my life.

My relationship with Mrs. Bernardo began when I first entered her Italian 1 classroom. I was extremely excited to take her class - being of partly Italian heritage gave me an appreciation for the language and the motivation to master it. This enthusiasm carried over to the classroom, where I was always eager to learn, speak the language, and help others in the classroom. Unfortunately, I wasn't noticing that I was beginning to take over the classroom with my chatter, and it was annoying some of my classmates. I was fairly oblivious to this, because hyperlexia often causes those who have it to miss social cues such as annoyance or boredom. I carried on in this...

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