Elroy was born on December 3rd, 1994. Now this date is important and will be brought back up later in the story. On December 3rd Elroy was born into a happy family which consisted of his mother and father, as well as his sister. Then the following year his brother was born and completed their happy family.
Through Elroy’s life he felt as something wasn’t normal and that he wasn’t like most kids. For his early life, there was an underlining feeling as he didn’t truly understand the whole personality thing, and who he is as a personal this. Even to this day, he still doesn’t have a true knowing of who he is as a person, he does have a pretty good idea but not a fully baked idea, if you will. As he progressed in life he noticed more and more that he doesn’t fit in and that he faced a number of diversities within a number of different spectrums.
One of these things that made Elroy not feel normal is that for the first three years of his life he didn’t know how to talk and on January 12th, 1998 he started speech therapy (for about two-three years). In which he found out later that he had a Delayed Speech issue. However, after the two to three years of speech therapy he hasn’t shut his mouth since (according to his mother ;)).
In Kindergarten, Elroy was struggling with basic learning skills and was recommended to be held back and to do another half of a year of Pre-school. So his parents agreed with his teacher and Elroy went back to Pre-school. One of the reasons why he went back is because, he entered school a year earlier then most kids as he was born in December. Furthermore, he had some underlining disabilities that would show up more clearer in later years.
After doing the half of a year of Pre-school he went back to Kindergarten and re-did the basic education. During this time, he still felt there was still things wrong with him.
Not only did Elroy, face these learning issues. But he was also facing a serious problem to certain materials. For instance, he could only wear and touch anything that was 100% cotton. So when having a bath or shower, he couldn’t handle being dried by a towel and would be quickly patted with it. But after some years, he was able to overcome this issue!
When Elroy was in grade four (October 27th, 2004), he had an educational assessment done. During this assessment which spanned to he thinks three days; he was able to find out that he has:
- Delayed Speech
- Mild Intellectual Disability (MID)
- ADHD (Predominantly Inattentive Type)
- Pronounced Memory Difficulties
- “... he is more likely to remember something is if he has a concrete meaningful picture as a starting point.”
- Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD)
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder (OOD)
- In the “Low Projectile”
These results at first didn’t sink in. He was still frustrated at the fact that he didn’t know what was wrong with him and couldn’t figure out his problems.
During his early childhood, Elroy tried his hardest to ride a bike but due to his Developmental Co-ordination Disorder. To this day, he still can’t ride a bike due to his balance. However, he hasn’t really tired it recently.
The following year (grade five-2005) was when it all began to stick in. With the Low Projectile fact and further the Mild Intellectual Disability, Elroy was told that he wasn’t smart and never will be. It was said that he wouldn’t be progressing past grade six. Thus, in mind, Elroy, began to feel unmotivated and didn’t try to further his academics; which stemmed from his Oppositional Defiant Disorder and other facets of the Oppositional Defiant Disorder began to be more and more pronounced. From “acting out” and having a number of more and bigger outbursts more and more of times. This made it hard for Elroy, to make new friends and the old friends began to be afraid of him. The second week of grade six (2006) it got to the point were Elroy got expelled and had to go to another school.
Another reason, why there was an increase of the out bust is due to the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that he developed from a car accident that he was involved in on June 28th, 2005. Also from this accident Elroy had developed Chronic Motor Tic Disorder in which he would shake his head back and forth repeatedly. Thankfully, over the years this has dissipated and only shows up under high stress situations and his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has completely gone away.
After the moving to middle school, Elroy was grateful to have a phenomenally wonderful teacher Ms.Odelia as she was truly amazing. Ms.Odelia didn’t give up on Elroy and taught him a wonderful lesson that it’s okay to be upset and angry, but it’s not okay to be aggressive and to act in the ways he did. Ms.Odelia further made sure that Elroy and his fellow classmates were their own person and that it’s okay to be “different” and that it’s okay to struggle and to learn in your own ways! Instead of being in the “academic” world if you will Elroy, was placed in the Integrated Support Program (IS) in which, the main focus was you! and how to function in the community. With this program the students were able to become who they are today! Elroy had the greatest pleasure of having Ms.Odelia for three years and in that time he learnt so much from her and that he wanted to be motivated and to try more academics! Ms.Odelia shaped Elroy, into the person that he is today!
Elroy didn’t know this at first but when he did, he found it kind of ironic in a sense. Like mentioned earlier, he was born on December 3rd, 1994 which happened to be the third International Day of Persons with Disabilities which happens every 3rd of December.
Elroy went from being this unmotivated student from grades five to grade eight (2008) and by grade nine-part 1(2009) he became determined to get himself into an academic role and to excel in it. After convincing his parents and talking with Ms.Odelia it was decided that Elroy, would attend Social Studies 9 in the fall of 2009; and that’s exactly what he did! Elroy, did have an IEP (or Individual Education Plan) in place in which allowed him to have modified assignments and the ability to have open-book tests. For the first month or so, he did just the modified assignments and the open-book tests; however, after the first month he was finding himself getting bored and wanting to try the full assignments and to do the tests with out the textbook. To Elroy’s surprise he did quite well and thus, he continued to do so and finished with a B or B+ (he couldn’t quite remember ;)).
Elroy was suppose to continue a IS Program at the local High School which was called the Pre-Employment Program, however, he felt as he wanted to be in full academics! So Elroy, spent about six months convincing his parents to allow him to go to the local Alternative High School, where he was able to be in a full academic world. His parents said that he was able to go in to the program on the condition that if there was one out burst of sorts, he was to go back to the local High School and go into the pre-employment program.
Now, these outbursts have been a “thing of the past” at this point! From the help of Ms.Odelia she was able to help Elroy with control this facet of his Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Elroy moved to the new school and re-did grade nine-part 2 (fall 2010) as he only did Social Studies 9. Elroy was able to go through the grade nine year and got decent grades A+s, As, B+s, and a C+, he even took on one and a quarter chapters of bonus math problems; in which he was one of the only ones in his class to do so! He went on and did grade ten (2011) and then in one year grades eleven and twelve (2012)! Elroy got wonderful grades in his High School years to the point where he was able to graduate with honours. Elroy, graduated a year later, on time, and a year early from being held back for two years and for doing two grades in one year.
With being in control of his out bursters Elroy was able to gain respect from fellow students and faculty members to the point where he was asked to be his graduating classes Valedictorian which was his proudest day; and wrote a speech in which was able to invoke a number of emotions from lines like
"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it if you can dream it, you can become it” ~ Quoted from William Arthur Ward;
“My sister came to [this school] and was very successful and raved about this school. So I decided to go to [here] and to graduate on the regular program even though it meant that I would have to perhaps struggle. I proved to myself that I can achieve anything by trying and not giving up”;
"What he lacked in skills, he made up in determination and a willingness to work on the issues” ~ Quoted from Ms.Odelia;
And other quotes in which he was reminiscing about the different experiences he had with teachers, staff, and classmates.
Elroy does struggle under testing situations from his ADHD (Predominantly Inattentive Type) and his Pronounced Memory Difficulties, it makes it hard for Elroy to retain information and to be able to recall it under stressful situations like during tests. Unfortunately this is still present at this time. Elroy, does still struggle with certain aspects of the academia world however, he pushes through it and learns from the help of his teachers/professors, from peers, from the internet, and from his amazing boyfriend whom helps out with written English.
Elroy, further went on to graduate from college with two years and two certificates under his belt! He is a certified Digital Communicator and Digital Producer. Elroy further moved on to University in which is where he currently is and is well over half way through a Bachelors degree in Digital Media Studies!
Elroy has received amazing opportunities from the University. He is the Snapchat Coordinator, Rockstar then instantly moved up to Senior Ambassador for the Student Ambassadors, one of the Digital Media Studies Club Event Organizer, a double representative in the Student Leadership Circle, and newly added, the Student Management Facilitator for Project AURORA .
Elroy is ecstatic to finish his schooling and to see what other opportunities arise.
The End... For Now!
I want to say that this story is true and the character of Elroy is actually myself Donald Louch. The above story is my story, my experience of life, my struggles, and my accomplishments.
My hopes with this is to bring the idea that you can achieve anything when you motivate yourself and when you try and struggle through things.
“Obstacles are without a doubt relevant in our lives; However the hardest obstacle is, overcoming them and not letting them define us” - Donald Louch
I want to give a huge thanks to my parents and family for dealing with my mental struggles through the years. I want to thank Ms. Odelia ( which is a made up name but a truly amazing person) Odelia is actually an Anglo-Saxon name meaning “thankful” and I am truly thankful for her. I want to further thank my teachers, professors, faculty members, my fellow classmates, and friends. I further want to give a thanks to my wonderful boyfriend!
However, this is the end of the story for this point in time! I want to thank all of you for watching and hope you enjoyed and who knows, maybe I inspired one of you! Like I’ve said before “[anyone] can achieve anything by trying and not giving up” and “if you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it” in which I quoted from William Arthur Ward.