Caned, bullied & misunderstood: How Amanda looked past her challenges and found success in her strengths.
Today, the awareness of dyslexia is more widespread, and intervention is made increasingly available. Imagine growing up in an environment where having a learning difference is just not an option.
Amanda Lim was a DAS student back in 1999. At that time, there was not much exposure to the condition and there was still a negative stigma attached to it. Other than dyslexia, she was also diagnosed with ADHD and mild autism when she was 10 and had since been attending DAS classes. However, life continued to be an uphill battle for Amanda. As a student, Amanda despised school. Nobody in school understood her and she was a victim of bullying. At home, she would receive caning for getting extremely low scores in her examinations, especially for her languages. Amanda said that she had no friends of her own up until university. The other students around her thought that she was “weird” so the only time they interacted with her was to “make fun of (her)” or upset her by throwing her books around. In secondary school, Amanda’s classmates stole her money and belongings and although she reported the cases to the teacher, he did not take it seriously.
Many young students would seek refuge in their teachers when faced with bullying. Amanda, however, felt that some of her bullies were her teachers themselves. Even after noticing her learning differences, Amanda’s teachers would still rather not put in the extra time for one student. One of them even requested Amanda’s parents to transfer her into a special needs school, telling them that Amanda is “not normal”. That same teacher would pick on her in class and announced to the class that Amanda “copied someone’s work or got someone to do (her) work for (her)”. Due to the bullying, repeated failures and the punishments that followed, Amanda’s self-esteem was beaten down and she suffered from depression at a very young age.
Fortunately, Amanda is a strong spirited girl. After reaching the lowest point in her life, she knew that the only way left to go was up. Amanda worked very hard to get to where she is today.
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Amanda’s story was published in FACETS Vol 2 2018