The Outlet erin king junior
by katelyn schwoeppe
by morgan tobben
“Teachers would ask me, ‘What sound does this letter make?’ but I would ask, ‘What letter is that?’”
Page designed by Connor Voss Photos by Emily Konzcal
Twenty percent of Americans live with dyslexia today. Although Erin King, junior, is part of the 20 percent, she has learned to overcome her setbacks and now claims reading as one of her favorite pastimes. King was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of seven, when teachers started to notice that she was not picking up on basic reading skills. King said, “Teachers would ask me, ‘What sound does this letter make?’, but I would ask, ‘What letter is that?’” Dyslexia ranges in severity, from sparingly mixing up words to taking 2 to 3 times longer to finish things than normal and needing constant help reading. Dyslexia can even cause afflicted to mix up letters or see words moving around a page. King suffered a moderate case as a child. She complained of mixing up certain letters; if she was reading the word c-at, she would see it as c-t-a. Also when looking at words they seemed to vibrate, making it very difficult to concentrate, affecting her test taking skills and hindering in all of her classes. It wasn’t until age nine that King could read well enough to finally enjoy her favorite stories, thanks to a little help from a neighbor and a very special daschund. “Mildred told me that her dog Georgy loved to read, so I decided that if Georgy liked to read, then so could I,” King recalled. Today King reports that her dyslexia only affects about “one percent” of her work. Although there are still times when her brain tells her that a word is different than it really is, she has grown to love reading more than the average teenager. “I can read lots of things now,” King joked, “books, cereal boxes, even street signs!” Through all the ups and downs of her struggle to read, King has come out with an understanding that not everything can come easy. Even though her dyslexia made it hard to learn as a child, it has taught her big lessons to last a lifetime.
“The eye doctors just always say, ‘Yeah, you’re off the charts.’” In the United States, if a person has peripheral vision restricted to a 20 degree diameter or less (known as tunnel vision), they fit the criteria for legal blindness. Watching senior Paige Straatmann spike a volleyball over the net, no one would ever guess that she is part of the 1.3 million Americans who are legally blind. “I got glasses in 3rd grade. My vision got really bad in 5th or 6th grade and has just progressively gotten worse,” said Straatmann, “The doctors just always say, ‘Yeah, you’re off the charts.’” While it may seem like a disadvantage, Straatmann never complains. If she does not bring it up, no one ever knows. Using it as a crutch to get out of unappealing situations is not an option either. “I don’t get special privileges because it can be corrected with contacts or glasses,” said Straatmann. Most of the time Straatmann wears contacts, but every once in a while she will sport her glasses if her contacts irritate her eyes. From the front, they look like an average pair of reading glasses. Turn them to the side, however, and the lenses are are three times as thick as an average pair. A majority of the time, being legally blind does not phase Straatmann at all. Her bubbly personality and positive outlook on life only aid her nonchalant vibe. When asked what the biggest disadvantage to her condition is Straatmann replied, “I run into walls and doors every morning when I walk to the bathroom to put my contacts in.” Whether this is a result of her eyesight or general demeanor, her friends will debate.
“I cannot hear a piccolo I’m writing a piccolo part d and composer, senior Josep Born with degenerative dition that hinders his abili Eckelkamp is one of only s Four of the seven cases, he family. “I’m the first male ever tion,” he said. “Degenerati and is normally only passe Eckelkamp’s condition cochlea to die, making the tions-- damage that cannot implant, unlike other degen Someday, he hopes that search could help his cond only treatment available is Eckelkamp has excelled tion. However, before he st seventh grade, playing mus “When I was little, I wo treble I couldn’t hear by pl right hand,” said Eckelkam realized I had literally been myself hear it.” His hearing also affecte room. Although he was a “ on, Eckelkamp had a diffic rectly because he wasn’t pi as clearly as other kids. “I had never heard a hearing aid,” he said. “One by this noise and started sp where it was coming from. ticking?’ Someone looked clock?’”
by connor voss
by joan roubian
by claire rembecki
g loss blood clotting born with disorder
“I plow through it for the most part. I don’t pay much attention to it until I’m actually bleeding.”
“I had never heard a clock tick before I got a hearing aid.”
o, even with a hearing aid in. deaf!” laughed avid musician ph Eckelkamp. nerve deafness, a genetic conity to hear high pitched noises, seven cases ever diagnosed. e noted, have appeared in his
to have inherited this condiive nerve deafness is a genetic ed down through females.” causes the nerve endings his nerves less receptive to vibrat be repaired with a cochlear nerative hearing loss. t regenerative stem cell redition. Right now, however, his the use of a hearing aid. d in music despite his conditarted wearing a hearing aid in sic was more difficult for him. ould over compensate for the laying really loudly with my mp. “After I got a hearing aid, I n banging on the keys to make
ed his performance in the class“voracious reader” from early cult time learning to spell coricking up all words and sounds
clock tick before I got a e day in class, I was intrigued pinning around trying to find . Finally, I asked ‘What’s that at me and asked, ‘What? The
Quite frankly, many people take for granted their ability to be resilient. Falling and getting a simple scrape does not phase most. However, for Sydney Dulany, a simple scratch is enough to put her down and out for a long while. When she was on her way home from the hospital as a newborn, Dulany’s parents discovered that she had a bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand disease. “(At the hospital) I had just gotten a shot in my butt,” said Dulany. “When they looked back at me in the car seat (on the way home), I was in a puddle of blood. That’s when they knew there was something wrong with me.” Von Willebrand disease affects the blood’s ability to clot. Therefore, simple every day cuts can keep bleeding for long periods of time. “There are three types (of Von Willebrand disease),” explained Dulany. “I have the third type, which is the most severe and only 1% of the population has.” Although it’s gotten more managable over the years, Dulany still has to be careful with what she does. To the date, it is too risky for her condition to even inject a shot fully. Dulany said that she is supposed to be really careful, but she doesn’t like to be. She’d rather live life to the fullest and do the things she likes to do. “I plow through it for the most part,” said Dulany. “I do not pay much attention to it until I’m actually bleeding. That is the only time it gets my attention.” Luckily, Dulany has proved that this setback is not impossible to overcome. She manages to live a happy and normal life despite her obstacle.
“Some challenges I can do and some are impossible, but all I say is bring it on.”
Sam Rudloff is a master of life. He’s confident. He’s funny. He’s 17 years old and living a limitless life, with one exception: He was born with one hand and one deltoid. “My disability makes me think outside the box and gives me more challenges every day,” Rudloff commented. “Some challenges I can do and some are impossible, but all I say is bring it on.” Rudloff refuses to let his unique situation bring him down. “One of the biggest challenges I have been through would probably be in the fall when I was informed that I was rejected from the Army,” Rudloff said, “so I wear a dog tag as a reminder that I can’t do everything I want to do. But that’s just life in general for everyone.” However, Rudloff has already overcome many difficulties with great success, including playing football for the Knights and many everyday tasks, such as carrying and lifting. “Sam’s the man,” adds Haley Russell, junior. “If he can’t do it, no one can.” Although he may not look like everyone else, Rudloff feels like he is no different than any of his friends. “(My disability) doesn’t define who I am because in order to know me you will have to look beyond my disability and see I’m really just like you and everyone in the world,” Rudloff remarked. His friends agree. “Sam is one of the most playful guys I know,” said Rachel Diener, one of Sam’s classmates. He does not let his disability define him, nor does he let it keep him from doing what he loves. He is not simply “the guy without a hand.” He is Sam.
students work hard to conquer their difficulties and achieve their goals