A Chat about Education

education and Turner syndrome

Written by Cassidy Hooper, TSF volunteer Twitter Chat Facilitator

To end February we had a wonderful discussion about Turner Syndrome and education on Twitter. We know that everybody had different experiences within the education system, especially when living with TS. We want to bring these unique perspectives to light, highlighting each woman and girl’s experiences in school so they know that they are not alone! It’s also important that we make the needs of TS girls in school known so that educators and school administrators can help every unique girl.

Make sure to join us for our March Twitter Chat tomorrow, the 25th at 8pm EST, in which we will discuss mental health.

Here are some of the excerpts of our discussion about TS and education 

Q1: What is/was your favorite part of school? Favorite subject?: 

  • “I always enjoyed reading in school and now as a preschool teacher, I enjoy reading to my students.” 
  • “I always loved music/chorus/musical theatre. Outside of school, I did love to read!” 
  • “History! Now getting my Master’s in that and Library and Information Science!” 

Q2: What do/did you find the most challenging about school? Most difficult subject? 

  • “ Math and science were always the ones I needed the most practice!” 
  • “I definitely had struggles with bullying and general fitting in. And Teachers accepting my IEP, mostly in middle school”

Q3: While you were in school, were your teachers/peers aware of your diagnosis? How did they react? 

  •  “No, it wasn’t really something I spoke about. I was fortunate enough to have some great teachers along the way and also some not so great teachers of being accepting of the IEP.” 
  • “Teachers were aware of my TS as far as what support I needed and they were understanding and helped me every step of the way!” 
  • “Good question! No one really knew. I was diagnosed at 12 and  my family knew, but I only told my Science teacher since I knew he’d understand.” 

Q4: What was your experience like socializing with your classmates? 

  • “I had a very few close friends, I got picked on a lot so I stuck pretty close to my friends.” 
  • “I had a good time socializing overall, though I did have a bully or two. Sometimes it was hard when I had take daily medicine when I wanted to sleep over at a friend’s house, but no one judged me or  really thought there was anything different about me.” 
  • “It was fine. I didn’t have a ton of BFFs and didn’t date, but I had enough friends at school and church.” 

Q5: Were you affected by nonverbal learning disabilities? 

  • “No, I’ve never really had signs of a nonverbal disability.” 
  • “Not too much, but I know I have trouble picking up non-verbal cues from people.” 

Q6: Did you receive support from your teacher/school such as an IEP or other intervention? 

  • “I never had an IEP or needed accommodations. I’d like to think my teachers would’ve been supportive.”
  • I was (and even now in grad school) given extra time and the choice to type up answers to tests if they were in long essay form. It was more for physical accommodations than anything else”
  • “I always had to try to get a lower locker!!”
  • “I had an IEP all though public school and from fifth grade till eighth grade I actually had a paraprofessional with me. In elementary school and middle school I also got OT services. I was always in regular Ed classes but I would get pulled out for resource time with special ed teachers.”

This chat raised valuable lessons about Turner Syndrome and every girl’s unique experiences with education. Some struggle more with math, nonverbal learning disabilities, or social challenges. We also learned that even small accommodations like providing a lower locker or having extra time to take a test can make a big difference in her ability to succeed. Each of these women shared the successes they achieved despite facing challenges, and we are inspired by the tenacity of Turner Syndrome women and girls!

If you are a parent, talk to your daughter’s school about her needs, making sure they understand her diagnosis and the challenges she has to overcome. As an educator with a TS girl in your classroom, having a bit of compassion and understanding towards her can make a world of a difference. Showing support will help her succeed, and going beyond to accommodate her needs can be life-changing!

Here’s some resources schools can utilize to better understand TS girls:

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