Sara's Story - An Adult with ACC




Hello, My Name is Sara, I'm 30 years old and have
Hydrocephalus (VP shunted), Epilepsy, Complete
Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum & Chiari Type 1.

I was made aware of my ACC during an emergency room
visit for Hydrocephalus related issues. I was 19 yrs
old at the time.

I have always struggled in school both academically
and socially, math was always the most difficult
subject, though in 4th grade my reading and
comprehension were at about college level. To this
day math is still very difficult for me.

I always had friends but seemed to lose them as
they moved on to other interests (like boys) and
as I progressed from Elementary, Jr & High School.

I was always more at ease with my friends parents
then my friends, and generally speaking my friends
are usually much older or much younger than I am.
I never quite fit into my peer group, and still
don't feel like I fit in.

I attended Regular Education classes with Special
Education support from Kindergarten until I
graduated High School.

My Balance has always been off and things like
riding a bike and roller skating always took
considerably longer then my normal peers, however
I was very strong willed and rarely gave up on
anything, at 30 I still have yet to get my drivers
license, though I hope to have it one day.

I'm the mother of 5, 3 in my home, and 2 in my heart.

My youngest son was diagnosed with an Autism Disorder
at 18 months, after reading a study on Autism and ACC
misdiagnosis it prompted me to research my own CC
disorder to see if my son might have one as well,
he does not.

We're currently testing my oldest daughter for
either an Autism or CC disorder, only time will tell,
however my middle daughter seems to be perfectly
healthy.

I also suffered 2 miscarriages, a little girl
later in the pregnancy due to a severe Spina
Bifida issues, and a son for unknown reasons.

I've been raising my kids by myself for the majority
of their lives with going to school, I'm working
on a continuing Medical Office Management Degree
specializing in Medical Billing. I've managed to
stay on the Honor roll, a real feat given my earlier
school struggles and one I'm extremely proud of!

My passion is my children, especially Pregnancy &
Infant Loss after the death of my babies, however
I'm also very active in the Autism community and
am finding my way in the ACC community as well.
I may have ACC, but I never let it have me!

~Sara


I am honored to have the privilege of being able
to post Sara's story here for you to read. And I
am incredibly thankful to Sara for her willingness
to share her own personal ACC story and details
of her life with us. Thank you very much, Sara.

Sara left a comment on a previous blog post
responding to "Autism and ACC".


"I have ACC and have 2 Children with Autistic-Like
Tendencies. One child has Autism (MRI ruled out ACC)
The other remains to be seen!"

Her comment sparked some e-mail exchanges between us.

In her e-mail to me, Sara graciously wrote:


"If you ever want to talk or ask questions feel free!
I live a very " open book" life."

Being the parent of a child with Agenesis of the
Corpus Callosum, and having a great interest in
learning more, I took her up on her very kind offer
and asked Sara some questions.

When did you find out that you have hydrocephalus?


"Since birth, I was actually one of the few babies diagnosed
in utero (in my mom's 8th month of pregnancy) before it was
commonplace."

Do you get any special education accommodations or
assistance at the school/college that you attend now?
If you do, what type of services do you receive to
help you?


"I don't have anything specifically in place however if
I need anything my tecahers are open and accomidating and
I don't suffer penelties for late work the way my normal
peers would. It's a very small private school so they don't
have a disabilities department the way a community college
or major university would, but they're willing to work with
me if I ever need extra time on tests or assignments. My
failures in High School have taught me that unlike most
people who use one learning style...I need them ALL in
order for the information to click...see it....read it.....
do it."

Is there any one thing (or more than one thing) that
you deal with now as an adult who has ACC that is
particularly difficult for you?


"I think the most difficult thing is the social aspect,
especially now that I have kids and need to interact
with other moms....It feels weird trying to fit into
their world. :( Part of me is still so much a child.....
and probably always will be. I can't always explain it,
but I guess that's part of the problem :D I just don't
feel like I *fit* with the normal moms."

Have you tried in the past to get your license by
taking the written test or the actual driving test?


"I've taken the written test and passed it, but the
driving test I haven't taken or passed, I still feel
very unsure of myself behind the wheel and I don't
have a car I can practice in and the length of normal
driving instruction classes doesn't seem long enough
to me."

I could go on and ask Sara more questions...but I
thought it would be a great chance for some of you
to ask Sara a question so I asked her if she would
be ok with answering your questions.

Sara replied:


"That would be fine! Like I said.....Open Book.
If I can help another parent I will :D"

QUESTIONS FOR SARA:


You mentioned in a post to the Listserv that it took you
6 years of studying and hard work to get your high school
diploma. THAT is a huge accomplishment!

My questions are: Did you attend high school for four years
and left after four years without a high school diploma?

Or did you spend two additional years in high school
working on getting your high school diploma?

Or did you study for the next two years once you left
high school to get your GED?

Do you find it difficult to remember things that you
study and read?

Do you have difficulty recalling information?

What specific kinds of things do you do that help you
remember and recall information?

SARA'S ANSWERS:


Questions are ALWAYS welcome! I attended HS for 6 yrs
straight, though I had to repeat 10th grade 1 1/2 times,
and then 1/2 of 11th grade :D so that made 6 yrs :D Back
in the day a GED wasn't * as good* as a HS Diploma so
H*ll was going to freeze over before I didn't graduate!

As far as learning recall can be hard for me and in HS
they focus so much on " find your learning style" and
while some are auditory, and some are visual and some
hands on learners....I really need all 3 to get it!
Plus it really took me until College to find an
organization system that worked for me...so it's hard
to STUDY notes if you can't FIND them :D I spent all
of HS pretty much trying to find my way on my own....
one thing would work for a while and then it would be
too hard to keep up....and now in college I keep it
simple...1 notebook one folder...everything has a place.
In HS every teacher seems to have a way *they* want
things....and everytime I tried * thier* way I failed!

QUESTIONS:


When you read something in a book, can you easily remember
what you read and recall the information at a later time?
Is that easy for you?

If it's not easy to recall information, do you do specific
things that help you when you study...like type up notes or
turn it into a song or something else that helps?

Or is your difficulty more with staying organized?

SARA'S ANSWERS:


Yes Information Recall is pretty easy for me , maybe
not the first time but what I will do is read something
all the way through the first time (I devour books!) and
then go back and reread maybe 1-2 sections/ chapters at
a time if I really NEED to know the material
( like for a test) but usually after the first time I can
tell you the gist of a story.

But the majority of my issues in school were organization
especially because it seemed there were always 1-2 teachers
(if not ALL of them) who insisted i have a separate notebook/
folder for each class and that was too much for me to keep
up with. Now I have one Folder...and 1 multi-subject Notebook,
much easier

If you have a question for Sara I will pass it
on to her and post Sara's answer here on her story.

You can also E-Mail me your question for Sara.

And if you want to leave a comment for Sara I am
sure she would appreciate it.



If you are an adult who has ACC or a corpus callosum
disorder, would you like to share your story?

I would love to hear from you.