Best Colleges and Universities for Students with a Learning Disability

image of two students with statistics in sidebar

When I wanted to go to college, I literally had to sue the State of California. Now, students with disabilities have a range of excellent colleges and universities to choose from. One of them (Beacon College) is actually dedicated to serving students with dyslexia and ADHD.

Click the link below to read an excellent article with links that will take you to the school websites. It also has admissions department info and ratings.

Many thanks to Johanna Mitra, Content Manager of iReviews, for sharing her article with us. 

Here is the link: Best Schools for Students with a Learning Disability

I have also added a link to the article from the Whispers of Hope page on Special Needs Resources, so you can always find it there. 

The Healing Horse, Ch. 20, Scene 5: Reflecting with Pegasus

image of rainbow over seaIn this scene, Kitten has a spiritual breakthrough, as she realizes that she has learned to set her own standards. She no longer has to fear failing to meet the standards of the authorities who control much of her life, and she does not have to allow the so-called experts to limit her potential by setting artificially low standards for her.

(Image courtesy of NAC, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 5: Reflecting with Pegasus

In her memory of that day when Dr. Muñoz was so mean to her, Karen recalled visiting her mentor as soon as she arrived home.

After the bus ride home, Karen jumped to the sidewalk and called to Mama that she was going to visit Pegasus. Without hesitating, she hurried to the stables. She explained what had happened at school, and then he commented.

“You are learning to empower yourself by defining your own standards. You are learning to set your own goals and not to let the experts tell you whether or not you are achieving them. You are empowering yourself by deciding what mastery means to you in every situation, and you are beginning to control your feelings and reactions to circumstances. When you can do this, then no one else will have the power to define who and what you are. You will not be deterred by doctors, teachers, therapists, or psychologists, ever again. Their lies, half-truths and innuendos will not affect your inner being. You will fight for your own rights, including your rights to dignity and respect, and you will fight for the rights of all disabled people. No one will be able to hold you back.”

She felt her spirit take a new stance as she listened to her mentor. It glowed and illumined her from within. His words answered her question about meeting the experts’ standards. She did not have to meet them. She had to meet her own standards. She knew she could do this, and she could teach others to do the same for themselves. She felt her body stand straighter than ever before. No one could hold her back.

She touched Pegasus’ neck without speaking. There were no words that had to be uttered. Pegasus knew. They spent the next hour walking together in silence. When they reached the top of the crest of the hills, a rainbow appeared over water of the bay, and then she went home for dinner.

Original Text ©2022, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

Spartan Women, Bizarre Laws, and Bruce Catton

image of bronze figure of Spartan running girlWhat do the women of the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta have in common with bizarre laws and a distinguished historian known for his writing on the American Civil War? The brilliant minds of Dr. Sean P. Dineen and Bill Weaver find them all fascinating. You will, too, and that is what they have in common. Follow the links to Bill and Sean’s podcasts. You will be amazed at what you did not know, and at how much fun you can having learning something new.

(Image courtesy of Caeciliusinhorto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Healing Horse, Ch. 20, Scene 4: Tammy Understands

image of van gogh's painting "rain"After enduring the disdain and disrespect of the school psychologist, little Karen turns to her friend, Tammy, for comfort. (Painting “Rain” by Vincent van Gogh, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Scene 4: Tammy Understands

On the way home from school, she sat next to Tammy.

“I had a session with Dr. Muñoz, today!”

“Oh, boy!” Tammy squealed. “Tell me about it. Did he ask you what color the sun is?”

Karen felt her tension release, the moment she heard Tammy’s voice. She giggled. Anxiety had distorted her hearing since she followed Dr. Muñoz down the hallway. Tammy’s words were the first she had heard clearly and without distortion since that morning.

“It all started with me walking slower than he wanted me to. He hurried down the hall to his office and expected me to keep up. You know how tall he is. Even if I had two good legs, I couldn’t keep up with him. Then, he put me into that cell he calls his office. Everything in it was lined up, organized, and sterile. He stared at me like I wasn’t human and talked down to me like I was stupid.”

Tammy interrupted to ask, “But did he ask you what color the sun was?”

“No, but he asked me how the rain came down!”

Tammy laughed, and her laughter soothed Karen’s heart. They chatted, Tammy sympathized, and the ride passed. Karen felt her nerves relax, but her mind would not let go of its questions about how she could measure up to the experts’ standards.

Original Text ©2022, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 20, Scene 3: Walking Back to Class

image of school hallways with one student in it
In spite of her defeat at the hands of the psychologist, little Kitten does not give up on herself. She knows that this is a time when she will need support from her friends, and rather than giving in to negativity she plans to speak with them as soon as she can. 

(Image by ChadPerez49, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 3: Walking Back to Class

Without waiting for her to leave, he began scribbling his notes. She saw that he had no interest in engaging with her, whether before, during, or after the test. He had no interest in her at all. From the moment he had left her behind, as his long legs rushed him toward the examination room, to the moment when he dismissed her with a wave toward the door, as if she were too stupid to see the only exit from his office, he had treated her with contempt. She wondered why he had become a school psychologist, since he clearly had no sympathy for disabled students.

Walking through the hushed hallway back to her classroom, she thought to herself.

I know I’m smart. I may take a little longer at topics I don’t know, but I’m not retarded! I want to talk with Tammy and Pegasus.

Original Text ©2022, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

Shout Out for Sean Dineen’s New Podcast

My friend, Sean P. Dineen, has begun podcasting. He and his friend, Bill Weaver, are doing a show about strange things you did not know. These are things like strange laws and little-known facts from history. Did you know that Blackbeard the Pirate was eventually beheaded after being killed?

Check out the first episode here:

The Healing Horse, Ch 20, Scene 2: Testing

image of sculpture of schroeinger's cat
In physics, the observer effect describes how measuring something can change it. In psychology, there is a similar effect, in which the attitude and instruments of the psychologist can change the behavior of the person being tested. In this scene, under the icy gaze of an angry psychologist, little Karen tries to pull herself together. She knows her test scores will affect the education she will have access to. But her delicate nervous system shuts down under the pressure. 

(Image by Koogid, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 2: Testing

He opened the door at the end of the hall, and his arm extended again.

“Here we are, child.”

He directed her into a tiny room, no more than a closet.

“Sit, sit,” he said, his voice gnawing on her nerves.

His nose flared.

“Achoo! Excuse me, while I get a Kleenex. We have a lot to accomplish, and I don’t have a lot of my time to spend on you and your problems. Sit down, child, and let’s begin!”

Karen saw how far below him he thought she was. She sat down in one of two white, wooden, spindle-legged chairs, by a two by three foot white porcelain table. On the table were a thick tan file labeled with her name, a stack of testing cards, pencils, pens, a puzzle, a mirror and a coffee cup. The stark white walls had been textured to make the atmosphere warm, but without any pictures or personal touches they still looked sterile. The room was cold, and when she touched the table, it felt icy. She shivered and looked up at him.

So glacial. So very, very glacial and as hard as arctic ice. There is no kind presence, here.

Feeling trapped, she forced herself not to feel limited. She forced herself to focus. She used her willpower to remember how strong and intelligent she was, but she still felt her nervous system failing.

This is how Pegasus must have felt before he came to life, before I rescued him, when he was trapped and thrown on a heap with all the other horses.

Dr. Muñoz began his examination by frowning at her and asking questions in rapid fire, his deep voice taut with urgency. Regardless of what he asked, her stressed nervous system rearranged her sensory input. With every word he spoke, she forgot the word that came before. She could neither visualize them nor recall their sounds. The harder she tried, the more difficulty she had. She could not give the right answers, even though she knew that they were somewhere in her mind. She tried to match his level of insistence, but the more she demanded of herself, the less she could recall.

He asked her about the physics of falling rain and about the names of famous musicians. She understood gravity and condensation in cumulus clouds, and she tried to explain them to him, but she could not find the words. She and her mother delighted in Louis Armstrong, but with Dr. Muñoz’s accent, she thought he was asking her about Elouisa Armstrong, and so he noted that she was unable to appreciate music. Her only relief came when Dr. Muñoz had her assemble some jigsaw puzzles. These were easy, spatial, and nonverbal.

She felt herself becoming exhausted, as the tests drained her of all emotional and intellectual energy. Every effort to bring up a correct response depleted her energy more.

As the session ended, he asked her to repeat groups of numbers back to him, and she trembled inside. This was a decoding problem, her weakness, and exactly what she could not do when she was stressed. Body stiff and rigid, involuntarily shaking, her apprehension grew. She repeated back the numbers: 5, 76, 632, 936, 1066, 90401 and 666064 but she could not see the links between them or recall their order. She knew she must be transposing them and felt overwhelmed. Failure on this part of the test would lower her score even more than not being able to add or subtract without pencil and paper.

The hour with the psychologist seemed like a year with a torturer, and then she was finished. Done.

Without thanking her or giving any encouragement, Dr. Muñoz coldly said, “You can leave, now.”

He pointed to the door, only inches away.

Original Text ©2022, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

Karen Lynn-Chlup This Able Team Interview

Now that you’ve read my interview with This Able Team, you can watch and listen to it on YouTube. This covers my disabilities, my experiences growing up as a person with multiple disabilities, and how I succeeded at having a career as a dance and fitness teacher, even though the doctors said I would never walk. 

Please give it a like and subscribe to my channel.


The Healing Horse, Ch. 20, Scene 1: Following Dr. Muñoz

diagram labeled egocentrism

Chapter 20 is all about how psychological testing can go wrong, about how a psychologist’s prejudice against a child with disabilities can turn an evaluation into a trial, in which the psychologist is judge and jury, and the school then becomes the executioner. Fortunately, little Kitten handles it in stride and does not let it break her brave spirit. (Image by Unknown authorUnknown author, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 1: Following Dr. Muñoz

As the image of Mrs. Pinzetti faded from little Karen’s mind, the bus hit a bump and shook her out of her revery. Then she felt herself slipping back into the memory of another scene that had occurred near the end of the previous school term. Just as a dying person sees his life flash before his inner eye, Kitten recalled her recent psychological evaluation with Dr. Muñoz, the new school psychologist—the one dark day during the weeks after her move into the new house.

Quiet, quiet, the silent hallway had instructed her. Not a murmur, not a sound, not even a whisper through the cracks under the classroom doors—a silence free from all activity, except for the footsteps of Dr. Muñoz and Karen, footsteps that reverberated in Kitten’s ear canals, footsteps that reflected his tone and his polio.

“Come with me,” Dr. Muñoz said, as he glared down at her. He demonstrated by stretching out his arm, pointing his finger, pointing it sharply toward his cubby hole, straight down the hall. His starched white cuffs stretched beyond his black wool suit, and the glitter of his gold cufflinks emphasized the flourish of his hand.

Karen looked down ever so slightly, sliding her eyes cautiously from his brown, balding hairline, down from his gray eyes, and down from his dark brown beard. Down, again, from his face, only to notice the pockmarks on his cheeks. She did not want to offend him. She did not want to make a spectacle of herself by staring, but she had to know.

He turned and strutted ahead of her, towering in his six-foot-two-inch body. His fine black suit was elegant, but why was it bulging at the bottom of one cuff? She saw flashes of metal, metal that looked like a brace, a piece of metal that resembled her leg brace.

Could it be? Karen asked herself. Yes, it could be.

“Come along. Come along, child,” he motioned and repeated in his deep voice and heavy accent.

His manicured fingernails caught Karen’s eyes, as their flash illuminated his every expressive motion with a reflected beam that blinded her sensitive visual perception like a lightning bolt. His words were respectful but his tone was harsh. 

“Follow me, please. Please, child, follow me,” he limped and repeated himself.

Karen fell in behind him, but his pace was faster than she could manage. She knew he would be annoyed when he looked back and saw her trailing far behind him. Every time she lifted one foot and set it in front of the other, she became more anxious than during the previous step. She was picking up on his energy and the way he was acting towards her. While she understood what was going on in the spiritual realm and in the physical realm, she was spiritually fighting the negativity that reached her through his actions and demeanor.

She sensed that Dr. Muñoz’s nerves were on edge, too, and this made her nerves flare, even though the evaluation had not yet begun. She felt the fibers that carried sensations to her brain begin to shut down. Fear crept through her nervous system like a fungus, setting off sparks that clouded her senses, as they ricocheted and misfired throughout her body, telling her that she was not relaxed and that she was definitely headed for a bout of severe transposition, which would assure low test scores.

He’s the psychologist. He’s got his degrees, already! Will he help me get mine, or will he label me something I’m not? Will he make me out to be more inferior than I truly am? I must stay positive. If I could handle Mrs. Schmidt and physical torture, I am sure I can handle a shrink with a bad attitude.

She quickened her pace and heard the hallway reverberate as her brace buckle banged against the bars of the brace on her leg.

Original Text ©2022, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

This Able Team Interview, Part 3

image of Karen Lynn-Chlup delivering a keynote address

This is my third post about my interview with This Able Team. The transcript follows and you can read it on their Instagram, too. Just click here. Be sure to read their other posts, too, especially with Dr. Sean P. Dineen.

The photo is of me giving the keynote presentation at a People First convention. As always, I emphasized the positive. 

I was discriminated against by California State Rehab, and they labeled me mentally retarded on three separate occasions, because I did not do well on tasks. This actually started when I was 18 years old. I took my test and went in originally to ask for help to get me a job, because I knew I needed help. Instead, they gave me a battery of tests and conveniently labeled me mentally retarded and put me into a nearby workshop, like GoodWill Industries. It was devastating. I turned every situation into a healthy atmosphere. I smiled and went to work in this workshop with a smile on my face, doing whatever they told me to do, and I wore bandaids on every single one of the fingers on my right hand because I was doing it all with my right hand. And I stuck it out. And I made it. And then I got a full time job on my own, and I worked as a salesgirl and it was fine for a while. But then, I was criticized and bullied, because I could do the job with one hand better than other people could with two hands. It was hard, but I took the challenge on and I was not going to give up. I did not give up on hope inside of my mind. I just walked on and walked on. And then, when I was 25 years old, I had a one-time opportunity to work in the field of dance. It turned my life around. I was an Assistant Recreation Director and then became a Director. I did all the care plans, and I taught dance. I used my talents from what I learned as a little girl and turned it into a healing process for other people. And I just followed my heart. I didn’t do things fast to compete with other people, but I did it at my pace when it felt comfortable. I did so many things for myself. I won the first civil rights case because of the discrimination and I opened the doors for all people to have education. I was on the board of Disability Rights California. I just follow my heart. I wouldn’t let anybody do that to me. It took three years to find out that I won my civil rights case. In the interim, I worked and taught people, I did whatever I could.