- Publish Date
- Thursday, 19 October 2017, 11:30AM
Her teachers called her stupid, told her she didn't care about her education and made her cry in front of the class for getting questions wrong.
Sydney student Phoebe suffers from dyslexia (reading disorder), dyscalculia (difficulty in comprehending arithmetic), dysgraphia (impacts writing abilities), and ADHD.
But that didn't stop parents of other students asking the teacher to not have their child sit next to her in fears their child would "become stupid too".
One specific teacher even told her parents she should drop out of school.
But after years of sweat, tears, determination and hard work, Phoebe has a message for her doubters after graduating university with one of the highest GPA's in her course: "watch your back because us disabled kids are smashing you at your own game".
Phoebe posted a photo of herself to Facebook in a graduation cap and gown along with her bachelor degree majoring in communications from the University of Technology Sydney in the hopes of inspiring others.
"To the teacher in the HSC who told my parents I should drop a class because I would drag down other students grades," Phoebe posted.
"To the Uni teacher who told me 'I obviously don't care about my education' and made me cry in front of the class because I spelled words wrong.
"To the parents who asked a teacher to not have their child sit next to me in maths because their child would 'become stupid too'.
"And to the education system that failed me, that told me I was only worth my 49 ATAR. Well, this post is for you.
"After going through UTS: in search to get to University... I was formally diagnosed with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, and ADHD... I have not only been able to finish my bachelor's with only one semester of disability support but I can proudly say I have finished with one of the highest GPA's of my course with the opportunity to do honours.
"So to those people who shamed me for not fitting the criteria of the 'perfect student', watch your back because us disabled kids are smashing you at your own game in our own unique game."
In a Facebook post, which was uploaded to photo-sharing website Imgur, the young woman hit back at critics after achieving her bachelor's degree.
Her post has since attracted more than 1000 comments, with hundreds sharing their own stories about living with a disability.
Doctadeth wrote: "I was diagnosed as being vegetative by age 3. I am happily married, with my own house and working. It's not a disability, it's different ability."
ButtonsAreForPushing said: "My story wasn't so different. Didn't get diagnosed as dyslexic until college either. Now, I'm a successful IT executive."
And 8livesLeft posted: "I had a similar upbringing. Diagnosed with Dyslexia, told I was stupid to many times. Got 2 bachelor deg. Top of class. Now earn 200k/ year."
This article was first published on NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.