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A sister's lesson - Common App Essay

jspallina18 1 / 1 2  
Dec 31, 2017   #1
Prompt - Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

different people have different needs

I watched my sister struggle to roll over for the first time the night we adopted her, after being trapped in a tiny crib for eighteen months. In a tiny hotel room in Hefei, China I saw the confusion in her eyes as she looked at three strangers, her new family. I had one-sided conversations with her, wondering how I could possibly create that sisterly bond that I had always craved. I saw her cover her ears with her hands at the supermarket because the noise of the cash register was too loud. From the beginning, I realized Malia would face challenges unique from other children.

When my sister began kindergarten, I further realized the impact of her autism. Instead of having friends she had a one-on-one aide. Instead of having parent-teacher conferences she had Individualized Education Program meetings. Instead of playing soccer after school she went to speech therapy. Instead of gaining knowledge she was racing to catch up with her peers.

My education failed to prepare me for this. From kindergarten, I have attended an all girls, private, Catholic school where we roughly equated autism with the likes of Forrest Gump. At Sacred Hearts there were no girls with disabilities or special needs; we looked at our classmates who possessed the expected social and academic skills and assumed that the rest of the world behaved similarly. I fit neatly into this mold of social cues and memorization that, until Malia, I never troubled myself with the thought that others would learn and behave differently than me, than the status quo.

She cannot learn the way I did. She struggles with basic vocabulary and remembering the sounds of the alphabet. She cannot start her math homework in the library after school, she needs a silent room and our mom to help her keep her columns straight when adding numbers. Even with all of the individualized attention, special classes, and government resources she falls below what is expected, always a few steps behind.

Malia taught me that different people have different needs. Some people are simply born with more advantages, and that there is no universal system that equally benefits everyone. Certain people need more support and resources in order to achieve. She taught me that this world is a lot more complicated than I thought and that even though there is no simple solution, a solution is needed.

Thank you!
Manal99 1 / 3  
Dec 31, 2017   #2
In a tiny hotel room in Hefei, China, I saw the confusion ... at threestrangers: her new family.
I saw her covering her ears.
I saw her cover her ears with her hands at the supermarket, as she could not resist the noise of the cash register.
From the beginning, I realized Malia would face unique challenges
Instead of having friends, she had a

You need to proofread your essay as it contains many puncatuation and grammer mistakes , I have corrected some above .You need to paste your essay on an online grammar checker . In addition , , i would suggest to focus your essay on how your new experience with new person changed your attitude not just conclude that you are different from her . That do not serve the essay's prompt ,which is personal growth .
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,801 4780  
Dec 31, 2017   #3
Jade, you turned the essay into the story of Malia with you as an observer and narrator. You have a total disconnection with the prompt requirements. The period of personal growth is not depicted by an event, accomplishment, or appropriate realization. That is not to say that you have to write a different essay. You merely have to refocus this essay to go from an 80% presentation of your sister's life story to a story of personal growth on your part. For every difficulty that Malia had in her physical and mental development, explain how it affected you and how you had to adjust or learn how to deal with her problem in order to help her develop a sense of normalcy. Through the process / over time, explain how these experiences created a new sense of self for you or helped you realize that a person with autism is not to be judged because, with proper help, they can become almost normal in their activities and abilities as well. That type of presentation aligns with the personal growth and understanding of others requirement of the prompt. Although the essay says "or", in your case, you can perfectly respond to both within this presentation so you should take full advantage of that opportunity.

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