Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

Access digital copies of our district flyers.

Improving school-to-home communication by distribute school flyers directly to families digitally.

Haley Horst, 10th Grade


 

HALEY HORST, SOPHOMORE

April 2021

WHAT MAKES ME ME?

 

I am Haley Horst. I am a sophomore at GISH; a student like so many others, yet diverse in many ways.

School is a place where I love to be to learn and to be around my friends. I work hard and I care about being my best self. Although I am learning like other students, my learning has to look different. You see, I can’t learn in the traditional way.

It is one of the things that makes me, me and makes me unique.

I have very few words that allow me to voice my needs, wants or which allow me to have effective communication. Having a conversation with someone is difficult, but I can do it with an assistive technology device like my NovaChat or special apps on my iPad. I have very little hand use so I cannot write, type or text, but I use those same devices to help me with these skills too. My mom helps care for me and so do my teachers and therapists. I want to learn, enjoy learning and can learn. It just looks different.

Not only do I have trouble communicating and using my hands, but I also have a difficult time walking. My health has been bad and I have lost some skills in the last year. I now also have difficulty sitting and standing along with walking. I used to be able to use a walker but I need more help with walking now. This all makes getting around the long halls of Grand Island Senior High even more of a challenge.

These difficulties also make me, me and make me unique. Rett syndrome is my diagnosis and I have also developed a movement disorder, which has caused lots of tremors that make it even more difficult for me to function throughout my day. An adult has to be around me at all times for my safety. I’m not sure most teenagers would like an adult hanging around them at all times, but it’s another thing that makes me diverse and unique.

Rett syndrome is my diagnosis, but it does not define who I am. I like the same things other teenage girls do. I love music, water, dance and boys. I have taken dance for 14 years with a “shadow” who helps me with the movements. I have also participated in bowling and cheer at school with caring staff and other students who help me do these activities. Again, I can, it just looks different than the norm.

I have had to spend my sophomore year at home so far this year. My health struggles along with the pandemic are high-risk factors for me. I can’t wear a mask for long because it’s a sensory issue for me and causes breathing issues and anxiety. My movement disorder has made it very difficult for me to be able to sit for long before my tremors get even worse. I have had three hospital stays since the pandemic started. Other than being in the hospital, I am confined to my home except for therapy when I am able to participate, and that only happens once a week. I miss school, my friends, my teachers, dance, bowling, and cheer. My diversity has made dealing with all of this very difficult mentally, physically, and emotionally.

My diversity and challenges make everyday living an obstacle, but everything has been escalated during the pandemic and with my increased health problems. Despite the pandemic and my unique diversity, I am working hard at home and I can’t wait to get back to school. I work hard through my diversity and all that makes me, me and makes me unique. I hope it teaches others to work hard and appreciate their own and others’ diversities too.

Media Inquiries
Mitchell Roush , Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 ex. 201127
Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

Access digital copies of our district flyers.

Improving school-to-home communication by distribute school flyers directly to families digitally.

Haley Horst, 10th Grade


 

HALEY HORST, SOPHOMORE

April 2021

WHAT MAKES ME ME?

 

I am Haley Horst. I am a sophomore at GISH; a student like so many others, yet diverse in many ways.

School is a place where I love to be to learn and to be around my friends. I work hard and I care about being my best self. Although I am learning like other students, my learning has to look different. You see, I can’t learn in the traditional way.

It is one of the things that makes me, me and makes me unique.

I have very few words that allow me to voice my needs, wants or which allow me to have effective communication. Having a conversation with someone is difficult, but I can do it with an assistive technology device like my NovaChat or special apps on my iPad. I have very little hand use so I cannot write, type or text, but I use those same devices to help me with these skills too. My mom helps care for me and so do my teachers and therapists. I want to learn, enjoy learning and can learn. It just looks different.

Not only do I have trouble communicating and using my hands, but I also have a difficult time walking. My health has been bad and I have lost some skills in the last year. I now also have difficulty sitting and standing along with walking. I used to be able to use a walker but I need more help with walking now. This all makes getting around the long halls of Grand Island Senior High even more of a challenge.

These difficulties also make me, me and make me unique. Rett syndrome is my diagnosis and I have also developed a movement disorder, which has caused lots of tremors that make it even more difficult for me to function throughout my day. An adult has to be around me at all times for my safety. I’m not sure most teenagers would like an adult hanging around them at all times, but it’s another thing that makes me diverse and unique.

Rett syndrome is my diagnosis, but it does not define who I am. I like the same things other teenage girls do. I love music, water, dance and boys. I have taken dance for 14 years with a “shadow” who helps me with the movements. I have also participated in bowling and cheer at school with caring staff and other students who help me do these activities. Again, I can, it just looks different than the norm.

I have had to spend my sophomore year at home so far this year. My health struggles along with the pandemic are high-risk factors for me. I can’t wear a mask for long because it’s a sensory issue for me and causes breathing issues and anxiety. My movement disorder has made it very difficult for me to be able to sit for long before my tremors get even worse. I have had three hospital stays since the pandemic started. Other than being in the hospital, I am confined to my home except for therapy when I am able to participate, and that only happens once a week. I miss school, my friends, my teachers, dance, bowling, and cheer. My diversity has made dealing with all of this very difficult mentally, physically, and emotionally.

My diversity and challenges make everyday living an obstacle, but everything has been escalated during the pandemic and with my increased health problems. Despite the pandemic and my unique diversity, I am working hard at home and I can’t wait to get back to school. I work hard through my diversity and all that makes me, me and makes me unique. I hope it teaches others to work hard and appreciate their own and others’ diversities too.

Media Inquiries
Mitchell Roush , Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 ex. 201127
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