Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Real Housewife Caroline Manzo a Learning Disability Advocate!

The latest episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey featured housewife Caroline Manzo having a heart to heart talk with her 23 year old son Albie. Albie informs his mother he received a D in one class and his current GPA at law school was 1.913. He was informed by his law school that since he fell below the minimum 2.0 GPA he was expelled.

Albie stated on camera he has a slow processing speed when reading that takes him three times longer to read and comprehend the written word and that the law school knew this when they admitted him.

Becoming a lawyer has been Albie's dream for years. He said he worked hard in high school to get the college prerequisites and then worked hard in college to qualify to be admitted to law school.

Yet one of his professors told him a person with a learning disability like him doesn't have what it takes to receive a law degree and work as a lawyer and to go find a new career path.


Caroline Manzo choked up with tears upon hearing this and it was obvious this was sincere not acting for the camera. With tears in her eyes she quickly shifted gears to give Albie a pep talk and to not let anyone stand in his way. She encouraged him to fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer and to find a new law school to attend.

It was so moving!

I'd love to embed a video but I can't find one online today.

Look, I watch all the Real Housewives shows for entertainment. It is fun to see how others live especially my tri-state neighbors in New York and New Jersey. None of these women's lives are anything like my Fairfield County, homeschool mom life. This show is an escape for me, watched at the end of the day right before going to bed most times.

On this rare occasion my husband was still awake and saw this part of the show. I listened silently as I cried upon hearing this segment and Caroline Manzo's pep talk. When it cut to commercial my husband said, "Wow." It was said in a way that was meant to be a compliment.

This segment is so far the best on this seaon's show.

Thanks Caroline and Albie Manzo for choosing to share this on television. Just hearing that one segment will move many families. Caroline, I'm willing to bet you'll begin to get invitations to speat at LD conferences for parents and educators.

Go Caroline!

Go Albie!

P.S. Caroline was my favorite New Jersey housewife even before this segment aired. Now it's underscored!


Joan said...

Since 1993, my focus as a Learning Specialist has been the critical high school-to-college transition for students with learning disabilities. I am passionate about seeing the postsecondary success rate for this cohort rise, as I feel that many of our students are failing unnecessarily.

I invite you to check out my exciting new blog, Conquer College with LD/ADD, at http://www.conquercollegewithld.com.

If you are the parent of a high school teen, subscribe to my listserve and receive a FREE 55-page downloadable E-Book, Interactive Academic Websites (for high school and college students), that helps make students active learners and takes the tedium out of studying.

Hope to see you there!

Kathy Wiegner said...

When I saw last weeks episode my heart was braking. I know the pain you felt for your son. My son has a learning disability and all he was told in school were all the things he couldn't do. I worked and fought and as you, told him there was nothing he couldn't do if he worked hard. My son is now a Health and PE teacher as well as a cross country, track and soccer coach. It took him six years to graduate but for teaching you must maintain at least a 3.0 average and to get a job you must have at least a 3.2 and better schools want at least a 3.4. It took him six years because he retook classes to get his GPA to 3.339. He is an amazing person and I think a better person for what he endured which made him so compassionate as a teacher. Don't, please don't let your son give up on himself - A teachers wife once said to me at the bus stop that her husband was stuck with the inclusion class one year with the students who didn't want to learn. That infuriated me, mainly because too many regular ed teachers don't want to take the time to see that the learning disabled child learns differently, not that they don't want to learn. I a just so hoping and praying that your son continues through law school and shows everyone who said he couldn't do it that he can do it. He must have faith in himself and he must do it at a slower pace and I know he will be a great attorney . I will keep watching, praying and hoping that all works out for him. From one mother to another your heart hurts the most when your child hurts. I am hoping for the best for him.

christinemm said...

Dear Kathy, Thank you for your heartfelt note. I just want to clarify I am not the mother on Real Housewives (Caroline Manzo). Your note was touching, thank you.