I have sensory processing disorder. I am picky about the chalk I use because if it makes a certain sound, or feels a certain way in my hands, or against the board, it makes me sick. I usually keep a cache in the car so I can't get stuck using undesirable chalk.
I got caught without my chalk one day last week.
Fortunately, it wasn't for one of my science classes, it was for a First Year Experience lecture, so there were no equations to share, no problems to model, no major content to put on the board. We were going to be discussing things and doing group work. I did, however, plan to put the homework on the board.
I was able to write the chapter numbers on the board, and then I paused and pretended I needed to decide between two things. I tried to regroup, I put the date next, then had to close my eyes, because sometimes that helps. I closed my eyes and attempted to write a word (just to see if I could do it at all with my eyes closed) and it didn't matter whether or not I could write with my eyes closed; I couldn't write with that chalk. I gagged and had to step out of the room. I think they think I'm pregnant now. I stood in the hall doubled over, and in a low squat, with my shoulders hunched up to my ears and my hands grasping my knee caps. When the horrible feeling left my knees I had to stick my fingers in my ears until it went away. I was swallowing hard with my eyes clenched tight and finally it passed.
Then I went back inside and said we shouldn't waste the last nice day of fall stuck in a classroom and let them go 20 minutes early.
I just wanted to share that in case you ever wonder if you're being suckered by a student with a dubious diagnosis.
Oh - and that's the graphic because I couldn't find any images of a wombat with an invisible disability, but if any poorly dressed middle aged man were to hug me back to comfort, it would be Bruce Springsteen.