5 things I did differently at Primary school as a disabled child

disability

When I look back on my time at Primary school even though I got bullied they were happy times. Primary school was also the time in which my family and I found out that I was disabled and had cerebral palsy right hemiplegia and learning difficulties so this time was also very confusing too. I have done all my education in the mainstream learning environment

1. Having SEN Reviews

An SEN review is a “special educational needs” meetings discussing a child’s progress throughout school. I remember at primary school finding it confusing as I didn’t get why their was a meeting with my teachers and parents all about me. I also found it awkward I still do. I just find it strange how a meeting is just all about you. At primary school I was definitely less bothered about having a disability. When I went into secondary school I started to understand more what having a disability meant and how I could find things challenging compared to my peers. I was also getting more heavily bullied at secondary school due to being disabled amongst other things so I was more aware about what made me different to everyone else. At primary school I was more confident in telling class mates where I had gone for a meeting or physio however when I was at secondary school I tried to keep as much as I could to myself as my peers made fun of me.

For me personally I don’t like the term “special needs” because to me everyone is special in their own ways. When really what has happened is something is being adapted something in order for someone to do the same thing as everyone else. In reviews we discuss all different topics for example we’d discuss my adaptations and support I needed in class to help me keep up and be like everyone else.

2. Having Adapted Equipment

In primary school I was given equipment to help me in class. I remember finding underlining my writing really hard or just using a ruler in general. I could never keep it still. So to help me with using a ruler the occupational therapist got me to use a crocodile ruler instead. This ruler helped as I had a handle to hold helping me to grip the ruler into place without it doing a dance around the page making my work have wonky lines all over it.

My hands would get tired and I found it hard to use pens and pencils. So the occupational therapist and I did work together with how to hold a pencil to help me write. I was then given pencil grips this helped me to have more control of my writing when trying to form the letters.

I also had a slopping board to help me with writing as it helped me to keep good posture and when I used to write I couldn’t write in a straight line all my sentences would slop of the page.

In primary school I was also given a foot block. A foot block is quite simply a block that you put under your feet when sitting. I had one of these to help me have the correct posture at the table and my feet didn’t actually touch the ground so without the block my feet would be lifted in mid air.

3. Sitting At The Front In Class

In primary and secondary school I would sit at the front or near the front in every single one of my lessons. This was for a number of different reasons:

  • So I could see the board better
  • So the teacher could keep an eye on me as I was the slowest at copying from the board so they would normally check that I had the right stuff written down
  • So I could concentrate more and not get so distracted
  • I also sat at the front so my LSA could sit next to me so that they could help me when needed.

4. Occupational Therapy, Physio Therapy & Conductive Education

At Primary School when I was in year 2 I started Conductive education. I would do afternoon sessions and after school sessions too. We would work on stretches, balance and writing to name a few. We also had lunch club where we would learn how to use a knife and fork to help with my posture I put my elbows on the table to help me sit up. We even went swimming and did some baking.

At Primary and Secondary school I did both occupational Therapy also known as OT and Physio Therapy. I would work on improving my writing and creating the shape of each letter and not going off the page. I did stretches and core exercises as well as learning how to read the time and do dressing tasks.

5. PE Lessons

At Primary School I did do PE lessons however I was put into a different group. Everyone in the group had a disability. Before doing an physical activities we would go through our starches with an LSA, we would then maybe play a bit of tennis which I was really bad at, I still am.

Then for some reason I remember during PE lessons we stopped doing PE and started to clean at the classrooms fish tank each week.

They are just a few things I can remember now. I’ll probably think of lots more later so don’t be surprised if you see a part 2!

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