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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Some early years experiences as a disabled child in the mainstream world and the way her family coped.

On the back of my health problems, life continued as normally as possible. My brother and I went to school, my mum and dad went to work. My school life started at the age of 2 and a half when I started to go to nursery which was part of a special needs school where 5-18 year olds attended.

I started as most children do, going once or twice a week for a few hours here and there. I then progressed through the years and stayed at the school until I was 9 yrs old. During my time at the school, my parents were always keen to get me in mainstream education, although they were cautious for the first few years of my life as they were unsure of my cognitive ability and whether I was going to have a learning difficulty making it difficult for me to learn due to the complications of my shunt.  I will discuss my school experiences in more detail in a future post.

As the years progressed and my health became more stable, I began to lead a more 'normal' life. I was finally allowed to go on holiday with my family to Majorca which was obviously quite an exciting time for the whole of the family. This time allowed us to be like a normal family, having fun with my brother, mum and dad.

As mentioned above at the beginning of my post, life carried on as normal as possible for the rest of my family as well. My brother who is 3 and a half years older than me continued to join in at school and do normal boy activities like cubs and scouts. He had his own health problems as a child which made life quite challenging for my parents, especially when I was in one hospital and my brother was in another. Thankfully as a family we got through these times and it is probably what has made us stronger as a result.

While all this was going on, my mum and dad also went to work, dad full time as a pig farmer and then went back to building while my mum worked in an office part time. The company that my mum worked for was quite understanding of my mum's needs and would give her time off at short notice, allowing her flexible working conditions. This was needed as my mum was the main person involved in the regular hospital visits that I had to attend. 

This and previous posts written are only a brief outline of some aspects of my life and things that I  have experienced, in future posts I will speak about these in more detail as well as new aspects of my life.

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