There isn’t a day go by, where I’m not having to piece something together based on my Cerebral Palsy diagnosis. Often from nowhere, a conversation will bring a new understanding into the equation and that’s another piece of the jigsaw fixed.
Listening to a friend talk, whose son has learning difficulties, it soon dawned on me that everything she was saying about him sounded familiar that she was talking about me too. That some of his difficulties were also mine that I also have learning difficulties brought about by brain damage. That I struggle to learn.
Our conversation brought about a new understanding on my own difficulties and why school was impossible. I have never chosen to hide behind my difficulties, because I have what I have, there’s no point to living in denial or run away from my difficulties. I simply failed to ‘get school’ and with no support in or out of school, I would always fail to succeed. With the help, I may have fared better.
People reading this, may think it incredible that I never realised this whilst experiencing difficulties in school. I was aware how hard school was for me and my difficulties learning in class, but as I only discovered I had Cerebral Palsy 7 years ago, I never equated the two and there is a huge difference between ‘difficulty in learning’ and the condition ‘learning difficulty.’ I now know I have the latter. Over the years, I have found myself a different way to learn and that helps me enormously.
It’s true to say that a lot of children don’t get school, but that’s a different discussion for another time. So long as there isn’t something fundamental that we deal with that stops us from getting school, there is no reason why children won’t get school; it just comes later for some children.
Failing in school isn’t something I’m proud of, but shouldn’t feel guilty either. I should have had someone in school, helping me to learn and feel angry now that didn’t happen. It also didn’t help when judgments on my abilities were constantly being formed from school and home and yet nothing was ever done about it. Even if no one new about my Cerebral Palsy diagnosis, they did know of my struggles and help should have been forthcoming on that. I’ve been let down.
Brain damage will always have massive implications. Like this blog has shown, I’m still finding out what those implications are. No doubt those implications will be the subject of another blog.