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 talking, whose son has learning difficulties, it dawned on me that everything she was saying about him, she was talking about me too. His difficulties were also mine. That I also struggle to learn.
Our conversation brought about a new understanding on why school was impossible. I have never chosen to hide behind my difficulties, there is no point in living in denial, or running away from those. It wasn’t my fault, I failed to ‘get school’ and with no support in or out of school, I was doomed to fail.
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 at the age of 46, I never equated the two.
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. So long as there isn’t something fundamental that we deal with that stops us from learning, or 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 I shouldn’t feel guilty either. I should have had someone in school, helping me to learn. 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. I’ve been let down. Brain damage will always have massive implications.
Through my blog, I am still finding out what those implications are. No doubt those implications will be the subject of another blog.