I hated school because I struggled, both socially and academically. Okay, let me rephrase that: I liked school, but school didn’t like me. I found it difficult and isolating. I had no understanding of why I struggled, I just knew I did.
Why I struggled to learn would only become apparent to me years later – it was because of neurological difficulties and rewiring from my cerebral palsy. I never stood out, I merely existed; or perhaps I did stand out because it was obvious I was different.
I was slow to learn and struggled academically and with my handwriting. I still have my handwriting to deal with. Falling behind in school was a daily occurrence and being told to speed up was another. When the rest of the class had already got their notes down, I was lagging behind.
I find it sad that in my school years, none of my teachers asked why I was struggling. In school I was slow to understand even the basics of what I was being taught. My school reports highlighted problems, all of which were ignored. There was no follow-through between school, home, my parents, parents’ evenings, or the marks on my reports.
My parents knew I struggled but did little to help me. My father said I would catch up. In the meantime, I was continually being picked up for a lack of substance to homework and schoolwork. I didn’t realise my lack of substance or ability had anything to do with my neurological impairments and cerebral palsy.
There was no joined-up thinking. I was well-behaved in school, but in my mind, I had already given up. Growing up I was considered lazy, and if they thought I was stupid, nobody said.
The irony is that I was neither, I was struggling academically and with no support, I struggled even more. Years later, my successful studies and my website show a different story.
With the right support and guidance from home and school I know I could have achieved more and although it would go on to take me many years to work out how to learn, I have now found a different way that works for me.