Education

I would be interested to find out, how many people like myself living with Cerebral Palsy have had difficulty learning.

For many years I carried way too much guilt for not having achieved in school. Perhaps it’s time to put the record straight. The more a Cerebral Palsy brain tries to concentrate, the slower the brain works. When we try too hard to learn, brain fatigue sets in, and learning has to be done in stages so that we can grasp what’s being taught.

I had problems with concentration. I was slow to learn and was considered lazy by my family and teachers because I couldn’t learn at the pace I was expected to. Course work was never detailed enough and teachers didn’t care to ask questions as to why I was underachieving. My parents didn’t ask questions either. They just put it down to me.

Although, I wasn’t great in a class room situation, I still felt I needed to have another go at my own kind of learning, so I started studying long distance in subjects I knew a little about. I studied Diet and Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy and Nutrition, all the subjects I had an interest in enjoyed and therefore might excel in.

I passed them all with Distinctions. I have diplomas behind me, which I use to great advantage in my home-life because they are all to do with health and wellbeing, which I feel is very important, more so because I deal with Cerebral Palsy.

I finally broke the mold and have since gone on to prove that it was never about me not being capable. I believe everyone is. With the right input and a different way to learn, I believe anyone can do what they set their sights on.


3 Jun, 2010

10 thoughts on “Education

  1. I was lucky enough to go to college and earn a Diploma in General Business Accounting.

    I found like you when you are in the right environment you can thrive. You found your right way of doing things that fit you.

    I find at night I have always got tired. It is then I just have to stop everything and go to bed and sleep. if I force myself to stay up nothing will work. I listen to what my body says. If it says rest I rest.

    No use forcing the body to do something it does not want. You either get pain or so tired you have to rest.

  2. First I had to figure out what way I learned best, ie. visual, written, lectures or any combination.

    I found out early on that studying in 20 minute intervals was the best way for me to learn. Then in high school it was what the ‘experts’ recommend.

    If I took notes in class I ended up missing most of the lesson because I could not write that fast and listen at the same time.

    1. As you know I don’t have CP, but my Bipolar disorder gives me some of the same disabilities of the mind. I have learned a lot about the tools that make life easier to accommodate my disorder. I learned some of them from you. It’s a battle but we all can work together to achieve greatness. I think the support of others is a great motivator and the diet and nutrition has helped me immensely.

  3. I was lucky enough to go to college and earn a diploma in General Business Accounting.

    I found like you, when you are in the right environment you can thrive. You found your right way of doing things that fit you. I find at night I have always got tired. It is then I just have to stop everything and go to bed and sleep.

    If I force myself to stay up nothing will work. I listen to what my body says. If it says rest I rest. No use forcing the body to do something it does not want. You either get pain or so tired you have to rest.

    1. I am so happy to know you and be your friend. In the last year I have seen so much.

      I watched you fly through your course work with excellence. You’ve got such determination, such drive, such caring; even the cost and energy to set up this site.

      You are an amazing young lady and I am so proud to have a friend and a mentor like you.

    2. Emily, I have only just understood what brain fatigue is and why I get tired so easily. It helps to know what it is and why I have it, but it doesn’t make it any easier for myself or others.

  4. I always had trouble learning things that weren’t of my liking. Sciences, maths and history weren’t my strong suits. (Came to find out later that I may have been bipolar for a long time and wasn’t diagnosed until I was around 40).

    But when I was in nursing school in 2000 I was at the top of my class, it all came naturally and I excelled. I graduated with distinction too as the oldest or nearly eldest one in my class. So I guess the older we get, the better students we become?

    Sorry you didn’t have the home support you deserved, but you are doing swimmingly now so I am glad you understand your limitations. You are an inspiration to me.

  5. Ditto! I had similar problems with my schooling as you had. Was always slower at catching onto anything and at least a month behind the class. Had similar trouble with writing and the written word, still do to some degree?

    But like you, I learn better at things that interest me, human science has been a subject I’d like to learn more about. I have also explored my way of learning and I’m a very visual, audio and hands on learner, but a shocker at spelling. My Irlen syndrome was only diagnosed a month ago. Irlen’s is where the text moves and you lose where you are on the page, its a difference in frequency in seeing different colours mostly.

    Did you ever get called Dyslexic…? it was a big thing in our day. If we were only born yesterday, things may have worked out better for us now. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

    1. Mike you are absolutely right about excelling more in the subjects we have an interest in, but that has come from our own abilities to want to change our lives now. We were both ready to open the doors to learning because we didn’t have the opportunities as a child because of what we dealt with and felt that now was the right time to take those opportunities.

      I’m not sure about being born yesterday. I don’t think time has moved on that quickly as far as disability is concerned. We do better and there is more help out there, but until people’s perception of us changes and society is ready to accept disability one hundred per cent, I think we would find something to struggle with, but it would be a different struggle this time round.

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