Skip to content

For me, school quickly became an essential part of my life.

MiaAcademics/school is a place where I feel on a much more regular playing field with other people my age which is especially powerful due to my physical limitations. It was/is very refreshing! Studying and learning became something to dedicate energy to and which gave me a sense of achievement and accomplishment where my SMA didn’t interfere as much as in other areas of my life.

I’ve always had TAs/PAs dedicated to helping me, but they didn’t overcrowd or patronise me. I made friends as easily as everyone else and was never bullied or ignored. Of course, children would ask questions but for me they were never offensive and personally I was happy to answer. In fact, this curiosity was a great way to make friends and begin conversations. As you get older there are definitely instances where people don’t really know how to approach you or how to begin a conversation so then you need to be a bit more outgoing, but I didn’t find this to be an issue in primary school. I think when you grow up with a child with a disability in your class it becomes a normality very quickly – even something cool!

Image shows a young girl with fair hair in a blue school uniform with a white collar.I do have memories of feeling a bit isolated when my class were playing on equipment outside – not because I wasn’t asked to join in but because I was worried about being knocked over. So, my teachers arranged for me and a group of my close friends to have time to play on/with/around the equipment ourselves. People are, more often than not, happy to help and listen. There are inevitably challenges of going to a school when you are the only disabled student in your class/school. Staff may need to be educated on how to help and they won’t get things right every time. It can also be hard to understand why you are different to your peers. Nevertheless, for me going to school was an amazing experience! It helped me find some purpose and direction, being an important constant in my life. I’m positive that any child will have an amazing, exciting experience at school, and that any challenges will ultimately be outweighed by the benefits by far!

First published: 18th August 2020