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Accepting my own disability....(long and moany, sorry!)

(12 Posts)
LollipopViolet Wed 10-Sep-08 12:01:50

Sorry, just need to get this down somewhere.

I start university on Monday and at the minute I'm torn between trying to make myself fit in, and not being ashamed to show that I've got additional needs. I've had a DSA assessment and I point blank refused a note taker because everyone would know I was different and because I've been bullied before, I didn't want to risk it again.

I had use of a laptop in school, chose not to use it because of snidey jealous kids having a go. Got whined at by people in college because I was coming in/leaving on council run transport. Got grief because when I was having big transport problems (never in on time grrr) the tutors didn't mind me being late, but if they were they got told off...etc etc ad nauseum.

So now I've got another chance, and I just want to be like everybody else. But deep down I know I'm not. I've had to watch/listen to people preaching the joys of being able to drive (I can't), of being able to get a bus home in the dark (I can but it's harder, and I don't like doing it) etc. I don't want any specialist help in uni, no equipment, nothing (I am getting equipment but it's either for home use or very discreet).

I just cannot accept that I'm different. I hate this, I feel totally helpless in new places, because I don't know my way round and can't follow spoken directions well, I'm going into this with no mobility training because it's not been sorted yet....urgh I'm glad I've got sight, and I'm glad I don't have to deal with the difficulties your DC face, but I hate having this impairment sometimes! Does that make me a bad person?

Sorry, long and rambly I know, but needed to get it out.

LollipopViolet Wed 10-Sep-08 12:02:51

Sorry, slow computer made me double post this topic.

Tclanger Wed 10-Sep-08 13:16:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tunicate Wed 10-Sep-08 13:47:40

Hi LollipopViolet

I'm about to start a course too - as a rehab worker. My DS (2) has a sight impairment which is why I got interested in the subject. I'm very interested in how people in general, but especially teenagers and young adults negotiate these transitions, especially the dilemma between blending into the background and being upfront about it which is such a big issue for so many (and something I worry about my DS dealing with when he's older).

I do think that university is very different from school or college - it is an environment where people are definitely now adults and treat one another a lot more as they would in a workplace, people are coming from so many backgrounds it's really not cliquey and judgemental in the same way at all (or at least it wasn't when I went to do my first degree). A year or two's extra maturity, an adult environment and a mix of mature students has made uni students a good deal more confident of their own identity so better able to be positive about individual differences.

If you'd like to email me, my address is cloeon@yahoo.co.uk I'm not sure that I'd be able to offer you much advice on the practicalities as I haven't even started my course yet, but I'm willing to listen and it would be very useful for me to understand more about your dilemma and experience.

Seuss Wed 10-Sep-08 13:48:47

Hi, I think Tclanger is right, use your laptop if that's what you find easiest. At Uni I'm sure you'll find people a lot more accepting and understanding of different needs, transport probs etc. Just be yourself, everyone else will be worrying about fitting in too albeit for many different reasons! Good luck!

AnnVan Wed 10-Sep-08 14:18:33

Lollipop - University is very different from school or college. I was bullied a lot in 6th form etc so very nervous when I started uni. You will ind that people are more accepting and less judgemental. You will also find that you will meet lovely people and soon make a group of regular friends, who won't care that you have a disability. All I can say is good luck, and try to enjoy your first year of uni.

magso Wed 10-Sep-08 15:39:48

Congratulations on starting uni!
There are many differences between school and university which may help you feel included. First of all most students are adults or at least almost adults, so should be less insecure and a bit more thoughtful! Indeed there are usually quite a few 'mature' students who may themselves feel rather different. Secondly most students are there because they want to be. Thirdly most new students arrive without knowing many others so are also keen to fit in and get to know others!
Most students in my day were allocated a 'personal tutor' from their own department who should be able to support you in accessing the course. The name may be different but there will be someone similar.
Good luck with everything!

NineYearsOfNappies Wed 10-Sep-08 16:18:12

You probably won't be the only student using a laptop anyway - some others will have them just because they can.

sarah293 Wed 10-Sep-08 16:51:37

Message withdrawn

LollipopViolet Wed 10-Sep-08 17:29:32

Well school took the laptop when I left lol but I've got my own, and I'm gonna use the dictaphone I've got, so that'll be sorted. I hope it's different, I'm paying for this after all! I'm looking forward to it, on the whole. And all my equipment arrives tomorrow hooray!

BriocheDoree Wed 10-Sep-08 17:58:45

Congratulations on starting uni. I agree with the others who say that people at university will be more accepting and will be keen to get to know others. University is a great time to learn to accept who you are. I don't have any SN, but was teased a lot at school for all sorts of reasons, and never really found my feet or was happy in who I am until I got to university. I had a really good friend at university who was paraplegic. It was particularly difficult for him as he was fully mobile up to the age of 18 when he broke his back, so ended up taking a year out in hospital and deferring his place while the college made a room accessible for him. He was one of the most popular people I knew and always made a point of not letting his disability stop him doing anything he wanted to (including getting us to carry him in his wheelchair upstairs into the theatre on numerous occasions). Have a wonderful time, do whatever you need to in order to make your life easier, and enjoy yourself!

TotalChaos Wed 10-Sep-08 19:38:37

Congratulations on starting uni and hope you have the time of your life. Like other posters, I was bullied at school but had a brilliant time at uni - it's better than school/college as you don't end up being forced into close contact with people you don't get on with, and people are more mature by that time anyway.

I would agree with Riven - use any extra help you need. My friend works as a PA for University Students - it is all done very discreetly, so it looks like she's a friend coming along to a student's lectures when she does notetaking etc.

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