I am Trudy’s mum first of all so I have learned a lot about what it is like to live with disability. I am also a Teacher of children with Additional Support Needs in Scotland. I wanted to write this blog because I felt compelled to widen the audience of people who know about disability. I believe we can all gain something from knowing someone who has faced challenges in their lives or had their paths changed in some way. There are things I have learned from knowing people with disabilities but also from my own daughter who has exceeded expectation and surprises us every day.
This has been written in collaboration with colleagues and friends who know a great deal more than me about learning and development in children with learning difficulties. I am in the privileged position of knowing these people and this has helped me to be a better and more informed mum to Trudy.
Although she has her different quirks and characteristics, the underlying concern as her parents remains the same: what will her future be like? And, more importantly, what can I do about it?
My aim here is to inform but also entertain! Life has taken a different path to what we expected, but it is not dull. We face different challenges but we also gain where other parents might struggle. In our world of additional needs, we are surrounded by help and support, organisations and professionals who do such wonderful jobs to make us feel reassured and confident. My hope is to raise awareness for the obstacles that are sometimes in our way but, above all, to highlight the importance of these people in our lives and in others. It is not to hide in the shadows, but to bring a little of the joy and sense of achievement we experience every day into the minds of others, to question what is normal and begin an acceptance and (dare I say) celebration of difference.