Hi! My name is Chloe Tear, I am 19 years old and I'm a university student studying Psychology and Child Development. I have mild cerebral palsy which affects the left side of my body as a result of being born 8 weeks early and weighing 3lb 3oz, as well as epilepsy, chronic pain and impaired vision. During this blog, I will talk about what it’s like being a student who may face a few more hurdles than most. I hope you're able to follow my educational journey because anything can happen!
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NCS is official!
I know, I know, I have only just posted something. As per usual I have a lot to say.....
To start with there was a lot of confusion about whether or not I was allowed to compete this summer residential due to medical conditions and uncontrolled epilepsy. However in the end it was agreed that I could take part, which is amazing- as I had been looking forward to it for so long!!!
Now, for those of you who know what the NCS (National Citizenship Service) is, I will explain. You will be glad to know that it is a lot more exciting then it sounds, taking 4 weeks to complete, gaining skills, and having fun on the way!
And it goes a bit like this....
Week 1- residential (completing loads of crazy outdoor things and getting to know everyone)
Week 2- university halls (learning independent living skills and other qualifications like cooking and first aid)
Week 3 & 4- charity work (choosing whichever charity you want and coming up with a range of ideas to raise money)
I will be put into a group with complete strangers, something which is quite a daunting, but exciting experience. Also it will be a chance to make new friends and interact with different people. Whenever you are around strangers it is enviable that you will be judge, whether that's because you are in a wheelchair or your front left tooth is slightly wonky- strangers will pick anything, we all do it. However this just means that everyone can judge me, and I have 4 weeks prove them wrong!
All of the activities on the first week are going to be loads of fun, but probably very challenging, especially as the people there will be unaware of my limitations or fainting tendencies- I'm sure they will all learn very fast! Considered it extreme trust/ team building exercises, by just fainting on someone. I have to say that the majority of close friendships which have been formed in the last year is a result of me face- planting them first (we all have our own style of breaking the ice with new people!)
Fingers crossed for one of the best summers ever!
I'll let you know how week 1 went when I get back :)
In order for me to complete university away from home, and get to lectures in one piece- a PA (Personal Assistant) has been vital in me being able to be as independent as possible. I have actually enjoyed the process of hiring PA’s despite it being a little stressful to find one in time. Yet, when looking for a PA, it had to be someone who could drive as well as being capable to suit all of my needs. By having a car it would mean that I could get to hospital appointments easily. However, when advertising it was often extremely hard to find someone who was fairly young (not that this is essential!), was capable of the job, could drive and was okay being with people aged 19- 21 all of the time. After 30+ applications it became clear this was all quite a big ask! Who knows my full medical history? Who would have experience in Cerebral Palsy, seizures and visual impairment? Who can drive and wouldn’t mind being with young adults all day? Who would actually quite enjoy lectures? There is a…
Dear Chloe, You're currently 7 years old and are about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. This journey will show you the world in a completely new light, it will show you things you never thought you would see, and allow you to meet people you might otherwise have never met. Unfortunately, this journey is tough, it will test you past the limits you thought you had and cause so much frustration and upset- but you are capable of overcoming this, you can find tremendous joy in every aspect of your life. You have just been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. You have never heard of this, and have no idea what it is! But don't worry- mum's done lots of research and has your back! These hospital appointments may seem strange, and unnecessary as you don't think anything is wrong, but it will all become clear with time. Ever wondered why you walk on your toes and fall over more than your friends? Ever wondered why you can't hop, struggle with maths and feel tired? Or hav…
I am a part-time wheelchair user, this means that one day I can use my chair, and the next I can be walking with my stick. Being able to use a wheelchair on a part-time basis allows me to managed my energy levels and reduce pain, allowing me to function more effectively in everyday life. I am exactly the same person whether I use my stick or my chair, so why does the behaviour of others sometimes change?
Over the last few years, I have noticed people act differently to me depending on the equipment that I am using at that time, yet it was when doing my food shopping, of all things, that made me realise what those differences were.
I've noticed that when I use my stick, people don't tend to mind. I sometimes get a few inquisitive looks as they tried to figure out why a 19- year- old is using a walking stick, but apart from that it is fine. People in shops talk to me, telling me how much the items cost and expect me to pay- good job really considering it is my food for the week…