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Life at school with a disability

Here is part 3 of Emily’s blog residency on the Little Gate website!


Life began to get back to a different normal and I had to get used to it. I started back part-time at school but initially was not sure what school I would end up at. Mum and Dad had to decide whether I went back to my old school where everyone knew me or go to a different school that could cater for my new needs.

The whole of my reception class had come to visit me while I was in hospital and my reception teacher had recorded registration when I was in my coma in the hope that I would recognise, remember and recover.

Mum and dad chose the former, and we all found it harder than we thought because I was a new me. I had therapists coming in and adaptions were made, I had lots of friends to start with, but going back after my brain injury I only had a few as I was different. I had a TA called Miss Payne who was employed to look after me throughout my time at school, and is still a dear friend now.

My learning was at a different pace to the class so I ended up falling behind. Even now, years on from that day my life is still a challenge and I am having to think all the time of different ways to approach everything.

Eventually, I moved on to secondary school ‘Bexhill High School’ which started off at Gunters Lane where I had my first special friend Leah Smith. We became friends right from the word go. We did everything together, had break times, and lunch times together. I was put in the lower sets because my learning had been affected and I left classes early to avoid the crowds in the corridors. It was very confusing. Year 8 was in a different building and I had to get used to it. I remember Miss Hewitson, Mrs Camus/ Mrs Le Lievre helping me and I remember having to come out of class early to do my physio, eventually I had to do it in my lunch break as I didn’t want to miss out on class. But then it meant missing out on socialising with my friends.

Eventually I had physio, but that didn’t take away the nasty name calling, I was called some horrible names. People didn’t understand my disability, it was frustrating, the only people that understood were my friends, well I only had one in year seven, Leah Smith.

Year 8 was in a different building Down Road which was very confusing as it was all new and we had to mix with all the other years in the school. The music block and the canteen were in different buildings right next to each other. I remember having to queue to get lunch. Annette was one of the dinner ladies. I remember having fish, chips and beans on a Friday. But it wasn’t all fun and games as I still had a disability, I could not do certain things, like in PE I had to go slower than others and in classes I was slower to learn. I was put in with the children with other problems and a lot of the time I was kicked, spat at, had things thrown at me, name calling etc etc……..

PE turned out to be a favourite lesson for me, I met my other best friend Gemma in year 8/9. I was invited out to barn dances with Gemma, and Gemma’s Nan and Grandad. I remember staying at Gemma’s Nan and Grandads house for sleep overs. Year 10 and 11 were difficult as they were GCSE Exams. I remember being a prefect having to guard the corridors for the older students in exams. I had to tell the younger pupils to be quiet. I remember a younger lad called Jordan, he was in a wheel chair. He had a disability. I remember letting him go down the corridors while exams were happening. I eventually had to sit the scary GCSEs, I studied every day, writing out over a ‘hundred times’ the revision books.

Eventually, the end of school came, it was a very emotional goodbye as I had made friends with a few of the teachers, the last day we all got our T-shirt’s signed by everyone and we were only in for half a day. Mum and dad came to get me from school and had a surprise waiting. Tickets for my favourite boy band Westlife and an overnight trip to London!