Author Archives: Amy

Lyla: “If I wasn’t dyslexic I wouldn’t be me, I am what you see”⤴

from @ Reach

Did you know that 1 in 10 people are thought to be dyslexic in some way? That means that over half a million people in Scotland have dyslexia. The word ‘dyslexia’ is a tricky one to spell. The word comes from the Greek and it means ‘difficulty with words’. Dyslexia effects everyone in different ways, but basically it means that you may need help with reading, writing, spelling and sometimes speaking too. People with dyslexia have amazing talents. You only have to look at lists of famous people with dyslexia to realise how the right support can help people with dyslexia achieve incredible things: the actress Keira Knightley, the chef Jamie Oliver, the businessman Sir Richard Branson…. the list goes on.

Another talented person with dyslexia is Lyla, a pupil from Mearns Castle High School who won the Scottish Youth Poetry Slam for this awesome poem. Read it below, or check out Lyla perform the poem in this Facebook video.  

My name is Lyla

I love lots of drama, and everyday I am curious

But when I was seven I was diagnosed with something more serious

It sometimes muddles up my words when I write

I can’t read small writing

I don’t really care if people find out… I’m dyslexic.

I find Math and English a wee bit hard

My mum’s dyslexic but she mastered her dream in spite of it.

Being dyslexic can really suck, but if I really try that little bit harder I will master my dream so never give up

Memory is the worst for me I can’t remember much but if I really try like in this poem I really can succeed with a bit of luck

I’m dyslexic as I said before

I don’t care if people find out

If I wasn’t dyslexic I wouldn’t be me I am what you see.

 

A big thank you to Lyla for letting us share her poem. 

If you’ve got dyslexia, Dyslexia Scotland are there for you to help and listen to you. 

And of course, you can contact us if you want to find out about your rights to support at school. 

 

The post Lyla: “If I wasn’t dyslexic I wouldn’t be me, I am what you see” appeared first on Reach.

What’s the plan?⤴

from @ Reach

 If you get extra support at school, you may have a learning support plan. Your plan will set out targets for each term, and the support you need to reach them.

You have the right to be involved in deciding what goes in this plan. You should get the chance to talk to your teachers about whether the plan is working out well for you.

Confused? Get in touch for more advice about planning your learning and support. 

The post What’s the plan? appeared first on Reach.

Need help to get your views heard?⤴

from @ Reach

An advocacy worker can help you share your views at meetings where decisions are made about you. They can help you work out what you want to say and can even speak for you if that’s what you want.

You can ask your school or council for help finding an advocacy worker. Or call the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance 0131 524 1975.

If you’re care experienced, check out who your local advocate is at Who Cares? Scotland. 

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Young carer has her say on leaving school and the difference support can make⤴

from @ Reach

Young carers do an amazing job juggling caring and school work, but it’s not always easy.
If you’re caring for someone at home, the right support can make all the difference in helping you get the most out of school. Young carer Lauren, who shares her story below, is a great example of this.
Got a story (good or bad) about what school’s been like for you as a young carer? What do YOU think schools can do to help young carers? Get in touch, we are here to listen and have useful advice about getting support… 

 

“My name is Lauren, I’m 18 years old, I’ve been supported by the Falkirk & Clackmannanshire Young Carers Project since I was in primary school and I’m in my last week of sixth year! I’m so excited to leave school, feeling as ready as ever to begin the next chapter at university. I’m only feeling ready to leave because of the amazing support I received at school for being a Young Carer.

Over the last three years I’ve had the support from the most amazing Pastoral teacher who has helped and guided me into the next path that I’m about to take and I’m forever grateful that I’ve had her support.

Until I started getting support from my pastoral head, I was in a horrible place at school, where I bottled up all my stress and worry about home life and life as a Carer and it was eating me up. One day I burst into tears in the middle of a class because I didn’t understand what was going on and the stress got too much for me. And that was my first encounter with my Pastoral.

Since then I’ve gone nowhere but upwards, achieving National 5s, Highers and even having a stab at an Advanced Higher, as well as getting a place at university. I’ve heard so many stories about young carers not receiving any support from school and I don’t know what I would do without my pastoral, she’s been my safety net more times than either of us imagined!

I can’t wait to leave school. Because of all the support I’ve had from school and from the Young Carers Project, I feel ready to experience university life while being a Young Adult Carer because I know who I can turn to. I’ll miss my Pastoral teacher so much when I leave, she’s been a rock and I’m forever grateful to her. Here’s to new beginnings!”

The post Young carer has her say on leaving school and the difference support can make appeared first on Reach.

Seems like everybody’s talking about mental health⤴

from @ Reach

It seems like everybody’s talking about how Scotland can get better at supporting people’s mental health. The Scottish Government have a new plan – called the ten-year Mental Health Strategy.

We like the way See Me Scotland explain why having a plan like this matters: ‘We all have mental health and the results of this strategy must be that when we are struggling, we feel safe and supported to speak out and get help, in any area of our life, without the chance of being dismissed or judged.’ 

The Mental Health Strategy has lots of plans for making mental health support for young people better. Here are some of the things it sets out to do:

  1. To review the mental health support that pupils get in schools.
  2. To look into counselling in schools and other places for young people.
  3. To think about how Personal and Social Education (PSE) lessons at school could do more to get pupils talking about mental health and teach them about where they can get info, advice and support.
  4. To get better at supporting young people with their mental health issues early on, before they get worse.
What do YOU think of the Government’s Strategy for Mental Health?
We’d love to hear your views. 

The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) have been campaigning about many of the issues talked about it in the strategy for over a year with theiSpeak Your Mind campaign and their report Our generation’s epidemic. MSYP Lewis Douglas recently told Reach that after talking with almost 1500 young people, MSYPs had found that “one in five young people did not know where to go for advice and support for a mental health problem. Young people also said that, as well as embarrassment and a fear of being judged, a lack of understanding about mental health is a major barrier to talking openly about the issue.”

The good news is that there are already schools that are doing some great things around mental health. For example, we just read about how pupils at Castle Douglas High School staged a take over at their school for a week to get people talking about mental health and how to challenge stigma.

Castle Douglas pupils used See Me Scotland’s What’s on Your Mind?’ pack to do their own lessons on mental health with younger pupils at the school. Genius! No wonder they even got their story on the telly… Check out what they had to say here.

 

 

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It’s not always easy to ask for help⤴

from @ Reach

If you’re having a hard time and life is getting you down, we totally get that it’s not always easy to ask for help. Here’s some of the reasons why you might not want to talk about issues in your lives:

  • No one will understand
  • I feel I can cope on my own
  • I don’t want adults interfering in my personal life
  • People might label or judge me
  • My friends won’t want to hang out with me anymore.

So why ask for help? By sharing your problems with someone you trust, you might find it easier to cope with them. And they might be able to help you find ways to change the things in your life that you want to.

We like what Childline say about this: “Someone else can often help you see your problem differently. They could give you new ideas on how to cope with things…Putting things into words often helps. Sometimes it’s just good to say what’s on your mind. Talking to someone could make you feel like you don’t have to deal with it on your own.” 

First steps. Starting the coversation might be the hardest part. Here’s 3 great conversation starters from Childline:

“I want to tell you something but I don’t know how.”
“This is hard for me to say, but I have something important to tell you.”
“I need some advice on something I’m stressed about.”

Or you could say that you’re asking for advice for a friend. Sometimes it’s easier to pretend you aren’t talking about yourself.

There’s loads more good advice on Childline’s website about who to talk to, how to plan what you want to say, and what to do if you don’t want to talk to anyone face to face.

 

 

The post It’s not always easy to ask for help appeared first on Reach.

Young carers’ views – feeling ok?⤴

from @ Reach

Image reproduced with permission of CYPCS office. Illustrator Jenny Capon.

Young carers in Scotland recently took part in a survey for the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland. They were asked about how their caring role made them feel. Caring is different for everyone – for a lot of young carers it means spending time with the person you care for and doing other jobs around the house to help.

The young people who took part said that there is more good than bad stuff about being a young carer – one young person explained that “coping with being a young carer is difficult, yes, but I feel proud that I’m making sure my family are okay”.  But on the down side, the more caring responsibilities you have, the more stressful life can feel. Getting enough sleep can be a problem too as you sometimes help out overnight – one young person said “I get really tired a lot and really depressed a lot“. Sadly, over half of the young people who took part in the research said that they sometimes felt they had difficulties that were piling up so high they felt like they could not overcome them.

One good thing that the research found out was that a lot of young carers like school, maybe because it gives you a break from caring. Also, that after young carers’ services, guidance teachers were the most likely to be the people that young carers could get support from. One young person summed up really well the kind of support that helps:

“More awareness from people around me on how I’m coping/what I deal with. People just to listen and try to understand, be more patient with me and more flexible with deadlines/pressures. Someone specific who I can talk to who won’t judge me and who will offer support and advice. More respite activities to get a break and to have fun, relax. Workshops to help me cope better – learn techniques, understand feelings and emotions in caring are normal and not to feel guilty”. 

Image reproduced with permission of CYPCS office. Illustrator Jenny Capon.

 

To find out more about the research, check out this infographic. 

Need advice or want to meet young people in the same boat as you? Babble is an online space where under 18s who are caring for a family member or friend can chat, share their stories and get info and advice.

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Your say: how my teacher supported me the day I went into care⤴

from @ Reach

“I was heading down a road that would help me. The road would change my life forever and anything was better than the war zone.”

Young spokesperson for the Fostering Network has his say.

The post Your say: how my teacher supported me the day I went into care appeared first on Reach.