Learning Difficulties Awareness Week


Thought I’d drop in again. 

There are quite a few awareness weeks dotted around the calendar and this week is Learning Difficulties Awareness week. Before moving into this topic it is firstly worth noting not everyone is happy with the wording of this. I am happy with the wording learning difficulties, some people may prefer Learning Differences. 

Learning Differences/Difficulties are things which can have a massive impact on people’s lives. According to Mencap

‘There are many different types of learning difficulty, some of the more well known are dyslexia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyspraxia and dyscalculia. A person can have one, or a combination.

As with learning disability, learning difficulties can also exist on a scale. A person might have a mild learning difficulty or a severe learning difficulty. The same is true of learning disabilities.’

Not everyone has the conditions to the same extent, as mentioned above they exist on a scale and this can have a varying impact on persons day to activities. This can lead to feeling of frustration or anxiety which should never be underestimated when discussing ways to help the person. 

Someone with Dyslexia may find it difficult when trying to follow directions. This is because they may struggle knowing the difference between left and right. 

looking down at my orange pumps.

People who have Dyscalculia may find themselves getting frustrated when dealing with splitting a bill when out at a restaurant. This is due to them finding numbers really complicated

The emotional impact of learning difficulties can be overwhelmingly tough. It can take lots more energy to perform simple tasks because  the person finds it difficult. This can lead to exhaustion. 

Not using physical cash and using a bank card really helps me. This means I don’t have to deal with counting cash I just use my card or ApplePay to make the Payment and then that’s it. Although setting budgets its very tough because my head just won’t do numbers. This does lead to exhaustion and frustration when it comes to even the simplest things. 

Making it easier for those with learning difficulties does not necessarily mean doing the task for them. It could be where you break the task down into smaller manageable chunks. Or make a change to something to adapt the task to suit the persons needs. 

An example might be sitting somewhere quiet to read, or if they are really struggling but still want to read, use an audiobook. 

For someone who has Dyspraxia they may find laces difficult. Try and put different laces in the shoes which are a little thicker so they can hold onto them. I did this with a pair of mine. It still takes me 5 minutes to do them, but I can do them.

One of the best pieces of advice for anyone who has a learning difficulty is to not be too hard on yourself. You’re trying your best and tats what matters. 

I’m off now as I am a bit tired. My back pain is flaring up. 

Thank you for reading.

Scoliosis Awareness Month

Hello all,

Sorry for the delay in posting something. I have had a very busy few weeks.

Seen as it is Scoliosis Awareness Month I thought I’d better talk about this. If you have checked out other pages on my blog or you are following me on Instagram/Twitter you will know I have a curved Spine, otherwise known as Scoliosis. 

I was diagnosed with Scoliosis when I was 13. At the time we were told it is pretty mild and I wouldn’t need to wear a brace. When I got to 16 we were told there was no need to have surgery to correct my spine so I went onto sixth form. The same thing happened when I was 18, I went onto university. We decided this as we were advised it wouldn’t get any worse. Obviously things can change and there are multiple factors involved.

Unfortunately as I got older the pain I was in got worse. Over the past few years I have been getting sport massages, alongside my physio. Thankfully the combination of Sport massages and physio, along with pain killers, has enabled me to reduce the amount of pain which I am in. Although it does not stop it all together. Everyday I am in some form of pain because of my back and it will be like this forever. 

I do low impact exercise, for example my cycling. 

If you suspect you or someone you know has a curve in their spine I would urge you to go to the doctors to get it checked out. If they are able to spot it early then you can have treatment to help. It’s also really important to work on your posture. For example, when I’m at work I try not to lean against the tables. It might feel comfortable in the short term. In the long term it is not. Right now while I am writing this I am having to remember to sit as straight as possible. As I try to do this it feels uncomfortable. It is the right thing to do for my posture. 

Back pain is more common than people realise. Be kind to yourself and take regular breaks to sit down, or have a walk around. Remember that it is not easy living with back pain and everyone is different. There are no quick fixes. The amount of pain someone is in takes its toll on your physical and mental health. So be kind and don’t tell someone with back pain ‘oh you should just….’ because they’ve probably already heard it. 

It has been months since I last went for a sports massage. I have messaged my physio and asked if they can fit me in. I have an appointment. The pain in my back is more prominent lately, I can feel it all down the right hand side. It is also in my neck. As well as the pain I also loose strength in my right shoulder. So opening doors is very tricky. I basically have to put my whole weight against the door to open it.

Really looking forward to my sorts massage. It will be a long time coming. The image below is one I drew a while ago, but did not wish to share. However, I now feel I want to. It was drawn on Procreate.

A hand drawn picture of a back to show a person with a curved Spine.

Thank you. 

While you’re here please check out my post on my fundraising, I am trying to raise £3k for The British Heart Foundation and The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. 

On Twitter: @PhilippapB

On Instagram: @VisuallyImpairedPip