So about the same time as all this stuff was going on with the house the OSO and Dad were looking at schools (actually it was mainly the OSO, Dad didn’t really do education he said that was one of Mum’s few areas of expertise!) and what would be right for me and Roger and Al.
Initially they had gone to see one of the main people in the education authority who dealt with provision for children with disabilities. His recommendation was that I should be sent away to a residential special school, as that, at that time was the norm. You will probably guess what kind of response that got from Mum and Dad, needless to say they didn’t go back to see him again!
I was already going to the local play school and Mum had told them about my M.D., and they were fine because they knew me and of course thought I was great, which I was of course! Anyway, at that stage you really wouldn’t have known I had M.D.’ cause I was pretty much the same as everyone else physically, and mentally, pretty sharp to say the least!
So the OSO decided they had better start looking at Primary Schools in the area and try and find the one that would suit all three of us the best. You may have gathered by now, that Mum and Dad were determined we three boys would all be treated exactly the same, I wasn’t to be allowed any special treatment (much to my disgust) and we just had to get on with being a family.
So Mum started with looking at the primary school in the village, which is where, had things been equal, we probably would have gone. Mum told them of my diagnosis, that I was physically, but not mentally disabled and that physically I would get worse. Though I was still a long way off going into a wheelchair, indeed there was a good chance I might get all the way through primary school without having to use a wheelchair.
The head teacher decided she was going to call an extraordinary Governor’s meeting to discuss the ‘issue’ and Mum was invited to attend. So of course, she went. At the meeting the Head and the Chair of Governors discussed what they were going to do about, as they said ’the problem’ ie. Me! I ask you. This kept going on, I think they only referred to me once by my own name. Needless to say Mum was NOT amused, to the point that in the end she stood and said in the middle of the meeting
‘Well it’s ok you won’t have to worry about ‘the problem’ at your school or either of his brothers, because non of them will be coming here’
Then she walked out.
That’s my girl!!
In the end, it all worked out very well, because after a search of the other local schools they chose a fantastic primary school where we all went and had a brilliant start to our education. More of that at a later date, as you can imagine, I have a lot of stories to tell about my time at primary school.