Skip to main content

Growing up and having fun

3 April 2016
Josie Scantlebury

I want people with a learning disability to be able to enjoy all aspects of life and so I think it’s important that they feel accepted at an early age. Acceptance means not trying to change someone but loving them for who they are.

You’ll be amazed what children with learning disability can achieve with the right support. Having a good family around is amazeballs but it’s also important that people with a learning disability are supported by their community. If I didn’t have a good experience when I was growing up I think it would be a lonely and isolating world. 

First off, school. Everyone should be accepted at school. It’s important that teachers and students understand learning disability, so that no child is pushed to one side, or left alone in the playground without any friends. All children should mix with each other, learning disability or not. It’s also important that teachers take their time to help and explain things to people with a learning disability and use different communication methods. 

I went to a special school, which I really loved. We had wheelchair hockey, music classes, art lessons and pottery. They also had swimming at my school and I got a certificate. I used to especially like the school meals!

I used to climb all the time. Once I climbed up a rope but when I got to the top I couldn’t get down. Eventually I called out and someone had to carry me to the floor!

School helped me to develop my walking and talking, because they gave me physiotherapy and talking therapy. Now I’m more independent and life is good!

Having fun with others will help children with a learning disability to have confidence. It will also help other children and their parents to learn about learning disability and be more accepting. Sure, I have a learning disability, but there's still so much I can do, I can still have fun. People should understand that. 

I used to be a Brownie, which was fantastic! We had so much fun. We dressed up and played games, like egg and spoon races, once someone cheated by sticking the egg to the spoon! 

When I was older I moved up to Guides. One summer we went away and I slept in a chalet. We cooked and sang camp fire songs. We did rock climbing too, I was the first one to the top of the rock, everyone else was a chicken! I had so much fun! Wow! It made me happy. 

When we were away we went canoeing, it was great fun but I fell in and the water was really cold! When I was in the water I saw a big fish, it was a nice colour but I couldn’t stay around because it was scary and I thought I was going to be gobbled up. 

We also went horse riding. Wow, it was fun. I loved it until my bum hurt.

The other Brownies and Guides were amazing, I felt so included by them.

I feel fabulous now. Life is just the way I want it. I have really enjoyed my time, and nothing stops me matey, wow! People look, people stare, and people laugh, but they are uneducated. That's their problem. If only there were less bad attitudes…in fact if only there were no bad attitudes. 

My journey through learning disability

Josie gives us her positive outlook on her journey through life
Read more

Lewis, Tom and Ryan's story

Lewis, Tom and Ryan live together in a Golden Lane Housing home
Read more

A doctor said I'd be a vegetable

Here Amy tells us about the ups and downs of growing up with a learning disability
Read more