“… so I just sat there for 1hr 45, not being able to remember anything. When it was over my teaching assistant said two words which triggered my memory and it all came back.”
There are times in life when you read or hear things and you think – I have got to do something about this! So it was when I read ABI sufferer Lewis’ words on Facebook, shortly after he had sat his English Literature exam last May.
Working in a High School, primarily with students who have Specific Learning difficulties, I’m aware of problems they can face at exam time, but this was new to me, so I decided to try and persuade the educational hierarchy that they need to help Lewis and other CYP like him, because they struggle so much with their memories as a result of their ABI.
BUT, how do you prove to somebody that the problem exists? ‘Out of sight’ is definitely NOT ‘out of mind’, as that’s exactly where the problem lies! If Lewis had had those two words to trigger his memory when he needed it most, it may have made all the difference, so my aim is to try and improve exam support for ABI students.
If we succeed, no doubt proof will be requested to show that the student has an ABI and therefore requires the additional help. My hope is that the new ABI Information cards, with the CBIT logo and accompanying list of potential difficulties; which includes memory problems, will confirm that need.
Putting exams aside; just getting through the school day can be a challenge for child with an ABI. This is where I think the information card could really be an asset, as it could be used to highlight any difficulties that an ABI sufferer is experiencing during the long school day, such as severe fatigue, problems with communicating, trying to remember the routine tasks like where to go and when. Oh and did someone mention homework? “What homework?” “When did you give it?” The sheer frustration of not coping can sometimes lead to a ‘meltdown’ or disruptive behaviour, so having that ABI Identity card when struggling, could be quite a comfort for a CYP.
Having an ABI Information card basically allows its holder to say, “Sorry I can’t do this today”, or “I’m not coping today because … “. Being able to share this information with others at school or elsewhere, will hopefully inspire greater self confidence in that person, as well as leading to greater understanding amongst everyone else who works with or supports them. Ultimately, if greater awareness of ABI can be achieved, then it has to be a positive outcome for all concerned.
To find out more about the Brain Injury Information Cards click here
To apply for a card email firstname.lastname@example.org