I went to a special school because I have a learning disability. I didn’t get any sex education there. A coach used to pick us up, everyone knew it was a special school. There was no curriculum and there were people with different disabilities there.
It was awful that there was no sex education but I was lucky because once swimming got cancelled and they shoved on a sex education video to use up the time. I didn’t understand it and I kept holding my plastic bag with my swimming gear and Mrs.Kirkil told me off. Mrs Kurkil said I was awful at art. This is the only time that we had anything to do with sex education at school.
Not having sex education at school meant that I was very vulnerable when I left school, I felt held back. I didn’t know about periods coz mum never talked about those things.When I started dating at 22 and a half I didn’t know anything about sex or relationships. My boyfriend had a learning disability. He was kind to start off with but it all changed when I had children. My boyfriend asked me if I could have children but I didn’t know. I wasn’t a mumsy person at school I was more a tomboy! When I had children the mum part came out of me. It completely changed my views and my personality because I had this child to look after.
I think sex education should be on the curriculum for everyone, people with learning disabilities can have relationships. Everyone needs somebody in their lives, friends or partners. We need connections and we need each other to talk to. Some of us live in isolation, this must be a lonely life.
When I left school I did an adult learning course for eighteen month for admin level 1. I didn’t get my qualification even though I worked really hard. When I didn’t get it I though ‘Stuff you Beverly’ I’ll get my qualification another way! And I did!!
I like where I live, I like my life, if I could tear it apart I wouldn’t have had those bad experiences but that wouldn’t make me the person I am today.I’m a good listener, patient, I can understand other people and support them, I’m clever, I’m always coming up with great ideas for projects! Because I have aspergers I can spot tiny details and I love that I can do this! I have a great mentor at CHANGE, he’s a person who has autism and he helped me understand some of the signs of having aspergers. We both talked about how we are in the world. I had someone who really understood me, I felt supported. I could talk to someone who really understood what it’s like to have aspergers. That’s why we believe that Peer support is so important because a person with a learning disability is using their experience to support another person with a learning disability, we both feel good!