Miro Griffiths: Feeling Included
Here Miro talks about his experience of feeling well supported at primary school, by everyone in the school.
TranscriptI felt very, very included in primary school. I had a support worker, a teaching assistant so she provided a lot of my support as well as giving some general support to the class itself. ‘Cause obviously when I had everything in place and all my access needs were met I didn’t really need somebody constantly helping me so I could do a lot of work on my own so I didn’t really need somebody to be with me throughout the whole day.
They had a school psychologist who came in to assess me in class, and he said if there was one way you could demonstrate inclusion it was in that class, because he said, what he really noticed was, and probably what I didn’t notice which is why it’s a good thing, was that he said, you know, ‘If Miro needed to reach something across the table, you know,’ he’d see my hand trying to crawl towards a pen or whatever it was, and the other kid at the other end of the table without even thinking about it or making a big deal about it would just slide it towards me.
Or, you know, things about where I need to put my hand up in class, I’d try, you know, my hand, I’d get my hand on my jumper and start pulling up towards my cheek to lift it up and, you know, a kid would be writing away next to me and he’d just lift my hand up for me and hold it until the teacher saw anything. And it wasn’t as if they, you know, asked me, well not asked me but it wasn’t as if they made a deal about it, they just recognised that I needed that little bit of extra support and rather than asking for the teacher assistant to come over or anything else they just did it and I felt totally, totally included really and that was just brilliant.
I remember probably about Year Six, I would never be able to lift the milk or put the straw in the milk to lift it to my mouth and, you know, going back to this thing about not making a big deal about it, if the teaching assistant was on the other side of the room doing something else, whoever the kid was next to me, even if I was friends or wasn’t friends with them, as soon as I’d get my milk, you know, they’d look at me and I’d just say, ‘Yes please,’ and then they’d get the straw and they’d put it in themselves and they’d just hold their milk and hold mine next to my mouth for me as they were drinking theirs. And it was just a lovely experience really.
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Here Deborah describes the impact of returning to study in later life via the Open University.
Here Philip recalls painful memories of being teased at his school.