Leaving School

Tara Flood: I Didn’t Speak

Tara was born in 1966 in Preston, Lancashire. She was sent to a residential special school in East Sussex at just sixteen months of age and remained there until she was sixteen. She then returned to Preston and attended a local mainstream college.

Here Tara describes her first experience of mainstream schooling after leaving school.

  • Tara Flood
  • Tara Flood
  • Tara Flood


But it was the day to day stuff at college that really did for me, the fact that I was in a class on my own with non disabled people. Most of them had been to school together so they’d had school friendships. Oh God, I can’t – it was hell. It was absolute hell. And I know I’ve told people before, I didn’t really during the day at college open my mouth much for the first six months. It was terrible. It was a very, very lonely experience, very lonely experience. And it’s – and the sad thing is, for the non disabled students, they must have thought that I was either sort of, you know, what is it – kind of thought that I was better than them or – because I didn’t ever speak. I didn’t know what to say so I didn’t speak.

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