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Resilience and overcoming adversity

Posted Mon 30th Mar 2020 at 06:00
by Gemma Reid

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Mother and son share their inspiring story of how they've turned the tide

Hi, my name is Logan and I have Epilepsy, Tourette Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Hypermobility Disorder. This has made my life very difficult; I have done speeches and presentations about these disabilities to over 100 people (children, parent carers and professionals) and I really enjoy doing this as it may help other people with similar differences, and help others have a better understanding of these conditions.

I want to help people who feel like they are alone, and let them know that they’re not. I believe no one should be left to suffer in silence, as I did for over 5 years. And it was terrible. I’m a lot happier now though, as I’m in a mainstream school, with teachers and friends that understand and have patience for me. Tourette Syndrome has affected my life hugely; I’ve struggled to talk properly due to my vocal and motor tics, and have even been bullied and made fun because of my symptoms.

Tics can feel like a curse, made just to annoy you. My vocal tics start with a feeling in the chest, like a rattle snake tail, then the tic happens. This can make me feel annoyed, as I can’t always say what I want when I want.  My motor tics start by a feeling of electric shocks in my brain, then the tic happens, it feels like time stops for me as I’m in that moment.

Having the right support is crucial, as I learned the hard way; and never, EVER let any difference or disability stop you or make you sad or angry.  It doesn’t have to stop you trying, you are just as capable as any other person.

Thank you for listening.

        -Logan.

You can watch a video of Logan talking about his TS and his positive attitude towards life in general here.

 

Hello I’m Gemma, Logan’s mum.  I’d describe our journey as a roller coaster ride; with its ups, downs and breakdowns!

Considering everything Logan has been through he has been amazing, even though he felt like giving up a few times. There was a time I didn’t think Logan would ever trust adults again.

It’s so hard trying to hold it all together when all you want to do is cry sometimes. After attending 18 months at a behaviour school (which was just awful for him), that is when I saw I was really going to lose my son, as they didn’t understand him at all.  I have never fought so hard to get him out and back in to mainstream education. It was like the life had been sucked out of him.

We found a great mainstream school, the year 5 teacher was great and the teacher in year 6 who he has now is just as fantastic Logan, for the first time fits in.  The whole class likes him and he likes the whole class, and they support each other which has made a huge difference to Logan’s attitude to life.

The fact that he decided he wanted to do a class talk on his disabilities, then in assembly is amazing as he lost his confidence a bit with Tourettes.  A local group invited him to do a presentation to parents, carers and professionals which he enjoyed doing, and everyone found his descriptions and what it was like for him and others fascinating.

I’m so proud that he has turned something that he perceived as quite negative, into such a positive and greater understanding for himself and for others.  I’m glad he wants to help others and to continue doing so, we have had messages back from children and adults letting us know how much he has helped them.   He’s definitely going to be an ambassador someday. He has even been nominated for the positive role model (disability) award for the National Neurodiversity awards 2020 he has over 100 votes so far!!!

 


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Resilience and overcoming adversity

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