Member’s Story – Elaine

I went to the Early Education Unit at Corseford School when I was only 18 months only. At the beginning, I would not say a word to anyone. Now I never stop talking from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I have a physical disability called Cerebral Palsy; part of my brain does not work properly and this means that some of the messages that are meant to go to the parts of my body do not get sent. Say I was given a task to do, it might take me a bit longer to do it but I would still get it all down eventually. Having my condition does not stop me from doing all the different things that I want to do in my life – anyway, why should I let me disability interfere in my wonderful life. I do not count myself as being disabled; I think of myself as being a normal person. Sometimes people do look at my wheelchair and not me. When they do this, it makes me really annoyed. Others just ignore the wheelchair and talk to me – that makes me happy. Even although I do have a physical disability, I try not to let it get me down and I try to lead a normal life. I have got to admit, sometimes I do have my down days. My full time education was also at Corseford School. I sat my Standard Grades in Modern Studies, Science and English at Foundation Level. I did a lot of studying and passed all of my exams. Next, I went to Reid Kerr College where I was on the Step Course which involved learning about life skills. At the end of the course, we planned and went on a residential outing to a youth hostel in Stirling. I really enjoyed that. When I left college, I was lucky to get the chance of working with East Renfrewshire Council. I then transferred to Young Persons Services. Unfortunately, that came to an end and so far I have not got a job, but I will keep trying. I do voluntary work with the Brownies and Girl Guides and I go along to a senior citizens’ afternoon and attend the Disability Resource Centre in Paisley two days a week. Sometimes I am my Mum’s assistant and I take phone messages for her and do some typing and shredding. I also have a great and very busy social life. I go to the Include Me 2 Club on a Tuesday night from 6.30pm to 9.30pm with my friends. I have made lots of new friends too. We have discos, live acts, karaoke, play bingo and go to the theatre. I like to play games on the computer and do some social networking with my friends and family. Sometimes my friends come to my house and we have a Chinese meal, a good laugh and a great wee blether. I go to the Fantastic Friends Friday group at The Edge, Fairweather Hall in Newton Mearns where I was Chairperson for a year. We do lots of different activities like bowling, cinema, eating out. Just now, we have a tutor coming and he is helping me with the keyboard and teaching us to cook. We are also arranging an outing to an outdoor activity centre at Kielder, Northumberland for two nights in September. We need to do lots of fundraising for this. I try to be as independent as I can in the house so that I can eventually get a place of my own in the future.