I want to be treated as a normal kid

5th November 2004 at 00:00
Jamie Ellis, 14, is in Year 10 at Durham Johnston school in Durham. He is taking photography, IT, French and food technology, as well as core GCSEs.

"I've had dyspraxia since I can remember. I find it hard to write, especially long essays, because my writing is rather messy and it becomes illegible. Writing is the worst thing. When I was little I had a pen grip but it didn't help much. I got a computer six weeks ago and it's made a big difference.

Before, I wrote as little as possible, but now I can put more detail in. It makes me feel I can actually do it.

I've had ADHD since I was five or six. I have to take tablets quite regularly or I can go over the top. I can't have too much chocolate or fizzy drinks or I get hyper. I am, like, out of control. I get really active, I fidget a lot.

I'm in trouble quite a bit sometimes. More out of school than in class. I'm not really sociable. I spend lunchtime in the library or in the photography lab. I have special permission to do that.

Sometimes it's difficult to concentrate if something distracts me. Some teachers, like, encourage me. They say please listen, please stop talking.

They tell me to concentrate again, to keep me on task. I don't mind that; it's helpful. Sometimes teachers shout at us. I get annoyed at that.

The best thing is to have a scribe. And for teachers to treat you like a normal kid. I want teachers to help and encourage me, but I do actually also want to be treated as a normal kid, so I don't stand out. Getting that balance is tricky."

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