My disability: Lily's story

05 January 2015

Lily is a member of the team at KIDS Basingstoke Nursery. Having just qualified at level 3, she has documented her journey.

When I was born unfortunately there were complications that I meant I stop breathing. Doctors were unsure about what my quality of life would be after I have regained consciousness. They were unsure about my mobility and whether I would be able to live an independent life. At this stage I was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.  This meant that all four limbs of my body had difficulty moving and doing simple tasks. By the age of two I was also diagnosed with epilepsy after having a seizure this meant I was on medication from a young age to control this.

Throughout my childhood I have had many services such as physiotherapy to help with my mobility. By doing regular exercises this meant that my limbs had become stronger. I was given a walking frame at the age of two to help build strength in my legs and hips. At this age I also attended at special needs nursery, like KIDS offer, to help give me the best start to my education. The services that they gave me were amazing it meant I could go to a mainstream school with the help of a grant that meant I could have support assistant’s to help me with my education. Without this support I’m not sure where I would be today. Throughout my education my determination to be ‘NORMAL’ has got stronger and stronger. When somebody told me I wouldn’t be able to do something I would want to do it just to prove them wrong. This is because I have never use my disability to stop me. When I reach secondary I was actually improving so much that I turned away support services such as physio and speech therapy because I didn’t need or want it anymore. This meant I was able to stay in lessons and continue to improve my knowledge and be educated.

By the age of 16 I know I wanted to work with children and make sure that every child was given the same unconditional support that I was given throughout my childhood. I enrolled to do a childcare course that would be a stepping-stone to this goal. After completing this course I knew I wanted to work with children with additional needs. I came across KIDS after searching the Internet for vacancies. After having an interview I was so sure that this is what I wanted to do. KIDS gave me a chance, a chance that no other employer had given me. It meant I could give back to the children that need it most. It meant I could use my experiences and knowledge to help and support children and their families. The one thing that is irreplaceable is I can connect with families differently. It means I can understand from a different perspective what these families are going through. I consider my disability to become stronger throughout this time. With the help of Jane I was able to exceed in my employment. I was able to do things I never thought I would because together we found a way of achieving this. Since working for KIDS I have been able to look back at my childhood and think how lucky I was to receive the support I had that has got me to where I am today.

Lily Rouault
Team member, KIDS Basingstoke Nursery 

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