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DancerDancer Community Champion Posts: 7,356 Old Timer
edited November 2 in Neurodivergence
I feel like I am not normal and worried that I will struggle to function as I move on from school. I am currently in year 13 in sixth form and I have been making decisions on what to do after I leave school. It seems as though some people think me being in sixth form has been a burden on the teachers which I guess is true as I have additional needs compared to my classmates so it can take up a lot of time. One of the worst things is sensory overload as I don't seem to be able to control it and people can be very judgemental about it or don't understand so they think that I am being difficult or attention seeking.
"There's a part of me I can't get back. A little girl grew up too fast. All it took was once. I'll never be the same." ~ Demi Lovato
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Post edited by JustV on


  • lunarcat522lunarcat522 Posts: 199 Trailblazer
    @Dancer It must be really difficult not feeling normal, I can really empathise with that. Do you have any idea of what you might like to do after you leave school? It's okay if you don't as you still have time. I get you might think you might seem like a burden on teachers, but at the end of the day, you just want your needs met just like everyone else, and that shouldn't feel like a burden on people, especially teachers - if it feels like a burden for them, they shouldn't have gone into the profession. Do you have any coping strategies for when things get too much and you go into sensory overload? It might help to ask if you can wear headphones for noise or be allowed to step out unannounced if it's too difficult to stay in the classroom. Maybe you could ask if your school has a sensory room? We had one at my school but not many people knew about it as it was quite hidden away.

    Have you thought about doing a college course? There's a lot more hybrid/online courses for flexibility but even in person, colleges are generally much more accepting of anyone that's neurodivergent. It's also a really good stepping stone to university as it's a more adult environment. You could even take a gap year just to relax and figure things out.
  • Amy22Amy22 Posts: 3,295 Boards Guru
    Hi @Dancer I can imagine how stressful things must be for you at school right now especially if you have been having lots of sensory overload lately. Sensory overloads can just come out of the blue so I understand how stressful that must be and overwhelming. It's like having everything just hit at you x10 or worse. As @lunarcat522 mentioned your needs are just as important as everyone else's and that your teacher's should be more understanding of your needs and your feelings. I wonder if you are able to have a card or something that could allow you time out from the classroom when things get overwhelming?. This could be then shown to a teacher and they could let you have time out even if it was in a nurture room or sensory room where you could de-stress and relax for a bit. We also had a sensory room which was called the nurture room, where I could go to unwind and de-stress from being in class especially if people were being noisy in the lesson too. I can't see why the teachers won't let you do this really, as personally I think all schools should have a sensory or nurture room with trained 1 to 1's or teachers. I even thought possibly are you able to get a 1 to 1 support so when you do feel a sensory overload they could take you outside of the classroom and they can ask how you feel. Also another idea is that you could ask if you could bring in a fidget toy which could help you focus and maybe will least likely cause sensory overload.

    I also notice you mentioned about others being judgemental about your sensory overloads, I'm sorry to hear that you have to deal with people's lack of understanding of sensory overload. I just think that if there was more talk about neurodiversity in schools, less people even teachers would be less judgemental towards their neurodiverse peers/students. I just feel that your school may not be properly supporting students who are neurodivergent when they should be. Your needs are important and should be met <3. College is a possibility too as I know some colleges can be more relaxed and understanding towards neurodiverse students. Also, they can be quite flexible too with the timetables as well. Again I am always here too if you need someone to talk to any time even if you feel like you are having sensory overload, I can always be a lending ear <3.

    Just a person who likes pop culture and films
  • KBee99KBee99 Posts: 46 Boards Initiate
    Hi @Dancer

    I’m sorry to hear how you are feeling not normal and also your anxieties. I would like to first say that even though it’s easier said than done, please try not to compare yourself to others. You may think your classmates are normal but in reality there’s no such thing! Everyone is their own unique individual person which makes the world more interesting.

    I noticed you mention how you are worried about what’s going to happen after you leave school. I would like to reassure you that this is a very common feeling that face most young people, myself included! When you think about it, all you have ever known is education which has been set in stone for you to follow. However, you are now coming up to a point where you are getting make your own choice and decide what to do next which can be a very exciting but scary idea.

    It’s also okay to not go into or jump straight into further education if you are unsure if it’s right for you or what you want to do. In reality, it’s actually best to be certain on a course you want to do than just jump into doing something because all your classmates are going into further education. Also if you decide to volunteer or work then these are brilliant opportunities to gain skills and experience which can help you identify what your strengths are and what sort of work you enjoy or can help you pick a potential course. I also want to say you can be so successful without doing further education so do not be made to feel it’s the only route.

    What I recommend you do is instead of worrying about not knowing what to do next, look at it from a different point of view and say to yourself this is my time to explore all my options and try stuff out. When I left school I didn’t know what to do next and instead I opted to work. My work experience allowed me to gain a lot of skills and boost my confidence without which I don’t think I would have succeed as well as I did in my uni degree. If this worry is still getting to you, I also recommend going to see a careers advisor? This service can help you to identify jobs or courses you may enjoy and also offer to assist with cv and cover letter writing.

    I’m sorry to hear about your classmates not understanding your sensory overload. Do you have any coping strategies already in place in the classroom? Do you have a support teacher or a teacher who you can open up to about your problems?
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