Elizabeth gave many public presentations to students, teachers, professionals about living with mental illness and Borderline Personality Disorder. One such presentation was to Victoria’s Discovery School. Discovery School is a Ministry of Education independent special education school for children with learning disabilities on Vancouver Island. Its small classes, skilled, experienced teachers and carefully structured learning programs are designed to help every child reach their full potential. For more information, see www.discoveryschool.ca
Below are some student comments following the presentation:-
(For privacy, identities of contributors are withheld).
“Yes, indeed – a very special thank you, Elizabeth, for speaking to our latest group of mentors in training. You shared your story in a very open and honest way. You were clear in your presentation and details. It is the personal touch that makes your contribution to this training so meaningful. Thanks again! You were a Mentoring Project Super Star!”
For six long years I struggled with dyslexia unknowingly. When I was in Grade 6, I finally had some educational testing done which proved I wasn’t just stupid. I thought that once until my learning disability was diagnosed and everything would be okay but I continue to struggle. Teachers still made me do things they know were very hard for me.”
“In Grade 7, I finally decided it wasn’t working and I switched schools. My teachers in my new school are more understanding and now school isn’t just an obstacle, although I do not have any social problems.”
“I think your ideas are great. Keep up the great work.”
Teacher’s comment: “Wow! this is excellent. Consider how happy you will make Liz Bogod feel when she receives this!”
“To Liz Bogod:
I think that your Friendship Club is a good idea for people that have trouble making friends. I have an (LD) but I have no problems with making friends, but I do have problems getting on task and doing the things I need to do. I really think that people that don’t have an (LD), don’t really care about our disability and helping us understand and interpret things. I do think that there should be more special help schools for people that have a learning disability.”
“Dear Liz Bogod:
Hello, I think what you are doing is really good. I go to a learning help school. I think now that you have done this, people will think more about what they say or do to people that have learning problems. Good luck.”
“Hi my name is ___________. I live in Cobble Hill and go to school in Victoria because I’m dyslexic. I loved your article and hope it puts sense into people’s heads. It does lots of damage when people call us “stupid” and “dum” because we learn differently. I hope your Friendship Program goes good. Love from __________________”
“Congratulations on your success with your Website and in overcoming your difficulties. I think I have an LD but I haven’t noticed it in a while so I’m not sure. It’s a great thing that you have links on your Website that tell people about LD. I wish you more luck in the future with your Friendship Club”.
“I think it was a good idea to start a Website and a good idea to let yourself be heard by the public. The Friendship Club is maybe a good idea but a lot of people criticize me so don’t give up. I have a learning disability and I go to a school that is for people with learning disabilities.”
COMMENT FROM THE EDITORS
At the current time, insofar as is known, there are no learning disability schools in the Provincial School system in British Columbia or in any other Province in Canada. Parents who can afford to do so finance their child’s education in the private school system or they Home School.
Some of the students’ comments above state they have no problem with making friends. It is suggested that these students have experienced a safe, nurturing environment conducive to building self-esteem which, in turn, builds the skills to make social connections and friendships.