Many Members and their teenagers are facing the excitement and gruelling prospect of starting University this month. Heres a bit of good advice to the mother of a first year student (“E”) ….
First year Uni is a very challenging time, all those friends to make, all the activities, clubs, socials, timetables, drinking etc etc, not to mention the work!
It’s imperative that “E” takes things easy, practices PACING every single day and, if she agrees, tells her Tutors and the Disability Dept. that she has ME as this will stand her in good stead when she, inevitably, can’t meet deadlines, needs to make changes to her timetable to suit her ME, needs specific help with all sorts of arrangements and, later, has to sit exams.
There are Special Considerations and Arrangements available for her exams, eg. rest breaks with a duvet and pillows in a quiet room, extended time, etc. etc.
Personally I feel it’d be better for her to tell all her friends, when the subject arises, that she has ME as, nowadays, most people, especially the young, know about ME and, hopefully will understand and make allowances for her when she can’t go out with them or can’t stand the noise, needs help carrying heavy books, can’t stand in queues, etc. etc.
This is not advice that should be ignored, in my experience, and relies on E’s willingness to make herself and her illness known. It will pay off in the long run, believe me.
She ought to start with the Disability Dept right away, so it’s on the record and so that they can, if they’re any good and comply with their legal responsibilities, offer her all manner of support, including equipment, dictating software when she just can’t type, special ergonomic chair, a room located to make her life easier, a wheeled case for her heavy books, etc., etc.
All Tips and Comments welcome from any Members who can add to this topic.