In celebration of Learning Disability week, I am delighted to introduce my guest blogger, Georgie, a leader in demonstrating the value of one-page profiles

My name is Georgie. I am 17 years old (nearly 18!) and I have just finished school. I have autism and an acquired brain injury and because of this I had a Statement at school. I have no idea what this said about me but I think it meant that the school got some money to help support me. I have a one page profile and I do know what that says because I did it with my Mum and Dad. It has been a really important thing for me to have and I would like to tell you about this.

At school each year I had new teachers and teaching assistants who did not know me well. Some of them thought that I was just like all the other students because I know how to cope with the things I find most difficult. But Im not like all the other students, Im me. I needed my teachers to know the things that are important to me, because they really matter to me and knowing about them helps to make my days good. I had two operations because I had a huge abscess which took over the left hand side of my brain and because of this I have learning difficulties. Im a really good learner but I need to learn in a certain way and need people to help me. At first the school gave me lots of different teaching assistants and I found this very hard because they didnt know me or understand me, even though they were very nice and did their best to help me. Finally in Year 12 the school paid attention to my one page profile and so they gave me two teaching assistants to support me every day who got to know me really well. I was happy with them and they knew when I was not happy even though I would not say anything.

pic 1Miss Whiteman is the Vice Principal for Personalisation at school and we have looked at my one page profile together when I was finding things tough and worrying. She got to know what matters to me and how to support me the best and made sure that other teachers and teaching assistants knew all of this information. It doesnt take long read my one page profile but it definitely helps to make sure things are right for me and that I have good days at school.

pic 2Next year I may go to college to study child care. I had to have an interview with James from the learning support team and I took my one page profile to share with him. He thought it was helpful to get to know me a lot better even though he already had my LDA document. I made sure he kept a copy so that he can share this if I do start college.

At the moment I am volunteering 4 days a week in the Reception class at a primary school. I really love it there. The children all love me and want to be with me. I help them with their learning and help the staff by getting the classrooms ready. Before I started at Brooklands Farm Primary School I sent them my one page profile. The Head of Lower School shared my one page profile with all the staff in the Foundation Unit and this helped me to have a really easy start to my work there. I knew that they knew about my difficulties but they also knew what Im really good at and what people like about me. For example, Im very sensitive to noise and this is on my one page profile. I do know how to cope but it is good if people understand that noisy times can be difficult for me. Sometimes when the children are being really noisy the staff check that Im okay with this. If they hadnt seen my one page profile they wouldnt know this important thing about me.

My Mum shared my one page profile with a school she is working with and the Deputy Head saw that I am a Northampton Saints rugby fan and that I have a season ticket. Her two sons both play in the first team and when she read how important this is to me she got me two signed photographs which made me feel really special.

I think it is a great idea for everyone to have a one page profile especially if you have special needs like me and need people to understand you. I am really hoping that I get an apprenticeship at a primary school because that would be the perfect job for me. My one page profile will be really important for people to get to know me not just that I have autism and learning difficulties. I am really glad that I have a one page profile and I will show it to anyone who I think needs to know all about me.