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  4. My views on and experiences of finding, keeping and losing friends

My views on and experiences of finding, keeping and losing friends

Josh McDonagh

These are key messages which I will expand on during the presentation.

Who I am

  • 18 years old
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Doing A level maths, geography and DT product design
  • Aim to study architecture at university from September
  • I have learning difficulties and some physical disabilities.

My views and experiences of finding, keeping and losing friends

I will be talking about my friendships from pre-school through my school years until today, when I am hoping to start university in September.

  • Pre-school – I had lots of friends and felt happy in my play groups. The children accepted me how I was, some parents did not.
  • Primary school – Had a great mix of friends and was often the leader of a friendship group. Most children accepted me as I was, some parents didn't. One child took advantage of me by getting me to pay for things and buy things. My mum had to step in to stop it. It made me feel angry and hurt.
  • Senior school – Most students still accepted me as I was 1st year – small group of friends who were as clever as me – got on really well. Middle years – fell in with a group who messed about – I was always at the edge of this group. Got bullied by students I had thought were my friends – was strong enough to say 'stop' and teachers helped me to move on.
  • 6th form – I was in a new group of friends – most left after the first year. Now I have a small group of friends – main contact through Facebook.
  • The future – When I go to university, hopefully I will have a group of friends who I get on with well.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

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