If I were to send psychologists to schools I would make sure that they understand about the child's culture if the child is from an ethnic group, make sure the child and the family know what is happening and try not to call the child in the middle of their lessons.

Jackie Downer (UK)

When I look back at being statemented, I think there is a lot of things that could have been done better. I remember when the Psychologist came to visit me at school, he was dressed in a suit and that seemed scary and I realised that the teachers did not care if they took me out of the classroom in the middle of my lesson.

Normally when you're called out in the middle of the lesson it is something worrying or trouble. There was lots of little tests to do and I don't know if I did well he just wrote things down, he never really smiled and he definitely did not tell me what he was doing or even why he was doing tests with me, I think somehow by that man's standards I failed the tests.

My mum wanted extra support, but she didn't think I was going to the kind of school that was suggested for me, but teacher told her that I would go further and would get all the help that I needed.

Going to my special school was not the best thing that happened to me. I didn't like the green bus, because for some reason, people who looked at it knew you were different. The school was different and sometimes didn't feel like the school I went to before, our worse nightmare was that it was next to a normal school, who used to bully us and call us names like handicap, stupid and so on.

If I were to send Psychologists to schools I would make sure that they understand about the child's culture if the child is from an ethnic group, make sure the child and the family know what is happening and try not to call the child in the middle of their lessons. I also think that when you feel that you are being tested it is worse for you, as you are ever so nervous. Last but not least is why do we feel that everyone should fit into the same test? I might not read and write well, but I'm good at planning and I am good at speaking about rights for those of us who are less advantaged. This is something that I had to learn and I wasn't going to be always called stupid. I do what my heart tells me to do and I know that's right. I fought hard to take ordinary transport to my special school and in the end I won. Remember though that I was supposed to not be able to manage this because I might get lost as I have special needs.

Today I am a Self Advocate, I am a freelance training advisor and I travel all over the country by public transport.

This article was first published on the site in 2002.