What You Can Do (2)

Continued from previous page.

  • Be vigilant about bullying; people with a disability are much more likely to be bullied at school (and later in the workplace) than others. Even supposedly good-natured name calling can be hurtful and detrimental.
  • After discussion and agreeing it with your student and the family, consider using the situation to enhance education for everyone. For example, consider assemblies about visual impairment, discuss cultural differences, look at the science of genetics and at genealogy, invite relevant organisations to the school to talk to pupils, encourage respect, support anti-bullying campaigns, and get involved in charitable activities.
  • Remember that RP is a progressive condition, this means that every term your student may have faced another loss associated with RP, or another difficulty. This can be distressing and frustrating.
  • Do what you can to  ensure that every possible assistance is given with regards to broader school life such as examinations, extra-curricular activities, access to school facilities, and so on. Your student’s life with RP extends beyond your immediate classroom.
  • Refer your student and the family to RP Fighting Blindness and other supporting groups or charities
  • Remember that learning to cope can be challenging.  Everyone reaches some sort of acceptance, but it is very much in their own time. Do what you can to support your student to remain independent and to live life to the full.
  • DO listen, empathise, support and care.
  • DON’T pity, over protect or make decisions on your student’s behalf.
  • Remember that RP, tragic though it is, does not rob someone of their individuality, or the ability to be successful in life, or to have fun with their friends.

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