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'How can I help?' - our new resources for teachers

May 20, 2019

“It was a weight off me when I finally got an answer from the doctor. I could see that people with things like dyslexia got one-to-one support, so why not me? But I was academically competent, so people could not understand why I needed support. They would say: ‘You get As, so why are you not able?’”

Zoe Galbraith, 20, is a music student at Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her dream of studying at this world-leading school and becoming a music teacher looked in danger of staying just that – a dream – when she became seriously ill, age just 16.

“It was a teacher at school that suggested a possible M.E. diagnosis for me,” she explains. “Their dad had M.E. so they recognised the symptoms.”

M.E./CFS is a complex neurological condition and the most common cause of health-related long-term school absence. It’s hard to put an accurate number on just how many children and young people have M.E.; prevalence rates vary widely, up to as high as 3% of under-18s.

Yet many teachers and other professionals working with young people struggle to find the right information and advice about how to support pupils with M.E.

We have worked alongside Zoe and other young people with M.E. and their parents, to co-produce practical resources for teachers in Scotland as part of Educate M.E.

The result is How Can I Help? Which offers crucial information about the symptoms and impact of M.E., plus free downloadable resources and practical ideas.

Theresa Burns, Project Coordinator says: “Getting the right support at the right time is crucial. Even small changes can make a big difference to a young person with M.E., as long as it’s them that’s leading the change: they are the expert in how M.E. affects them. We are hugely grateful to the young people and parents who have taken the time and energy who worked with us for Educate M.E., to improve the lives of other children with this debilitating condition.”