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Hi, I'm Gill, I'm a PSHE Specialist

PSHEexpertPSHEexpert Posts: 150Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
Hi, I'm Gill. I work for Queen Alexandra College in Harborne near Birmingham as a full-time PSHE Specialist Therapist. QAC is a specialist college for young people with a wide variety of complex learning, physical & sensory disabilities, as well as autistic spectrum disorders. I develop & deliver all the group's sex & relationship sessions, as well as providing 1:1 support for students. I am happy to talk about talk about anything on this forum - body changes, staying safe, what the law says, & what sort of resources are out there. I can answer practical questions, for example about how I teach about things like condoms & contraception and how my experiences might be useful for you. I really am happy to talk about anything, so please do get in touch!
- Gill 


  • sammyyxx2008sammyyxx2008 Posts: 1Member Listener
    is there any sex services in my area 
  • NaumanNauman Posts: 5Member Listener
    It's great to know Any service support available for  disabled people feel nervous in theses intimate matters 
  • nwells139nwells139 Posts: 1Member Listener
    Teenager with celbral palsy in very serious trouble with police....i need help!!! :-(
    Ok, so I am a step mum to a 14 year old girl who has mild celebral palsy, I have known my SD (stepdaughter) since she was 3 nearly 4, my husband and I have a good relationship with her mum and step dad, we have other children between ourselves and are a very happy unit.
    BUT my 14 , nearly 15 year old SD is in a lot of trouble, and has been sending very sexual videos to boys and men, people her same age, men who we don't know over snap chat, but she is the one who is instigating it. School and involved, social services and the police are involved and school have been great.
    My SD seems to confide in me, her mother is a very nervous "flappy" person and she cant seem to understand things herself. so my SD doesn't seem to talk to her, my husband (her dad) takes control but her mum is involved all the time, even coming round to our house for family meetings.
    What im not understanding tho at the moment, is my SD is lying constantly, we have facts about whats she sent and what shes done, im the one who found everything on her phone so there is no denying anything but she wont admit anything. She is lying all the time. The way I see it and people may disagree with me, but she has brought a lot of this on herself and shes the one who is organising to meet for sex with boys of her age and older, the man who is involved is being dealt with by the police as we think hes a 40 year old, but she is the one who has found him, shes the one sent him photos and videos first. She is very naïve, very immature for her age and this is were her disability comes into affect. But aswell as all the support and love we can give her, the lies just spill out of her mouth, im trying to find teens in our area with the same disabilities as her so then she can speak to people, but on one hand I am so angry at her, tho ive never told her this. I want to keep her safe, this is the 2nd time that something has happened like that with sexual activity, I thought she had learnt the first time but this time its so much worse, she wants to have a boyfriend and thinks that by having sex with boys this gets her a bf. I was just looking for some genuine advice of parents who may have children in their teens with celebral palsy

    Thanks for reading, from a desperate step mum xx
  • TopkittenTopkitten Posts: 889Member Chatterbox
    I don't have a great deal of experience with CP but I have seen that their mental age is often lower than their actual age by as much as half in a couple of cases. Thinking about this behaviour seems to indicate something along those lines. Young children often lie despite there being incontrovertible evidence of it and refuse to admit to it and that appears to be going on here. Plus, remembering things is also difficult for them especially with the CP complications.

    It can be very difficult dealing with someone like this. It is, after all, difficult dealing with a healthy child of that sort of age.

    Unfortunately, teaching often never takes this sort of situation into account and sex education can be the hardest thing to cope with.

    It seems to me that you are trying to deal with an over educated child who doesn't have the normal life experiences to counter balance it with.

    It does sound like you are doing everything right though. You just need to keep doing so and use every ounce of patience you can muster. Keep on trying to educate her with the 'normalities' and risks of her situation and hopefully things will work out eventually.

    I am here to kick ass and chew bubblegum... and I am all out of bubblegum -- They Live 80 something cult film.
  • PSHEexpertPSHEexpert Posts: 150Member, Community advisor Chatterbox

    How incredibly and intensely stressful for you.  I am so sorry you're having to deal with such a difficult situation!  

    Some practical stuff - have you accessed any resources to support you/her in her understanding of potential consequences?  I'm thinking along the lines of Exposed from CEOP, which you could watch together, as a starting point.  There are also some other good video resources online, such as this one, which you could also have a look at.   The NSPCC also has lots of guidance online which you might find supportive.

    One of the things I often say when I'm talking about sex and relationships education is that the hardest part is undoing the misconceptions and negative messages that young people have internalised (i.e., that by offering sexual images or chat, or sex, this will result in a relationship) - it sounds as though this is a real problem for your daughter.  I wonder, is the school covering this in sex and relationships education, or in PSHE?  You mention they have been supportive and that's so positive to hear, but it may be that your daughter needs especially consistent, repeated messages from school and home to support her in changing her thinking and behaviour.

    The other thing is that she's clearly not perceiving this at the same level of risk that you, I or the school are.  Part of that is just that she's a teenager of course but there will definitely need to be some frank and open discussions about the risks (as well as exploring sexual expression positively and in other ways) through school as well as at home.  I am really happy to be of support in any way that I can.

    With regards linking up with other teens - whereabouts are you based? Just wondering if I can help.
    - Gill 
  • BlueBoy22BlueBoy22 Posts: 12Member Listener
    Hi Gill 
    I just joined the community. I'm living in Birmingham, but not long, coz I'm not English. I'm almost newcomer here. I'm 28. And Because of a traffic accident I have one arm paralysis for several years now, which affects to all areas of my life. Basically I'm shy and also newcumer, so have no relationship n sex for a long time. I haven't been in this trouble before, in my own country. 
    Then now if I can ask: is there any community or specified department/place for disabled people to help them especially about rel n sex? If yes, guide me please. Thank you All. 

    Read more at https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/41080/hi-gill-have-a-basic-question-lol#3MHsl21fzxdV5Iuv.99
  • lozzer25lozzer25 Posts: 63Member Talkative
    hello regarding my post a few years ago I have tried dilators been seeing a sex therapist tried upping baclofen nothing helps I believe that cp affects the sex life I don't think I will ever experience a non pain free intimacy
  • motherscuffermotherscuffer Posts: 27Member Talkative
    My 5 year old who was born a boy has a brain condition (Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum) but is telling us he wants to be a girl and to be referred to as she. I think if it was one of my other children I would find it easier to go with, but as he has learning difficulties I worry that they don’t fully understand what it means to be a boy or a girl. We’ve explained that it’s ok to be a boy and to like pink and rainbows and unicorns, but the feelings from them feel quite strong. We are going with it, and are using she (when we remember, it’s very new!) and she’s chosen more of a girl name. I suppose I want to know if we’re supporting her in the right way, if she decides when she’s older that she isn’t a girl I want her to feel that’s ok too. 
  • TheArrowTheArrow Posts: 12Member Whisperer

    Could do with some advice please?
  • GordonmrlnGordonmrln Posts: 34Member Talkative
    Hi Gill, My name is Gordon but I also get called Gordy, I am a mature Disabled person that has a number of Disabilities. Which I will go into further down the line, the reason why I'm contacting you, Gill, is that I am a widower. I lost my wife of 25 years of wedded bliss and true love, I can honestly say that she was the love of my life and the 25 years we spent together were the best years of my life. Sadly for us, my wife Linzie was diagnosed with a heart condition around 2007. She was placed on medication and was given an ICD implant (It's a pacemaker and a Defibrillator all in one) it was placed under the skin and connected to the heart. She was told it was a safety precaution by her specialist and it was there in case the worst was to happen, one of the conditions my wife suffered from was Arythmere and she also suffered from Cardio Myopathy she had a floppy valve and therefore was given Warfarin to thin her blood to avoid the risk of clotting. At this early point of her condition, she was made to feel that her condition could be monitored and treated with medication. It was only further down the line that it was pointed out how serious her condition was, and that because of the seriousness of her condition she would at some point in the future need to have a heart transplant. Now, this was clear that my wife was obviously classed as Disabled, but I also was Disabled and had been for a number of years before my wife became Disabled. My major Disability came after a fall, I tripped and fell down an open grate, this brought about a condition that I was informed of being called CRPS, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The fall also had discovered an underlying condition of OsteoArthritis which was degenerative and I was informed it would and already had started to spread to other major joints in my body, I had it in both knees and after a rear shunt car accident which left me 2 discs out and I had shadowing on my lower spine indicating OA in my spine. So my condition had worsened, but to bring you up to date with my conditions I now have OA in both Knees, both Hips, my Spine, both Shoulders, Both Elbows, Both Ankles, I have CPRS in my Left Knee, I have Spondylitis in my Neck, I suffer from Tinnitus and have a heredity hearing defect, I suffer from Sciatica, I have a Collapsed Bridge in my right foot that is awaiting a foot fusion operation, I also have a 20% loss of vision in my right eye after contracting a rare Conjunctivitis that left warts on my Iris. And finally, I suffer from Dyslexia which has a number of issues in its self. But I think I've covered most of my Disabilities apart from the need to use a wheelchair most of the time but not all the time. I've tried to muddle on through life, it was the loss of my wife that really put my life in turmoil because it is only when you lose someone that has been a big part of your life do you realise how much they impacted on your life and the meaning in your life and it's when they are not there that you understand how much you really cared for each other. But the loss has left a big gap in my life and not having that somebody special to share those moments with is very lonely and empty, it's not just those intimate moments that you miss like having somebody to snuggle up with in bed on a night and to wrap your arms around for that feeling of security, but those simple things that you did together like shopping and deciding what you want for tea, and asking if your other half wants a cuppa, it's all those little things as well as the big things that you miss to sum it up it's that sharing of life that is empty and you know you need to have that sharing feeling back in your life. And so that's why I'm contacting you for advice and help in starting to look at the beginning or the start of trying to have a relationship, I do think that it's time that I looked for having another person in my life and start to date again, but I don't know where or how to start, as it is nearly 30 yrs since I did any courting and I was working when I met Linzie, I was in a job that allowed you to meet people quite easy as I was a Taxi driver, and that's how I met Linzie in taking her home from work and we got chatting and one thing led to another. But that was back then and I could not even think of doing that now, so where do I begin and how do I begin, I've thought about online dating but you hear of so many bad and negative things about this type of dating. I've thought about starting up something that would take me back to my youth and that is a pen friend, when I was at school I had a French pen friend who I would write to at least once  a month and it is something I could quite easily try again, as I believe you can express yourself much better in words by letter than by speaking them as it's easy to get tongue-tied and mixed up, but if you write your words you can check them before you send them and be more meaningful and eloquent and you can express yourself more at ease when you write your thoughts and feelings in a letter, So this is where I think I would like to start my new beginning so if you could help me and give me some suggestions and some sites that I could look at in trying, if you could help me please and I can look at getting my life back on track, as at the moment I'm a member of the lonely heart club, and I am a people person and I like mixing with but I need to get to know someone first before I start to build up a friendship, I've recently joined a target shooting club and they are a very friendly bunch, but I've not yet met someone that I have really clicked with. So what do you suggest please and I will take on your advice my friend.   

    Thank You.  ;) B) :) o:) >:)        
  • WaylayWaylay Posts: 670Member Chatterbox
    @nwells139I am in no way an expert on this, so this is just a shot in the dark: is there any chance that she's been sexually assaulted or abused?

  • PSHEexpertPSHEexpert Posts: 150Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    @Gordonmrln Hi Gordy.  I'm so sorry for my delay.  We had a family crisis over the Christmas holiday which has meant I have not been at home with all my usual access to online stuff.   However, I wanted to say thank you first of all, so much, for sharing a little bit of Linzie and your life together here.  She sounds amazing and I am terribly sorry for your loss of her.

    I've been thinking about you and pondering where would be a good place to start for you while I've been in no-internet land.  Since I'm back at work today I have been able to have a little look into pen-friend websites as that seems to be a good place to start.  I share your experience with having penpals and I know that the pen-friends I used to have when I was younger I think I found through the 90s equivalent, which were noticeboards at college or uni, or through ads in the paper, which I think have naturally sort of migrated online.  So with that in mind I looked at several and there were two or three that looked quite well run: Snail Mail Pen Pals Pen Pal World, and then this one which is run by Able Here and specialises in networking disabled people; I don't know if that is something that particularly matters to you but sometimes people knowing a bit about some of the challenges you're facing can feel like it takes a bit of pressure off.  I think whichever ones you have a look at you will probably find you end up looking through a lot of profiles!

    You mentioned online dating.  Online dating can start in a very similar way to being penpals, as often it can be quite long or detailed messages that are sent and exchanged online as you get to know each other.  The penpal websites I looked at seem to be quite focused on meeting new platonic friends rather than specifically for romantic attachments, so it might be that you make some new connections but they're not necessarily with people who are also looking for love.  Online dating can be brilliant or slightly terrifying depending on what you make of it; many of the more reputable sites (like Match or eHarmony) do charge a subscription rate, but often have a free registration service so you can at least have a look at how they're laid out and whether it feels like a good fit for you.  I suppose the most difficult bit of online dating can be the fact that because it is all online there can sometimes be that element of it being slightly depersonalised, and that can lead to people vanishing suddenly - which can be quite upsetting.  It might be that it's something you move onto after getting back into the swing of no-pressure pen-pal type communication?  

    Another site that I really like a lot and which I recommend personally and professionally is Meetup.  It's basically a directory of social groups that folks have set up according to their interests and so on, it's free to join and there's an app for your phone as well.  You make a profile and then search for your interests.  The reason I mention it is because I know they have some very good social groups and events which are often grouped by age or interest (which sometimes includes things like singles groups etc) - so for example by me, there's a Birmingham 30s and 40s night (referring to age bracket, not the 1930s/40s!) which is a very busy group and which gets together a lot.  I know there are things like a disability-inclusive Sunday lunch club, for example, various different book groups, gig-going groups, theatre groups, board game groups, networking events and so on.  That's just local to me. There are literally thousands all over the country, so might it be worth creating a profile and joining a few groups to take part in the discussions and sound out whether they sound like they might be something of interest?  The events that I have been along to near me have been very welcoming.  The point of the Meetup site is that you can introduce yourself online first, figure out a meeting point and perhaps even arrange for one of the group to pop out and find you if you're feeling a bit nervous.  Again, because of the way it works you can do some good introductions online first and perhaps make a connection with someone before you get there, which again takes some pressure off (as does meeting in a group, which you've said you enjoy with your target shooting group).

    The last one which I wondered if you might be interested in seeing is Outsiders.  It is an online social and dating community primarily which also puts on events, specifically people with disabilities so they are accessible.  It provides a way of making introductions and connections online which may then progress - might be interesting?  It is more specifically geared towards meeting people for romantic/intimate relationships than platonic ones.
    - Gill 
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