Hi, my name is GlenCornhill! — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, my name is GlenCornhill!

Glen1981 Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited October 11 in Start here and say hello!
Hi I am new to using SCOPE, I am a Space and Environmental Scientist and Technologist with experience working in Schools, for charities and in the Space and Sustainability sectors. I have struggled with my mental health since childhood, this was diagnosed when I was 25 as having very poor cognitive function and working memory (Dyslexia).

My disabilities have caused me a lifetime of anxiety and depression and made it hard to make friends and socialise, pass exams or work. My worst story is from my last month as a teacher at a college, the management told me I wasn't able to keep up with the work and that I would not be invited back in September, I told the job center who arranged for me to see a DWP educational psychologist who said something like,

"A normal persons mental ability is like them doing their food shopping with a trolley, it carries a lot of information and so they take less trips, a disabled person is like someone with a shopping basket doing the same amount of shopping, it takes longer and they need more trips, and I am like someone doing the same shopping with a paper bag",

This led to the job centre telling me I am incapable of doing skilled labor and set me back years. I have seen similar descriptions of mental health on social media since and get very angry at them, but they seem to be agreeable with a lot of people.

So my current goal is to accept that I need help, but not accept the conclusion that having poor working memory means stacking shelves for a living. Currently I am trying to be self employed, while being told by the job center to find work.

I am looking for similar stories and am open to share my own experiences. I was very closed to the idea of sharing for a long time, but since being a teacher I find it a lot easier.


  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 4,933

    Scope community team

    Hello @GlenCornhill

    Wishing you a warm welcome, it's lovely to see you join us.

    There should be no limits for what you can and can't do, and I'm surprised to hear that people who have spoken with you in the past seem to have told you that. It's about finding something you enjoy, and overcoming any barriers that your disability poses through things like reasonable adjustments or Access to Work.

    I like your approach to it, it's always a good idea to seek support for things like this, but you absolutely shouldn't accept what others have said about your limitations. 

    Can I ask, do you receive any support to manage your mental health? Is your GP aware of how it impacts you and are they supporting you to manage it?
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  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser Posts: 299 Pioneering
    Hello @GlenCornhill

    Welcome to Scope's forum. It is great to see you have joined us. I am currently admiring the fact that regardless of the challenges you experience and what people have told you, you have the determination to have higher expectations for yourself. The determination will get you far. 

    In terms of similar stories, I have autism and I was told by a career's advisor that it means I should apply for part-time jobs and causal jobs instead of permanent jobs when I graduate from my Masters because it means there will be less competition so I might stand a chance. Instead, I am determined to get a full-time job when I finish and in my chosen field of special educational needs and/or disabilities. Never let anyone (including yourself!) tell you what you are or aren't capable of doing, keep aiming higher. 

    In terms of more practical advice, are you aware of the Access to Work programme? It can help to ensure you have reasonable adjustments in the workplace. Though, you may also access reasonable adjustments by talking to an employer - if you become employed rather than self-employed. Scope also has a wonderful support programme related to employment. If you are interested, you can find it at https://www.scope.org.uk/employment-services/support-to-work/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwwY-LBhD6ARIsACvT72NMS5T2TCncGA69NPu_jWCyT9IpLywcgikCX1_zfm_JR3xzIunfaBoaAijgEALw_wcB

    I hope this helps! Take care for now and I will look forward to hearing from you again soon  :)
    I have expertise in the following subjects, gained through professional settings such as high level education or employment: autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, down's syndrome, social, emotional and mental health difficulties, assistive technology and education. Pronouns: She/her.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 10,516 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @GlenCornhill - & welcome to the community. Thank you so much for sharing your story; the good bits about your achievements, & the bad bits about others' poor understanding of some disabilities. In this day & age, where 1 in 5 people have a disability, it's a bad state of affairs if people have overcome so much compared to those that don't have a disability, & yet are not welcomed into a workplace, & supported better. Hmmm.....the only limitations are in other people's perceptions, as Ross has said. I also second the advice that L_Volunteer has given about considering Scope's Employment services; I've heard nothing but good about their 'Support to Work' programme.
    As someone that qualified in my particular field, yet was later self employed for many years, I'm wondering what you're thinking about doing, if that's OK to ask? As with other jobs I suppose, there are good bits, & bad, but there's a lot of satisfaction when your hard work pays off, & of course you have the perfect boss! :) My best wishes.
  • Glen1981
    Glen1981 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks everyone, I have had a long weekend trying to sort out help and have only just got a sick note from my GP and sent in an application for PIP. The high level of anxiety was too much and last night I slept really well from exhaustion but I’ve sadly also spent most of today sleeping as well with lethargy and no energy to cook or read or watch tv. I did get dressed for group anxiety therapy which was good (although it’s hard to shut me up at the moment).

    My goal at the moment is simply to reduce the amount of pressure on me before it makes me sick, so I’ve just let myself have a guilt free day in bed and food I don’t have to prepare (banana and yogurt, quiche and salad, and just a sandwich for dinner) 

    ive bit long woken up and I’ll probably head back to bed in a bit. I’m hoping to be “recharged” for tomorrow morning, but I’ll see. 
  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Member Posts: 765 Pioneering
    Hi @GlenCornhill Be kind to yourself and recharge.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 5,996

    Scope community team

    How are you feeling today @glencornhill
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  • Glen1981
    Glen1981 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I’m having a second rest day. I will hopefully have some energy tomorrow as I have emails and a UC message to read and reply to, and I’ll ring the doctors in the morning as the sick note has no end and the job centre want it to have an end date. 

    But not going to let anxiety beat me, just accepting that I need a rest, it was a busy and emotional weekend and Monday. 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 5,996

    Scope community team

    Yes, there's nothing wrong with having some rest days at all @GlenCornhill :) It's important to recharge and look after your mental and physical health. 
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