Educating The EastEnd| Young Carer | Panic Attacks| Chronic Illness | MS | Cancer| Autism |

by Antonia

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A couple of weeks ago a young carer was featured in the episode of Educating the EastEnd.

12 year old Devonte cares for his mum who has Acute Pancreatitis according to NHS Choices “is a serious condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed over a short period of time.” Due to his caring role it has affected his performance in school where he becomes disruptive; by singing, using his phone or calling other students name while in class. Devonte is an only child and lives with his mum, he’s also an aspiring rapper. Devonte says he does a lot of the house work and some days his mum is ‘full of life’ or just stays in bed. While showcasing his rap skills to Mrs Austin ( Home Support Worker) he mentions he hates seeing his mum cry and asks her why and she doesn’t tell him and does not want lie to him either.

“She has Acute Pancreatitis, so sometimes i’ll go home and she will be full of life, clean the whole house ready to go out. Other times i’ll come home and she’s still in bed. It’s kind of hard because i do the dishes, do the washing..don’t like to brag.” – Devonte

In his first week in school he was involved in a fight and i was put in ‘Fresh Start’ and with the help of Mrs Austin he was put in ‘Mainstream’ classes with the other students. In classes his English teacher say he reacts better to positive feedbacks/praise but gets defensive and shuts down when told off harshly. As you will know, a carers give all their attention to their loved ones everyday so when they do get a bit of attention it’s exciting and special. Not to excuse his behaviour but it’s common for young carers to feel alone and unwanted.

“Any attention is good attention” – Mrs Austin

Year 11 student Charlie, is one of the top students in his year group but suffers from panic attacks. Before each class he does breathing exercises to calm his nerves. When the teacher mentions exams he is seen getting a bit shaky and is seen drinking a bottle of water. He described it by saying he felt his vision going, feeling dizzy, light headed, his legs wobbling and might pass out. After trying to calm himself he is then excused from class. Charlie’s panic attack started at an exam last year. As a musician he finds music relaxes him, watch to see if he is able to perform at his school concert.

A year 7 student, Louie is finding it hard to fit in and he misses his friends from primary school. He starts to bunk off and it starts to affect his attendance. The three boys were all dealing with different issues and it was lovely to see they had support from their Pastoral care workers and friends. In a lot of the episodes the school has shown incredible support to their students, i hope this consistently goes on in other schools here. Watch this episode here 🙂

In Episode 1 Acacia  (year 9) gets caught about something she posted on Facebook and deals with her mum’s chronic illness which gets her emotional.

“She can’t do things that normal parents can do, i remember before when she was just normal we used to go out all the time, have parties. She was so happy and fun and stuff. But now she can’t do any of that and it’s sad because my little brother, he’s 7 and he doesn’t really know how my mum was before” – Acacia

Episode 2 features year 8 student Halil who gets into trouble continuously; his mum has MS and he lives with his Granddad now.

“My Granddad he looks after us, he is basically my dad. I used to live with my mum for a little bit but she’s got a disability called MS and she can’t look after us. It’s a rare disability and there’s no cure to it. [When asked how it’s been for him] “Hard! She’s done her best, i still love her as a mother, she hasn’t done nothing wrong” – Khalil

Episode 6 year 11 student Yasmine goes through a misunderstanding with her friend and dealing with her fathers death 7 years ago due to Cancer.

“I lost my dad almost 7 years ago, he died of Cancer and this month is the anniversary of his death. I remember every single day that my dad was ill without a doubt. I’ve grown up hiding my feelings, i say i don’t care about a lot because it’s easier to say i do care about a lot” – Yasmine

Episode 8 shows year 10  student Christopher aka Mr Positive, he is  1 of 12 Autistic students in the school.

“When i was a lot younger people use to ridicule me and judge me, they used words like retarded, disabled and a lot of other things. I always wondered what it would be like to be normal but this term normal i think it’s just man made” – Christopher

Read the interview from The Observer with the Head teacher of Frederick Bremer School Ms Smith.