hey friends!! this is an extension of my last post, which you can find here, where I talked about navigating high school when you have a chronic illness. Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of asks wondering if their health concerns counted as a chronic illness and what accommodations they were entitled to. Instead of answering everyone individually, I made this post so I could hopefully reach more people who need answers. 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not aware of every possible limitation + accommodation. These are just the ones I’m aware of, and are a good place to start.

you will most likely need medical documentation to support your request for any of the following!! especially at public schools!!

in the classroom:

  • an individual learning plan - sometimes called an IEP or ILP
  • a classroom aide
  • the ability to record classes/lectures, either audio only or audio/visual
  • the ability to dictate class work
  • a notetaker, or access to teacher notes
  • double of every textbook - one to leave at school and one to leave at home
  • ability to eat and/or drink in class
  • ability to leave class without permission, or without fear of being forbidden
  • priority access to a seat at the front/back of the class for vision/sensory/hearing/etc issues
  • not having to take gym, or only being required to complete the health component and still be eligible to graduate
  • being excused from art or drama classes that are too physically demanding - these are grad reqs at some schools
  • being excused from classes that may be triggering - eg. a sexual assault unit or domestic violence lesson
  • being excused from hands-on science lab work - due smells, allergies, sensitivity, etc.

for tests/exams:

  • extra time on tests - 25%, 50%, 100%, or something custom to your needs
  • a separate test taking space - quieter or smaller space, a more casual space, a different chair/desk,
  • a test taking aide
  • the ability to dictate certain test components
  • a computer for essay or writing-based tests

technology-based:

  • ability to complete any work on a computer where possible, eg. essays on tests, homework, lecture notes
  • use of a calculator when otherwise prohibited
  • use of spell check when otherwise prohibited
  • an online/digital/pdf version of the textbook
  • permission to use audiobooks instead of physical copies
  • permission to use a digital ebook instead of a physical copy - zoom feature, inverse colours, weight in bag

in the halls/around the campus:

  • ability to use the elevator (many schools limit elevator access + elevators are only accessible with a key)
  • ability to carry medications on your person (this is often not allowed, even for over the counter meds like advil)
  • ability to take longer to travel from class to class
  • priority given for an accessible locker (eg. one that doesn’t require you to bend down)
  • a priority parking space close to the school
  • an extra number of allowed absences - ie. not failing out because you miss too much school
  • permission to take breaks in the nurse’s office when necessary - ie. naps, time to lie down, some silence
  • a different in dress code - ie. more comfortable shoes, leggings to accommodate stomas or sensory issues
  • ability to bring your own lunch - some schools (mostly private schools from my experience) forbid this
  • getting a chair during assemblies, pep rallies, or any school event that requires standing

outside of school (homework):

  • extra time to complete homework, or extra time only for big, culminating assignments (like major essays, projects)
  • reduced work load (every other question, only needing to complete enough for a sample)
  • the ability to dictate homework
  • ability to complete homework assignments on a computer
  • double of every textbook - one to leave at school and one to leave at home

examples (!!!!! as in not inclusive of everything) of conditions that could warrant accommodation

  • a mental illness that has been professionally diagnosed
  • a learning disability that has been professionally diagnosed
  • a sensory processing issue/disorder
  • a history of trauma (eg. sexual assault) that has been professionally evaluated
  • a broken bone - accommodations would definitely be temporary in this case
  • a handicap, eg. being in a wheelchair, having a feeding tube, an amputation
  • having a chronic illness, incl. chronic fatigue, chronic pain, diabetes,
  • having an acute but serious illness/disease, eg. cancer
  • recovering post-surgery
  • pregnancy
  • an extenuating family circumstance, eg. a seriously ill family member who needs your assistance frequently

reminder: asking for accommodation, or having one of the above mentioned health conditions does not make you weak. it does not make you lesser. you are strong and brave and capable and deserving of success. you deserve an education. believe in yourself, ask for help when you need it. i’m always here to talk.

love, soph 

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Self-Care Band-Aid Tattoos by MotivationalTattoo. Wear one when you are feeling down, to serve as a pick-me-up and reminder. ♥

🌊✨ Some weekend magic and some weekend lessons I learned ~ 5 things to quit doing right now:
1. Trying to please everyone
2. Fearing change
3. Living in the past
4. Putting yourself down
5. Overthinking
I stumbled across this message and it really resonated with me as something I struggle with a lot, and I thought I’d share it with you💛
No matter what we do, how generous and loving we are, what we look like, what we achieve, we will never be able to please everyone. But what others think says nothing about us.
This week I’m focusing on being unapologetically ME, practicing self love by taking better care of myself and letting go of some of my fears. Embracing every moment and embracing change. Change is scary, but from change grow an infinite number of new opportunities and possibilities🌻
Do you have any intentions for this week?💫

IG: @naturally_nina_

🌞🌿 I just got home after another very long drive, my second last exam for this semester and a very stressful and all round not-so-great day. I’m exhausted and have probably cried my body weight in tears. This is a reminder that’s it’s OKAY not to be okay sometimes. Life can throw unexpected things at you. Life can be hard and uncomfortable. But without these negatives we might not appreciate and be able to recognise all the POSITIVES. All the wonderful moments that make life so special and amazing💫
Sending all my love to anyone else who’s going through a tough time or who’s just had a bad day. Go make yourself a delicious nourishing meal and curl up with your favourite book or movie like I’m doing now❤️
You got this.
We got this.

IG: @naturally_nina_

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Brainwaves |
Activate your Theta brainwaves (7-4 Hz) through meditation.
Alpha brainwaves (14-8 Hz) are the gateway.
Yoga mat @vioyoga
#yoga #mediation #brainwaves #selflove #frequency #vibratehigher #highervibes #love #divine #self #mindfulness #holistic #yogateacher #afro #naturalhair #naturalista #blackyogis #kemetic #gateway #health #mentalhealth #lotuspose #spiritual #spirit #alpha #theta (hier: Essen, Nordrhein-Westfalen)

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Morning morning my #Beautiful #Yogis. I do legs twice a week and yoga six days. I am almost obsessed with my health. To know the value of it, ask someone who is ill. I see illness, both physical and mental all around me. I see it tearing down my community and those within it. Being fit is hard, choosing to be happy is hard. Being unhealthy is hard, being unhappy is also hard. Choose your hard. So, what’s it going to be? If no one told you today, I love you! You got this and you can not be defeated, so let’s get to work! Stay #light and #awesome.

#Yoga #YogaMom #YogisOfIG #YogaAtWork #YogaInTheCity #YogaOffTheMat #YogaInTheWorld #YogaInspiration #Fitness #FitFam #FitChick #Health #MentalHealth #OpenHeart #Work #imStrong #iLift #Pow #Peace #Namaste ✌🏽🙏🏽

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thoughts on OCD

hey tumblr, some thoughts

I see a lot of people complain that OCD is over-represented as a “quirky” illness focused on neatness and etc. While I definitely agree with that, it’s important also to recognize that many people with OCD do in fact desire straight lines, clean edges, specific numbers, and other more or less “stereotypical” manifestations. So yes! It’s very important to make people aware of the other forms of OCD that exist (like scrupulosity), but the more commonly-portrayed obsessions are 100% valid as well. They’re stereotypes for a reason.

HEALTH is so much more than what you look like or what size you are💛 it’s so much more the the food you eat, how much you eat and how much exercise you do.
For the longest time, I thought health was purely down to eating the ‘healthiest’ food, lowest calories, doing the most exercise and in my case also having perfect blood sugar levels. It worked for a little while, but then it created the most unhealthy state I could have imagined. I ended up weak, depressed, obsessive about every single thing I did or didn’t put in my mouth, hated my body and became a shadow of myself.
I’m so grateful to have recognised that TRUE HEALTH starts with your thoughts. Not exactly what you are eating but how you feel about what you are eating and how it makes you feel • Accepting the amazing body you were given and taking good care of it • Having energy, feeling strong and empowered🌟👊🏼🌿
Mental health is just as important as your physical health. You are SO much more than what you eat.

IG: @naturally_nina_

I don’t know how most people’s intrusive thoughts behave but mine rather then violent imagery or loud repeated thoughts it’s more like a shitty friend who you know has the worst ideas who keeps sliding up to you while you’re doing washing up and saying stuff like:

“You could totally jam that pen into his jugular before he could stop you. Wanna try?”

“What if you licked that mans face? I bet that would be funny”

“You should totally jump off that building”

“You know what’s a good idea? Murder.”

And I have to be all “Shut the fuck up Brad. You are awful and this why I never listen to you”

Probably one of the most real conversations I have ever had with a patient:

Pt: You don’t understand I have anxiety.
Me: I do. Me too.
Pt: I have watched people die.
Me: Me too.
Pt: Well I have PTSD.
Me: Me too.
Pt: Oh. It’s really hard you know?
Me: Yeah I do.
Pt: Oh. Thanks.

Honestly I started out rather annoyed with the patient and their behavior but by the end I wanted to hug them.

I tried to drink it away, I tried to put one in the air
I tried to dance it away, I tried to change it with my hair.
I ran my credit card bill up, thought a new dress make it better
I tried to work it away, but that just made me even sadder.
I tried to keep myself busy, I ran around circles
Think I made myself dizzy,
I slept it away, I sexed it away
I read it away Away, away, away, away, away, away…
—  Solange

✨ We always think that numbers define us. We think that we’re defined by kgs on a scale, calories in the food we eat, numbers of kms we ran or reps we did in the gym, likes on the photos we post…but in reality, these things don’t say one single thing about us.
What we’re really made of is our passions, our dreams and the things we love most. Our kindness, our determination and the people who make us grow. Our bravery to face our fears and keep on pushing when times get tough. Our strengths, our talents, and our quirks too! We’re made of light, energy, love and memories.
In honour of World Eating Disorder Awareness Day, which lies very close to my heart ~ We are SO much more than any numbers. Perfectly imperfect. We should ourselves that every single day. We are enough, we always were and always will be. 💜🌻💫 #selflove

IG: @naturally_nina_