This is my FIRST “Spotlight on Special Bloggers” and I couldn’t have asked a a more gracious and hilarious blogger than Manchester Flick Chick
. Chrissie’s blog is full of delicious, vegetarian recipes
and stylish beauty tips
which are animal-cruelty free. I was first drawn to her blog by her humor and authenticity. My special education radar was triggered when I read her self-description which includes: “I happen to have Dyspraxia which makes me wobbly, forgetful and weird in a good way ^_^” Not too weird, as you can see below! And her closing remarks capture all that is beautiful about this delightful blogger.
How did you start blogging? I started blogging because I would write scenes for a screen play I was working on when I was temping in an office. I shared it with a colleague and he said “You’ve got a real talent for dialogue there. To help you (as it was all on scrap paper and random scenes with a very scratchy narrative) why don’t you do a blog to get used to writing?” He set it up for me. I wrote a funny and quirky piece about my Adventures on a Saturday Day/Night and got a great response.
How did you choose your blog focus? The focus of my first blog was myself but that felt too personal because I didn’t want everyone to know my business (I was in my early 20’s and a bit wild) so I turned it into a Manchester blog which also focused on fashion and beauty. I wish I kept the original name of Vamp It Up though, ha!
(One of Chrissie’s funny but insightful posts could help all of us who are shopping challenged.)
What was your educational experience like? As a little kid I lost all concept of math after we stopped being aloud to use plastic coins to count with – seriously. I would also sit starring into space formulating this amazing story in my head and then when I’d go to write it down I’d realise there was only ten minutes of the lesson left. There was such a fast difference between my homework and class work the teachers asked my parents what was ‘wrong’ with me.
My poor Mum and Dad felt totally bewildered and admitted they were hopping the teachers would know. My pediatrician listened to me talk ten-to-the-dozen about my weekend and said “She’s obviously very bright, she’s fine.” Oh, hell no.
High school teachers were equally as clueless and assumed I was either tired, lazy or that I just thought school was a social gathering, which by age 14 I did. I just didn’t see the point of this so called ‘learning’ anymore. In the past I’d really worked hard and tried my best and still failed repeatedly. Based only on end results most of the teachers lazily thought I’d not bothered and “Must try harder”.
I realised I had Dyspraxia after reading an interview with Florence Welch (Florence and The Machine), who spoke in depth about Dyspraxia. I cried with relief as it was likes she was describing me exactly! I went to my Dr’s and demanded to be referred to Neurologist. I wondered if I should have asked for an Occupational Therapist or a Phycologist first as they might have offered more daily practical help. However, it turned out there was a physical reason I have this (to do with nerve damage) so a Neurologist was best after all!
Flowers from The Bloke while Chrissie had an MRI
What advice would you give to others with similar issues? That was back in the 90’s when dyspraxia had just been recognised but dyslexia was well recognised by then but still no special support of any kind was available at my school. Nowadays in most schools it’s different. Even if the school doesn’t have the funding they will tend to refer students to an outside service that can help. Request a meeting with the head or learning support person in your school/college and always take someone with you you for support. If no luck, then go to your Dr with someone and keep going to them until one takes you seriously. It’s a neurological thing after all and Dr’s aren’t just there for the physical aspects of health.
Would you, could you share your fabulous veggie pizza recipe? I have yet to make one that’s just right! To lighten the tone a bit, yeah I’d love to!
Chrissie’s Mediterranean Cheese Feast
Buy a basic cheap thin crust margarita pizza.
Add a little sun dried tomato paste or green pest to the base – go easy with this.
Add your topping – mine tends to be left over roast veg, olives, tomatoes, red onion. I’d choose 3-4 toppings but add a lot of those.
Pile on a ton of cheddar cheese and a little feta or goats cheese.
Cook as per instructed on the label but add on a minute or two.
Grill on a very low heat to really melt the cheese, do not leave unattended or you will end up with a very black frisbee.
Any final words?
Be patient, you will get there, I promise. Be tenacious and most of all keep your sense of humour! If you feel like a total alien, well there are lots of us ‘aliens’ around, in fact we are more common than you might think!