Tag Archives: Starting college

Plan of action around managing anxiety when starting college

Here it is, my care plan, the plan I made with Mark my OT, for managing and overcoming anxiety around starting school. Feedback is appreciated.

Management Strategies Identified

  • Anticipation and Preparation
  • Breathing techniques
  • Body Scans
  • Think about 3 things near to me. Sounds in the room. Sometimes require prompting.
  • Use quiet room
  • Time out and collect thoughts. Perhaps toilet break. If triggered can use water.

What am I looking forward to:

Learning new things

Building computer skills

Meeting people


Getting into the workforce

Making friends

Having a satisfying routine

Structure to the day

Something to get up for in the morning

What do I see as obstacles to course engagement:

  1. Instructors not knowing about jaws or equipment
  2. Equipment breaking down
  3. Lack of awareness about dog
  4. Not familiar with spreadsheets etc and difficulty with such
  5. Concerns about becoming unwell and unstable
  6. Work Placement and finding the right placement Will companies want to take me on
  7. Mobilising around the building
  8. Exams and exam process (Will I get to do the exams on same day)

What Strategies can I use to overcome obstacles?

  1. Ring Brain Manning form NCB and he can give training on Jaws as it is specialised equipment. I can help out re commands etc. On email support lists and I can get answers from this around technology supports.
  2. They have tech support and also Brian Manning can help with such.
  3. Have had Natalie (trainer) in and if needed she could come in again. Perhaps get leaflets about guide dogs if needed. Like the Basement, people get used to the dog and more familiar. Confidence will be developed being around the dog.
  4. There will be individual support when needed and I will have an opportunity to confirm items and question if I have not processed information or grasped concepts.
  5. Use weekly appointments to discuss about impacting items from past aswell as current stressors. Prioritise what needs to be talked about. Do things in personal life to maintain wellness i.e. relationships. Basement resource centre. Fill up evenings and use distraction techniques. Talk to link worker on the course so they are aware.
  6. When go to do work placement anticipation and preparation will be key and using resources in NLN and outside of this to get the best opportunities available.
  7. I have done route familiarisation and I know much of the building. The first two weeks of induction will give me time to adjust fully. Confidence has developed already and staff have been so friendly and will be helpful if required.
  8. The exams are every 6 weeks approximately. It is continuous assessment as opposed to one exam at the end of the year. This takes stress off. I have initiated availing of extra time and supports for exam to maximise likelihood of best outcomes. I will link in with my key support worker in NLN leading up to exams and discuss any concerns as they arise. Link with Mark (OT) leading up to exams as an aspect of exam preparation.

What preparation do I feel I need prior to commencing NLN on Sept 7th:

  1. Adjust sleep pattern: Starting Monday 31st August getting up at 7am and going to bed before 12. I will adjust body clock as when I commence NLN I will be getting up at 6am. This preparation will give me confidence to start the course.
  2. Ring Brian Manning as I need guidance on a scanning ap on the phone. This will be necessary to scan printed material on the course.
  3. I feel ready for the course.


We had a little bit of disappointing news today. Remember I said over the past few weeks that I applied to start a computer course? Well today we found out that they wont allow us to start until next September. We had been told we’d start next January but now the start dates been pushed out. All because they need to get us an individual workstation, because their virtual desktop that they use isnt compatible with our screen reader jaws. So that means buying a new laptop, a version of jaws to use on it, and I am not sure what else. But to do that they’ll have to make a submission to the 2015 budget for funding. They dont have intakes onto the course as regularly as they used to, since they’ve changed the content of the course, and how they run it. So in essence it means a long period of waiting time for us. Its kinda disappointing to me in particular. I was looking forward to starting soon. The other issue we had to discuss today with our OT Mark is our transport issue. He said he’d spoken to the manager of the college, and he said he may be able to help us partly with transport costs. Apparently its done on a case per case basis. What he said was they might be able to fun half the cost per week of transport. That would mean we’d still be paying 35 to 50 euro per week ourselves. But between now and starting next September, we’re going to start saving some money each week, to help us pay for the taxi’s to get there. Plus there is an organisation giving us a small grant of 500 euro too, which is also going to help us out a little bit. So thats where things are at with college and the transport issues. In the mean time we have the basement club to go to, which although we’re not getting a qualification out of it, it will keep us occupied and we do learn things there as they do groups which teach you things.
Carol anne