You may notice now that we are allowed to go out more that you will see people a sunflower lanyard. I have one and I wear it when I go to work. I have had it for a couple of years now, when they first appeared I didn’t really wear it much but when you go out anywhere now you seem to meet someone wearing one. The first time I used it was when I went to the airport to go on holiday. The sunflower lanyards were first introduced with a scheme that tries to hightlight hidden disabilites. I don’t really like the term hidden to describe these types of disabilities as the are not hidden, they are invisable, a term I prefer. To me hidden sounds like a person does not what it to be seen or is ‘hiding’ it on perpose. Anyway I thought I would tell you about the scheme. To be honest I have been doing a bit of research the last couple of weeks as I have voulunteered to do a short presentation about it for a disability group I am in at work. I was suprised to see the long list of disabities that are classed as being invisible. I guess you only focus on the one that you have and that is the most important one to you but they are all important. They range from autism, dyslexia, lupus, PTSD, asthma and of course brain injury. It is a disablity that does not have a physical sign but despite this they can make life more challenging as it is hard for people to acknowlege that you may have a problem. Wearing the sunflower lanyard discretly indicates to the people around you that may need help or support. Like I have said, I wore my sunflower lanyard when I went to the airport. Airports were the first organinations that recognised the lanyards so I thought I would wear it in case I needed any help. I didn’t need any help as I was with my family but I found that just wearing it made me feel less anxious about silly things I may have done. From that I can recognise the value in wearing the lanyard in situations that may be challenging. These can just be the simple, normal activities of day-to-day life but if I have a day when I am fatigued or anxious about something they become very hard to do. I like to say I may be slow but I am not stupid and this allows me not to worry about peoples opinions of me. I am as open as I can be with people anyway as I find it makes things much easier. My pet hate is to talk on the phone to someone that I don’t know which I have been doing a lot of recently. I find it easier for everyone to explain that I have a brain injury and that it may take me more time to process and understand the information that you may be giving me. Of course the sunflower lanyard does not help when I am on the phone but it has given my the confidence to be open about my disability. Like I have said already, I am going to talk to the disability group where I work with the aim to introduce the sunflower scheme. It is quite exciting to think that I have the oppotunity to influence, something would of never have been able to do before my brain injury.