Cue Version One Zillion as I attempt to construct the framework for Ben to write a supporting statement for the Disrupted Studies form, explaining more about how the anorexia has affected his studies over the past two and a half years. When I say 'framework', I mean something that he can take and put into his own words. It's important to get this right. After all, the university knows very little about Ben's background over and above the limited space allowed on the UCAS University Application Form.
It's difficult to know what to say without appearing to be too dramatic or be seen to be 'hyping things up'. You and I know this illness is so incredibly alien to anything the normal brain can comprehend, with a mamoth learning curve, that - although WE know I am not over-dramatising things - I worry it may seem like that to the 'uninitiated'. Or maybe I haven't gone into enough detail?
Mind you, I expect the Uni will have come across other students with anorexia in their time, so there may be some level of understanding.
Basically I've attempted to explain how the illness meant that Ben missed enormous chunks of schooling between summer 2009 and now which doubtless affected his ability to study effectively and may affect his final A Level examination results in the summer.
This will be supported by an additional statement from the school and another from his pscychiatrist.
The thing is, I know Ben is easily capable of succeeding on this particular degree course this particular 'red brick' university. The problem is convincing the admissions tutors that this is the case.
If the form does its job then there might be slight flexibility as regards exam grades. Not massive flexibility, but at least some.
In an ideal world Ben will get the 3 x A grades required to take up the offer they have already made him. But it all hangs firstly on the AS Level re-sits he has to do next week and the week after, and then the actual A Level exams themselves in the late spring.
Ben is even prepared to visit the tutors in person if they will see him - to 'sell himself' to them. But I very much doubt if they'd agree to that...