Seventeen year old Lucy McKee has had a difficult time at her school, Bearsden's Boclair Academy.

Alone and lacking friends, she suffered bullying and name-calling from fellow pupils. More often, she was just ignored.

"I felt invisible," she says.

She has been affected by Sotos syndrome since birth, a genetic condition which brings with it a range of medical issues, and causes mild learning disability. Lucy felt the extent to which she has been helped with this varies.

"If it is a lesson I understand then I feel comfortable. But for others I need additional support and without it I worry that I'll fall behind. The school have included me in some things, but not everything."

The biggest problem was not feeling part of the 'family' of the school, she says.

Sotos syndrome also causes overgrowth in childhood - which can contribute to a young person looking and feeling 'different'. "Friendships were always a challenge and the attitudes of other pupils towards myself," she adds. "People didn’t’ really understand and didn’t really take any real minutes to think 'should I be including this person because she looks left out. She needs some pals around her'".

But supported by a dynamic new headteacher at Boclair Academy', Douglas Brown, Lucy took a stand.

Inspired by an Enable Scotland anti-bullying campaign, and her involvement in a youth group, she went to see the head. "He was very up for doing something. We worked out a plan, put up posters and delivered presentations and assemblies to every year group."

"I wanted them to understand what it is like to have a learning disability and how hurtful it is when people call you names. I wanted to make it better for me and younger people who might be bullied too.”

Lucy's efforts have been instrumental in her school becoming a more inclusive place, she says.

"Since I gave the presentation school has got a lot better for me. People know who I am and talk to me now. My headteacher says younger children look up to me as a role model. I feel a lot less invisible.”

However the S6 pupil still worries about her future and struggles to find information about what types of opportunities are available to her.

Her parents are proud of her achievements but say they have had to fight for her to get the right support all the way. "Mainstreaming is a good idea but you have to put the proper training and resources in place," says Lucy's dad, David McKee. He describes Lucy as an 'in-betweener' who would benefit little from a special school, but needs significant support to make mainstream work. Support which is often lacking.

"A lot of classes have pupils of all ability levels working together. Add in the special needs kids and how do you make that work?" he says. "It is very challenging for teachers. I think they need more training on how to engage with kids like Lucy."