Category: Rosie and Jo’s Mum

Using fidget toys

Using fidget toys

Rosie and Jo's Mum The advent of the fidget cube and the fidget spinner has prompted some interesting online conversations about the need for fidget toys in the classroom. There are compelling arguments both for and against the use of these toys: They make noises that can be distracting to other pupils. Clicking pens and … Continue reading Using fidget toys

Learned behaviour

Learned behaviour

By Rosie and Jo's mum. It's a regularly recounted scenario on forums for parents of children with ASD. They are describing how an undiagnosed sibling is displaying behaviour that is also indicative of ASD. The response often thrown at them very quickly is "That is just learned behaviour." This quickly shuts down the conversation and … Continue reading Learned behaviour

The Imbalance of Power

The Imbalance of Power

By Rosie and Jo's mum When, close to tears of frustration, I told the LA case officer that, by refusing to issue the proposed amended statement which was three months overdue, she was withholding my right of appeal to the SEND tribunal, she looked me squarely in the eye and shrugged her shoulders. At that … Continue reading The Imbalance of Power

What to record and how to store it?

What to record and how to store it?

By Rosie and Jo's mum. I think I would have really benefited, in the early days, from someone warning me of two things. The first was how much paperwork you accumulate when you have a child with additional needs. The second was how important it is too keep good, clear easily accessible records so you … Continue reading What to record and how to store it?

The drive to stop our children being different.

The drive to stop our children being different.

By Rosie and Jo's mum As an early years practitioner, I attended a few training courses on celebrating diversity.  We would be encouraged to think with the children about the differences and similarities between us like the various rituals we have around family birthdays, which flavour crisps we like, what our houses look like, what … Continue reading The drive to stop our children being different.

There’s a whole lot more to ‘independence’ than catching a bus….

There’s a whole lot more to ‘independence’ than catching a bus….

.... than making a sandwich or doing your washing.  Just like with the new approach to SEN Support in schools, that asks us to think about 'barriers to learning', the 'itmustbemum' mums are clear: "It is essential that the likely barriers to becoming independent are properly identified, assessed, then understood - so that support is appropriately targeted … Continue reading There’s a whole lot more to ‘independence’ than catching a bus….

Even good experiences can contribute to overload.

Even good experiences can contribute to overload.

By Rosie and Jo's mum. It took me a while to get my head round these two ideas: 1. My daughters can be enjoying activities that they have chosen to engage in, want to carry on with and benefit from in many ways while still feeling stressed and overloaded by them. Playing with friends at … Continue reading Even good experiences can contribute to overload.

Who knows my child best?

Who knows my child best?

By Rosie and Jo's mum I think many of us have been in the position where another adult believes that they know our own child better than we do.  Often this is a member of our extended family or school staff. So why should I be recognised as the expert in my own child? I … Continue reading Who knows my child best?

A School With a Helpful Approach

A School With a Helpful Approach

By Rosie and Jo’s mum This is a description of a meeting I recently attended at Jo's school. For an hour and a half, I set round a table with a group of people, care, education and therapy staff, who worked on three basic principles: A child will make progress if you remove the barriers … Continue reading A School With a Helpful Approach

Shouldn’t it feel like a free choice? Why I don’t home educate

Shouldn’t it feel like a free choice? Why I don’t home educate

By Rosie and Jo’s mum Both of my girls have found school difficult.  They have both spent long periods unable to attend and they have both experienced severe anxiety as a result of inadequate provision. When things weren’t going well, which has been often, I have strongly considered home education.  Both girls are academically able … Continue reading Shouldn’t it feel like a free choice? Why I don’t home educate

SEND Parent = Agitator?

SEND Parent = Agitator?

By Rosie and Jo’s mum There’s a new word for parents like me. I realised that the education system was failing my children very badly, I found the guidelines their educators should be following and I spent time, energy and, eventually, money on making sure their needs were met well enough for them to have … Continue reading SEND Parent = Agitator?

We can’t tell education what to do

We can’t tell education what to do

By Rosie and Jo’s mum I have been working with health and education professionals to get my children’s educational needs met for over ten years now. As time has gone on and their needs have increased, the opinions and recommendations from health professionals have been hard and harder to obtain in writing or at least … Continue reading We can’t tell education what to do

Please Don’t Suggest a Sticker Chart

By Rosie and Jo’s mum. Those words seem so innocent yet they can feel so loaded. This is the kind of advice parents generally pick up at toddler groups when dealing with the terrible twos. We see it on TV, in parenting magazines and on parenting forums. There can’t be many parents out there who … Continue reading Please Don’t Suggest a Sticker Chart

You Are Not Asking for an EHC Plan

You Are Not Asking for an EHC Plan

By Rosie and Jo’s mum “She’ll never get a statement.” The confident words of various school staff to me on the occasions that I raised the possibility of requesting a statutory assessment for one of my daughters. They were always absolutely sure they were right. At the times of the conversations, both girls were making … Continue reading You Are Not Asking for an EHC Plan

Getting What You Asked For Can Be A Double-edged Sword

By Rosie and Jo’s mum. Life as a parent of a child with additional needs is a series of challenges and our other blog posts are testament to the number of battles we are forced to fight. Some of the battles are for things we never wanted in the first place.  That might sound strange … Continue reading Getting What You Asked For Can Be A Double-edged Sword

The emotional impact on a parent

By Rosie and Jo’s mum I remember the first question I asked on a forum for parents of children with autism. It was “How do you find a way to switch off from the stress and worry?” We were in the early days of our journey, very soon after Rosie’s ASD diagnosis, school were being … Continue reading The emotional impact on a parent

One of ‘Those’ Parents

By Rosie and Jo's mum I never wanted to be one of ‘those’ parents. In fact, I still don’t want to be one. I need to send my child to school knowing that she will be looked after with integrity and that communications between me and the school will be honest and open. It is … Continue reading One of ‘Those’ Parents

How do Children Make Progress?

By Rosie and Jo’s mum. When I was a childminder, I had the privilege of watching lots of babies learning to walk. I was even lucky enough to see some first steps. Those babies recognised their developing skills and used the resources around them to get to the next level. When they were ready to … Continue reading How do Children Make Progress?

What does ‘fine’ mean?

What does ‘fine’ mean?

By Rosie and Jo’s mum. “When she’s in school, she’s fine…..” “Once you’ve dropped her off, she’s fine.” “She’s been fine all day.” I’ve probably heard these phrases and other variations of them hundreds of times over the years. When I had watched the 12 year old Rosie grow progressively more pale and anxious as … Continue reading What does ‘fine’ mean?

Unable to attend school

Rosie and Jo’s mum. When Jo was eight, I was told that, if she didn’t ‘want’ to go to school, I should manhandle her out of the house and all the way into school. I called her CAMHS psychologist and explained. She told me to manhandle her into school too. Incredulous, I repeated her words … Continue reading Unable to attend school