... and how does it feel? Well, it feels effortless, though you know that hard work is being relentlessly applied, and it looks easy, though the skills of the staff are clearly evident. It also feels respectful, objective and there seems to be no interest in blame, gossip or drama. The business of the day starts … Continue reading When ‘school’ ‘gets it right’, what does it look like?
I have previously written about children that fall between the gaps, those who seem to be 'Nobody's Problem'. Here I have written a template letter GP that I think could help. It was written with this scenario in mind: You and your child are desperate. S/he is struggling to get to school, they are coming … Continue reading When your child is struggling can your GP help?
Just a quick one building on Rosie and Jo's mum's post 'what to record and how to store it'... One of those things I wish I had started years ago. Use a table to keep a log. That is it. A little bit of effort now and I promise you, you will be so glad … Continue reading Make a log of EVERYTHING. It will be worth it…. trust me.
A guest blog from an anonymous professional So what do you do if the suggestions that your child’s difficulties ‘don’t exist, as professionals can’t see them’ or that ‘you are causing or fabricating your child’s difficulties’ start to be aired publicly? These are some tips based on shared experiences. This is not intended to be … Continue reading Facing Allegations of Fabricated and Induced Illness
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
My husband, a programmer in an arcane computer language (AS400 if you’re interested) was asked to give an example of one of something I’m good at. “She’s relatively computer literate” he said carefully. “Relatively.” Fine praise indeed. As a child I learned simple coding on a wobbly ZX81 which would randomly lose all its … Continue reading Autism and Minecraft.
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
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
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?
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.
"You must be mum." Four words that put you nicely in a box and out of the way, even when you are present in a meeting. That introduction says so much - you know you are simply there to be tolerated, to tick off a requirement and that you are expected to sit in the … Continue reading I’m not “mum”
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?
Below is a summary of a conversation that I had with a close friend last week. Of course, I have removed all emotion: crying, hyperventilating in panic and so on. Fearing for your child like this brings with it intense panic and fear. After months of barely managing, of pleading for help, assessments and a suitable school placement … Continue reading Abused by the Local Authority
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
"I trusted this member of staff to help me when I was feeling scared and then I saw her holding the door shut one day. I could hear a kid screaming inside. Then I was confused because I had trusted her and I didn't know if she was nice anymore" It has come to … Continue reading Restraint and Seclusion: A Mini-blog
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
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
Many things have shocked me to the core these last few years and one of them is the apparent ease with which people trained to teach can decide that Health Care Professionals that are trained to diagnose are wrong. How can that be possible? My first experience of this was when Peter was 6 and … Continue reading When School Staff Refuse to Accept a Diagnosis – some key questions to ask
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
One way or another my life will change quite significantly today. A meeting is being held without me, or any direct contributions from me, but the outcome will be huge whatever the decision. No-one in the meeting knows me or my son, Peter, but decisions are being made about him which will affect the rest … Continue reading Meetings About Me Without Me
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
“He is 2 years behind but the SENCo says he won’t ‘qualify’ for an EHC assessment.” “School say she is doing well in set 3.” It seems to me that this is misinformation and not in any way within the spirit of the SEN Code of Practice that all schools are obliged to follow: The SEN … Continue reading How Far Behind Does She Have to be for an EHC Assessment?
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