Tag Archives: Lies

The Do’s And Don’ts When Parenting A Child With Aspergers Syndrome

15 May

Its not easy being a parent to a child on the autism spectrum! Actually… It isn’t that easy being a parent full stop!

Below are some dos and don’t, all based around the stuff I’ve learnt while parenting my little man. Remember, I’m just another parent like you! No, I’m not doctor or child psychologist and what works for us may totally not work for you. But why not have a read anyway… If anything you won’t feel do alone. Please, feel free to add anything within the comments sections:)

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So… Here it goes…

Don’t feel guilty if you failed to spot the signs at an early age.

Do remember that this is common for children diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome with many of them not gaining an actual official diagnosis, till their teenage years.

Don’t be to proud to ask for help!

Do fight for it, if those who are meant to provide it, withhold it!

Don’t force your child to be someone they are not!

Do show them you are proud of them for being the person they are.

Don’t assume its easy!

Do remember that parenting any child can at times be challenging.

Don’t feel you have to explain your child’s behaviour, every single time they do something that makes others stop and stare.

But do educate those who are willing to listen! The important issue here is, not to get stressed when out and about. this only makes things more difficult for both yourself and your child. Remember its ignorance and sadly many are guilty of displaying it!

Don’t restrict the activities you do as a family.

Do prepare your child for such occasions with the help of visual resources and schedules to avoid unwanted challenges on the day.

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Don’t forget you have a life too.

Do take time out for you, whenever the opportunity arises.

Don’t assume that any two children diagnosed with Aspergers will experience the exact same traits.

But do make yourself aware of such traits, preparing yourself for what may lay ahead.

Don’t assume a diagnosis is your child’s ticket to the support and services they may need.

Do be prepared to battle for them, services! Yes, you’ll be expected to provide evidence showing why it is the help is needed.

Don’t just expect others to instantly understand your child’s diagnosis

Do be prepared for ignorance & denial. Sadly many find that its friends & family who display the worst reactions to the news of a child’s diagnosis. As for strangers…. I not don’t even notice the states as my son displays a screaming match at the local train station. Ok its never easy, but you adjust and get used to it.

Don’t freak out if your child develops an interest in something considered to be strange or unusual.

Do embrace and encourage all that your child loves regardless of its wackiness.

Don’t assume your child will have learning difficulties.

Do celebrate the subjects they excel in, and offer help and support to improve in those they are not.

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Don’t base decisions on what you want for your child!

Do base decisions on what is best for them.

Don’t beat yourself up if you lose it! Meltdowns that go on for hours are likely to make you crumble.

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Do remember that your human and your child still loves you ( regardless of what they may say).

Don’t be surprised if your child announces to the lady sat on the bus, that she’s old, wrinkled and looks close to death.

Do play games and work on activities designed to help your child avoid social mishaps like that of the above.

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Don’t waste money buying your child the top branded toys, especially if they have failed to express any interest.

Do make them happy on Christmas morning if padlocks, staples and rulers were on their Christmas list.

Don’t be too disheartened if your child shows no interest in making friends.

Do have hope that one day that will change!

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Don’t force your child to play with other children…

… But do teach them the social skills required to do so! Most children on the autism spectrum will eventually show a desire to interact and play with others.

Don’t waste your time looking for cures

But do look into therapies that have been designed to help your child better develop the skills required to succeed in both child and adulthood.

Don’t assume that just because your child doesn’t display certain traits during childhood they won’t during adulthood.

But Do remember maybes are not certainties.

Don’t try to make your child fit into society!

But do mould them as you would any child so society fits with them.

Don’t use complex language (metaphors and sarcasm) when talking with your child

But do try and teach them that others will to avoid miscommunications.

Don’t force your child to wear certain clothing, eat certain foods or attend certain activities.

Do be sure to research sensory processing disorders as their refusal to do any of the above could be and likely is related.

Don’t assume that your child with Aspergers will have the abilities to cope in a mainstream school (not all can)!

Do make sure you are open minded… Sometimes special schools are all your child needs to succeed within education.

Don’t use your child’s diagnosis as an excuse for unwanted behaviour.

Do remember that all children can be challenging and all are not autistic… You will learn the difference, I have!

Don’t forget to be mum to everyone

Do remember that siblings of children with Asperger’s syndrome may display unwanted behaviour or mimic their siblings traits as a way to gain the attention they crave.

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Don’t assume your child will be bullied.

But do look out for the signs as statistics have shown that it is children like yours and mine who become targets.

Don’t force your child to believe in the mystical world of make believe.

Do remember that many child with Asperger’s syndrome like things based upon facts, the type backed up by evidence. If you can’t prove how santa gets round the world in one single night then chances are he will never believe. Just make sure he doesn’t share his findings with his siblings… Like little man has tried.

Don’t ask your child if you look good in a new dress unless you want blatant sharp honesty…

Do be prepared to be shown your love handles and chubby knees if you do.

Don’t believe everything the books tell you.

Do remember that every child has the capability to at least try and lie… Well, at least the desire to try and do so, is usually there! Its just that children with Aspergers are not all that hot at it! Little man usually cracks within minutes.

Don’t be so serious…

Do crack a smile, your child with Aspergers is more than capable of making you proud… Mine does.

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Don’t just assume your child will tell you if something is wrong! Aspergers is a communication disorder after all!

Do be ready to put on your investigation cap, as you try to discover just what has upset your child… Remember they will expect you to just know.

Don’t feel that everything has to become a mission in life because of your child’s condition.

Do be prepared to be pleasantly surprised when your child shows you that something you thought would be impossible for them… is actually totally possibly.

Don’t waste time asking yourself “What If?”

Do remember that we have one life, Our own unique and special story. All children deserve to be brought up happy with stacks of love and great memories to support it. Our children will eventually grow up and fly the nest… Yes even those with Aspergers Syndrome! My point? Just enjoy your kids, never taking a single day for granted… Even those not so good ones!

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Don’t Let Your Child Be The Victim Of Discrimination At School

21 Nov

That’s easier said than done you may say, and yes I agree!

However, there are a few things you can do to help protect your child with autism from becoming a victim of disability discrimination in the school place.

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Its hard to believe that its even a possibility, but believe me, sadly it is! Just ask my little man!

1) If you receive a call from your child’s school asking you to pick them up because they feel your child is upset or stressed and this is disturbing the learning of his or her peers, be sure to only do so once you know the official routes have been taken.

You’re child’s teacher or head teacher may claim your child is upset and they are asking you to collect them for their own good. They may say its optional even, or you can bring them back after lunch. Its important that you ask for this to be made official (but in writing)! Ok, no one wants official exclusions documented on their child’s school record but if you later apply for a statement of special educational needs you will need this type of evidence to show the school cannot meet your child’s needs!

To not record officially is wrong! This makes it an illegal exclusion and the schools (especially that of mainstream) get away with this type of behaviour a bit to often!

2) Don’t let your child be left behind! When I say left behind, I am referring to that of school trips. Watch out for exclusions that take place on days of school trips… These are just to much of a coincidence and happened to little man all the time. If this does happen and happens often, be sure to make a record of days and times (plus reasons given for exclusions, which must be given in writing)!

Watch out for letters. I found that little man was often “Accidentally on Purpose” missed when trip letters were handed out. Ask another parent to keep you in the loop whenever there is a planned trip. I discovered that little man wasn’t being given letters. School trips actually went ahead without our knowledge. Little man was either kept isolated in school with the hope I’d never find out, or he was again coincidentally excluded on the day of any planned trips.

3) Watch out for OFSTED visits. You may find that whenever ofsted visit your child’s school, you’re child is either sent home or hide in a cupboard… Ok, maybe that’s a bit extreme (although I actually wouldn’t put it past some schools) but they are hide away all the same.

It is very rare that schools end up with surprise ofsted visits these days, but many do get very short notice. Again be vigilant! Lookout for letters, talk to other parents and just keep your ear to the ground. If you then receive an evening phone call from a head teacher,(remember I’m talking from experience) who tells you your child had a bad day and will be in isolation tomorrow (in other words hidden) or excluded (hidden again) your ready and prepared!

You have the right to come into school and ask to speak to the ofsted inspectors. Put it this way… I’ve never seen such panic unfold within a school when I did this! I brought my EXCLUDED child in with me and let him have a meltdown there and then, right in front of the inspectors! I was honest and told him he wasn’t allowed to join his class because the nice lady from ofsted were there! Yes this didn’t go down well, and no I wasn’t popular amongst the teachers! But it is my child I care about, not them!

4) Listen to your child no matter how off the wall they may sound! I would get called into the head teachers office and be told little man had done a string of things. These mainly consisted of hitting teachers or something similar. He would openly protest that it wasn’t so, or he was pushed to the limit (head teacher dragging him by his shirt for instance)! You know your child and need to take what they say very seriously. I’m not saying that children with Aspergers are not capable of exaggerating the truth because regardless of what some may say I believe they are. However, teachers, like members of authority tend to stick together.The fact my child was very upset and would angrily protest was enough. However, the added factor of the head teacher being able to stand and tell a room full of people I’d called him a ‘Wanker’ excuse my language… When in fact I had only thought it and not said it just proved to me how messed up and cunning a system I was dealing with.

5) Do all your talking in writing…. If you wanna say it then go ahead, but I suggest you then go home and put it in writing! Email is the best invention ever! write what you have to say then attach it and send it in an email! Copy in other important officials and then print it and send it as a letter to them all too.

I sent everything by email and then letter. I would always send letters recorded delivery meaning a signature was required on receipt. Most other parents would think I was crazy, given the school was located 50 yards away but then they were not the mother of the child being discriminated against were they?

I could go on and write more as this is a lengthy subject involving many Dos and Nots! But my fingers ache so I think I will follow up on another day, another post.

What I will finish by saying is… By doing these things I managed to win a discrimination case. It also helped prepare a case for the LEAs refusal to assess for a statement of SEN… I then got that assessment and a statement. We also got little man into an independent special school for children with autism and Aspergers.

Not all endings are as happy as ours!

An Overflow In Hormones

18 Nov

Sometimes in life we feel we do our best yet our best is never good enough.

Little man is having a real time of it lately. Since his been in his independent special school for children with autism and Aspergers, I have had hardly any calls or emails reporting problems. However, I wish I could say the same for last week.

Little man wasn’t able to go swimming this week so, he helped out at the poolside. I can’t blame his school. They do everything in their power to ensure no child is left behind, and believe me sometimes I’ve found myself surprised that little man hasn’t been sent home for something or another. Last week I think he just pushed them to far.

Thankfully it was taken into account the fact his sleep pattern has been simply hectic. What with us stopping the slow releasing melatonin his been a little sleepless and off the wall.

So… Just what has he been up too you may ask? Well, his been argumentative with staff and actually caused the school bus to stop in its tracks on the way to swimming. Again he was acting a bit of a class clown.

If this wasn’t enough already, little man is also being somewhat inappropriate when it comes to the subject of sex.

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He started to ask questions relatively early on. Well, his last year of primary school that is. But now its kinda gone to overload and his constantly wanting to raise the subject. This is fine, completely normal I guess. He is a boy of 12 years old in his first year of secondary school. Nonetheless, little man hasn’t got the required social skills mastered as yet, so, when it comes to dealing with this subject in the most appropriate of ways he struggles. This means he tends to say things that are not really acceptable, he also thought he would announce to the class that he enjoyed watching a bit of naughty TV on his computer when we are all sleeping at night.

Now, when they say children with Asperger’s syndrome do not lie, then please remember… This is absolute pony! Yes, little man is too honest at times, he doesn’t lie very well at all and if directly asked something truth comes before lie. However, he has the natural ability to make stuff up and this was very much the case on this occasion! You may ask how I know? Simple… We have content lock so this isn’t possible. I’ve also been removing the playstation from the bedroom at bedtime. I once woke up to him playing wrestling in the small hours and have removed it ever since.

We have had a long chat about telling stories that have hold no truth. I tried to explain that this type of thing can easily land parents in trouble when children state concerning issues. We are most lucky that his school really understand both his condition and him as a child. If he started making claims like this in mainstream… This would have lead to the AWO to come knocking on our door… No question!

Little man hasn’t been in trouble for this… After all his just a young boy with a sudden overflow in hormones and an over curious mind. I’ve emailed the school about my concerns, mainly that I don’t feel confident when explaining things to him as he seems to either act quite silly or ask questions I just don’t feel I cant answer. With this the school have stated that when they return in the new year, sex education will be a new edition to the timetable.

Somehow I’m guessing (if not hoping a little) that discovering the ins and outs of sex will have him running back to his Lego and computer games in seconds with no further interest for the next 10 years or so… Lol!

Being a kid growing up in this world is scary, but for a child on the spectrum its that bit scarier. Little man is just curious to discover everything the world offers… Including sex.

As for us mothers… Well, it makes us feel older than we actually are… Much, much older. A sudden increase in worry lines are almost certain and I’ve noticed what looks like a train track running along my forehead! Lets just not mention the black eye bags… Seriously, don’t even go there!

Governments gone crazy for the Olympics

15 Aug

I’ve loved watching the Olympic games, cheering as GB take a number of golds! Yes, it was hard not to get the gold rush and therefore get swept up in the moment! Yet it seems I’m not the only one, there’s one or two who have simply let it go to their heads and therefore got a little dose of Olympic fever.

It seems that one person in particular has got so carried away with the excitement of it all and therefore felt the need to state to the nation how the UK government would be throwing more money in that big education pot so that children are given the chance to flourish when it comes to competitive sports.

Of course that person was David Cameron, so of course I rolled my eyes while mumbling the words “Arse Wipe” beneath my breath.

You see, Cameron has made a hell of a lot of promises since he got his dirty foot in the door. As time has run on his broken each, leaving family’s struggling and at breaking point as his made cuts to services that society rely upon.

My blood boils when I hear him making such statements. Yes, I believe our children should be encouraged to aspire into next generation athletes but I also believe that they also deserve the access to education as a whole! There are many children in this country being home schooled, sadly many are not through choice. This means sports are the last think on their parents overworked and worried minds.

Cameron needs to look at the bigger picture, the whole of the education sector in and throughout britain needs a good clean up and fast, because although it was bad before, since this man took to the house with the black door, it’s been simply diabolical!

Now… as predicted Cameron has actually just gone and shoot himself in the foot as it was revealed that since coming into Government the 2-hours of compulsory physical education that was put in place by our last Government has now actually been scraped and done so on the hush, therefore allowing the PM to collect his pounds, sticking them all back into the Governments big pot of savings, a pot mainly made up from the cut backs to services that are meant to be protecting our most vulnerable!

Now although I believe our children should be actively contributing in competitive sports I also believe that funding needs to be driven into other areas such as Special Educational Needs (SEN) Supportive outreach, training and courses for teachers as well as improvements towards providing education for those children educated other than at school. By this I’m vastly referring to off site education or Home tutoring funded by the LEA on medical grounds. The nations PRU (pupil referral units) are key examples. I’m sick of hearing local authorities claiming that those children in desperate need of support, can’t actually have it as there are little or no funds to delegate! Thankfully my child now enjoys a number of sports despite having Aspergers and past anxiety towards even the thought of one day actively participating in sports, especially that of contact sports. Admittedly this surge of improvement has to be the result of finally having left his former state mainstream primary school and then moving to an independent special school. The move has done well to demonstrated the impressiveness that comes with the reinstalled coincidence. However, you must not mistake my honestness for support of a crappy British PM. Despite my past difficulties with a string of teachers, I still find Mr Cameron’s latest statements to be harsh and unwarranted. He gives it all he has in way of a push and a shove in the direction of the states school teachers as he tries to convince the nation that his decisions to retract compulsory PE have been based around his concerns regarding today’s teachers lack of competitive ethos towards competitive sports as opposed to that of Government cuts. Now, I know what I believe!!

Little man met one or two exceptional teachers when he attended state maintained primary school. But as you know he also encouraged discrimination and bullying (mainly inflicted by teachers as opposed to children). Some may have been blinded by ignorance as a result of little if no SEN & Autism training whatsoever. I believe it’s these never ending difficulties between teachers and children that hold a much stronger case for funding. Most teachers are not in a position to freely campaign… But seriously, by you reducing funding over a period of time surely its obvious that there is little teachers can do to carry on being supportive towards physical education.

Sometimes I wonder what this man has going through his head, it’s as if he has this thing against working class families simply branding teachers in “state schools” as lazy… We’re not talking Mathematics but physical education (PE) most children will develop at their own pace when it comes to sport and those with passion will go far regardless. But it seems the PM thinks otherwise, with his suggestion of teaching kids to be more competitive, by creating a cultural change that replaces the “Everyone’s a winner motto” The PM needs to understand that for some children this just won’t stick! And for those others, well… A combination of the child’s determination, a teachers motivation and a good dose of funding can make it happen.

So… Maybe the PM should consider very carefully what it is his proposing before getting ahead of himself and sharing such plans and unconsidered decisions with the world! Especially when his not shared the changes his already implemented, including the removing of compulsory PE from education.

I mean come on,How stiupid must this man be? He must have considered the possibility that his secret operation would reveal its ugly head.

Cameron really doesn’t seem to understand his mistakes, never confessing that his decisions are just that, “His decisions” Franky, Instead of dealing with the bum error as it stood! the PM just made it a whole lot worse by continuously blaming teachers in regard to their lack of interest in teaching PE as well as encouraging children to get active and live healthy.

The only time I’ll ever give this man a thumbs up is when and only when we see him leaving number 10 closing the door behind him and heading in the direction of the job centre.

My Daughter is on the SEN register – School never informed me

4 Jul

My last two post have been about my recent court appearances in relation to my daughters school attendance being 80%. As to gather evidence to defend my case I wrote to the school under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Act, requesting access to my daughters school records.

The first folder handed to me was a yellow folder, inside was information relating to her Special Educational Needs… Excuse me… What Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

I had asked both verbally and in writing if my child had sen! When taken to court for school attendance a few years back, they asked the LEA if my daughter had SEN… The answer was NO! School reports have been given and academic review meetings have taken place… Yet, no one mentioned the word SEN, No one ticked the SEN box at the bottom of reports… NO One!

My friend accompanied me to the school to look through her file. You see while fighting for a statement of sen for little man and during a discrimination battle with the school I had requested his record and it was filled with shocking discoveries… I didn’t want to be alone.

I sat with the file shaking in my hand, tears rolling down my cheeks, I couldn’t speak, I was angry and sad! Lies… Lies… Lies!

I was never told my son was on the register, not even during the period of time he was being assessed for Aspergers Syndrome. School told CAMHS they had no concerns… They held up the diagnosis period for almost 2 whole bloody years.

My son was placed on the school’s SEN register in 2005 as soon as he started school… I discovered this in 2009!

(luckily little man now attends an independent special school)

My daughter still attends the school and despite my outrage and arguments with the school for not fulfilling their legal duty of informing me that my son was on the SEN register, they have done it again…. Why?

Alice-Sara placed on SEN register in 2009, I discover she is on the SEN register Monday 2nd July 2012, some 2 years later.

The law states

The Education Act 1996 s. 317 requires Governing bodies of schools to… Inform the child’s parent that special educational provision is being made for him there because it is considered that he has special educational needs.

I looked at the SENCO in the face when I asked her if my daughter had SEN a year ago… She lied. Every time I brought up the fact I wasn’t told about Little man being on the register, her defence was that she wasn’t the schools SENCO then so their is no point complaining to her! All the time she had placed my daughter on the register and was lying out her backside.

They didn’t tell me as they didn’t want me to use it against them in the discrimination case and when I attended court for attendance!

She is on the register as she has issues with literacy… She is said to be great a Maths.

I was left feeling guilty… Like I could have done more to help her.

I cried… I wasn’t assumed of her… I just felt sad… I don’t know why!

I have a meeting with the Head teacher tomorrow! I have questions, the same ones I asked about my son! I want to know why they continue to do this. After all I bet the LEA were aware of my daughter being placed on the register, the school get extra funding for those that are.

It’s now a new head teacher and the SENCO left a few weeks back (I wonder that if she was still there, would she of allowed me to get my hands on that yellow folder?). I guess this will result in a lot of blame pushing. However the governors have failed my children and all must be held responsible for this.

I’m tired of fighting but I won’t let this lie. I’m currently looking for a new school and writing a letter of complaint. Once was enough but twice… That just takes the piss!

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#HAWMC DAY 17 – Learning the hard way is often the only way

20 Apr

He stood before me, his expression was one of seriousness & confusion…

“Miss xxxxxxx I don’t know what you’re trying to suggest here, but we both know that you made the decision to collect and take your son home, nobody requested you do so!”

Speechless, I felt my whole body tremble. It wasn’t fear but a mix of both anger and shock! This surely wasn’t how it was meant to be! This was… Well, just wrong! 

“Excuse me, but you called me and had me collect him, you know you did!” 

He stared blankly at me as he made a continuous  shaking motion with his head. Suddenly it hit me… If this man could stand before me telling porkers then he could surely do the same when discussing any situation relating to my child. Now, I always believe my child when he tells me something though he does have this unintentional habit of exaggerating a situation a tad so. Now, I’d never again question his words, especially if it had anything to do with his head teacher!

You don’t really ever expect to receive a call from your child’s head teacher requesting you collect your child immediately because they are unable to contain his unpredictable and challenging behaviour, especially when they have always claimed he has no issues at school, implying it’s a “Home Thing!” This is even more surprising given the fact it’s suddenly a recurring event, one that is now being denied! 

This was the kick up the behind I needed to learn everything education related. This included, school’s and LEAs statutory requirements, the SEN code of practice, Education act and anything else related to SEN.

Of course my first discovery was that of “Illegal Exclusions” I therefore quickly got legal advice before putting my findings to the Head teacher and those other professionals attending the current meeting. I half  expected to be thrown a few excuses but to stand and look me in the eye and lie… No, I didn’t expect this!  

Feeling a mixture of sickness and disbelief, I asked myself where we’d go from here. Deep down I knew this was the beginning of a battle… I guess I just never expected it to be so tough!

Yes, this is one of many incidents that happened during Little man’s mainstream schooling, in fact this is a pretty mild example! 

Some of the events that followed were truly horrifying! Exclusions on a weekly basis, especially on days of school trips or special events… He even got hide away while ofsted inspected the joint! He was taught in isolation like some cage animal and the bull shit keep following. 

On one particular occasion when I was collecting Little man from school as a result of yet another exclusion, it was claimed my son had called the head teacher a “Wanker” and I openly agreed. Now… although I did pretty much by this point consider him to be just so, the incident was one that never actually occurred whatsoever, it was all based on lies. Another occasion was in relation to a weekly trip the children made to the local allotment. It was agreed I’ll attend so little man could go! However, on this day I was informed of a staff shortage with the result being a cancelled trip. 

As I sat enjoying the mid-days sun while sipping a lemonade through a straw as I enjoy my last few hours freedom which I happened to be spending with my sister in my mother’s garden that lays directly opposite the allotments. Suddenly, I’m greeted with the most worrying sight. Sitting up I flick my sunnies from my head down to my eyes in order to get a better look! Surely not… No stinking way is that them! But it was, it was all of them, the whole class minus one!

I wasn’t mistaken as a child recognised me and waved… though they were no more than 15ft away the teacher failed to spot me, though I spotted him and god that made me angry! 

I felt my eyes begin to water beneath my oversized sunnies. My sister looked a me, her face a picture of pure horror, she asked… “Claire… what are you going to do?”

“Nothing!” was what I answered!

On collection from school I asked the Little man’s Teaching Assistant what the children did instead of attending the allotment… as expected, I was feed so more bum fluff!

Of course now I was pushed to a limit… With this and a whole host of other sad events I filed a claim of “Disability Discrimination” I had my fighting boots on and I was adamant that I’ll pull them down and show them to be the “True Professionals” they really were!

I’d be lying if I said it was easy! There was tears, lots of tears. Lies… so many I’d lost count months ago. Reading the schools response to my claims I truly saw how corrupt they were as I saw a filed document being used as evidence. This document was a timetable of the allotment programme, it claimed that 2 schools (one being theirs) had agreed to swap days that week, they claim it was this group of children I see! 

A week before the hearing I agreed on a settlement. I  removed my son from the school but I needed to not only have the schools lies revealed as just that… Lies! I also wanted my child to be given a full apologise while it was of great importance that this terrible treatment didn’t continue on in this manner. 

Having rejected a series of written apologies while suggesting alternative wording for the next, we finally got there. The Letter apologised for different incidents as well as stating it would review it’s policies and train its staff in SEN with a certain date attached as a deadline. 

What exactly did I learn the hard way? I learnt that those we often put our trust in are the ones we sometimes should fear most. I learnt how money and funding truly comes before the child when it comes to that of education. Lastly I learnt that I’m stronger than I ever thought I was!

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