Tag Archives: progress

The stepping stones to independence

8 Sep

As my child takes another huge step in his life’s journey I feel my heart burst with pride.

Little man has come so far in such little time. If you asked me 2 years ago if I thought he would be at the place he is now, my answer would have been, “probably not” considering how bad things were once upon a time, this fact alone should be a comfort for any parent who are now stood in the shoes I once stood in.

We have some incredibly tiresome days, ones filled with rage and anger, others filled with anxiety and disappear.

Yet, one needs to understand that like anything in life, we take the rough with the smooth. Ok, at 4am when his well past that tired stage when his running around pretending to be a wrestler, crashing and banging as he repeatedly throws himself off the backs of the sofas, before gathering up speed and darting from one wall to another, roaring and shouting as he mimics those overgrown kids that consider themselves men on WWE, I do feel a rather sorry for myself, the siblings and even our poor neighbours.

Evenly the smooth part does come through, and although it normally last far shorter than that of the rough… It’s a delightful place to find yourself in.

Despite the issue we’ve been experiencing with Little mans reluctance to eat a packed lunch as opposed to something he can heat in the school microwave (this is no longer allowed) His still coping outstandingly well with all these major changes that have taken place.

I can slowly see the pieces coming together. His growing up and with it his learning the skills of independence needed to go with it. Yes, I worry he will have difficulties in adult life, but then again what mother doesn’t? Finally… I feel progress is being made and It’s this progress that fills me with hope for my little man’s future.

Here’s to another great week, next week…. I’m told positiveness is the key and I hope that this key opens many doors for little man.

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SEN Reform Aspirations – You Decide!

19 May

So, yesterday, I appeared alongside little man, in one of our local newspapers! This was for two reasons, #1 in celebration of my success at becoming a Mad Blog Awards finalist for the Second year running, and #2 the governments (Department of Education) update on its pending plans for Special educational needs (SEN) known as the “Green Paper – Support and Aspirations”

It’s this I wish to expand on, here on the blog today!

OK, the government published it’s progress report on the above paper, earlier this week. Reading the report I still find myself worried on a number of different levels.

Now, although I’m up for the whole idea of children with a disability or SEN receiving support up until their early adult years (25 years of age) the overall majority of this progress report still strikes me as worrying.

Excuse me but I can’t seem to shrug this niggling feeling I have at the back of my mind, that this is either some kind of money-saving tactic, a way of shrugging a degree of responsibility on to somebody else, or just an ill thought out process! What’s more it’s in my opinion that some of the most important issues remain unresolved or somewhat unclear let alone progressed!

Actually it would seem that some of these proposed changes, are anything other than changes at all!

For example: section 2 giving parents control!

“parents will have a clear Choice of school with equal rights to express a preference for any state funded school”

Ok, so we can make our preference known and the local authority has a duty to meet those preferences… Right?

Hang on a minute… That is unless

#A It’s unsuitable to the child age, aptitude, ability or sen

#B Incompatible with the education of other children of whom the child would be educated

and lastly… the all important factor, the get out of jail free card…

#C An insufficient use of resources

Mmm… Isn’t that how the system is meant to be working already?

Does this system actually get families anywhere currently? No

That’s why I thought we were meant to be changing it!

Scanning through the entire proposal, it seems a lot of the stuff we need changing isn’t actually changing at all, wheres the things we don’t want changing (just slightly amending) are being scrapped altogether!

These seem to be the things us parents cling to when trying to obtain efficient education for our children (remember the law states efficient is all our children require)!

A great example of this would be the graduated approach (School action & action plus) which is all set to be removed leaving parents of unstatemented children quaking in their boots, and rightly so!

So, why has the government made such a decision? This is due to their worries concerning labelling or should I say “Over labelling” Although to some degree, I agree that this is a problem to some extent, I’m also worried that this will stigmatise those that have a genuine need for additional support, support that only that of a statement can offer.

Yes we’re hearing about extra funding to train sencos and teachers but is this really enough assurance for the parent of the unstatemented child, the one that has no legal rights if support is offered or not?

We just can’t categorise these children, it’s not one size fits all! Regardless of a child’s disability, special educational needs or even attainment, every child is different! Not every child with autism requires SALT, not every child with dyslexia requires extra TA support. I remember my son always being compared to a fellow child with Aspergers in his “then” mainstream school! My child badly needed extra support with speech and language mainly due to his literal understanding of language, but because the other boy didn’t require such help, I was told little man didn’t either! I fear many will be over looked just as they are today with the scrapping of school action and school action plus. Both needed to be amended, as to allow the parents more confidence in the system, but this… I cannot see the benefits to the parents, just the governments budgets as the numbers of children with statements (soon to be EHCP) falls the piggy bank belonging to the government will fill up nicely!

I remember what it was like fighting for that statement, it was tough, I really don’t see much in the way of making that fight any easier when reading this proposal.

Looking at how the government has so far messed up in nearly every other area, it looks like its gonna be a bumpy ride ahead, so hold on tight parents, you can’t afford to let go.

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