I feel so incredibly lucky that my little man has been offered a place at a Special Needs school. So so lucky, because so many children don’t get the right educational support.
So many parents have to fight pretty much every day for their child to get an education.
We’ve had to fight for the past few years for Archie to get some support. He hasn’t had any speech therapy in almost a year even though he’s non verbal, because he requires specialist speech therapy and there aren’t many therapists in our area that are trained in PECS (a picture exchange method of communication that has shown to be effective for children with Autism). So because he has greater needs he has to wait longer. He’s almost four years old and still can’t communicate but we have to fight the system to try and get this help for him.
We’ve had to battle to get him on the waiting list for a MAAT Assessment for his official Autism diagnosis even though all the professionals involved already agree on the diagnosis. It can’t be ‘official’ until hurdles have been jumped, boxes have been ticked and red tape manoeuvred.
There are so many meetings, so much paperwork and so many appointments. Parents are tied up in red tape, budgets are being cut & Local Authorities are refusing & restricting funding for so many children with Special Needs. Our LA wanted to take a sink or swim approach to Archie’s education which I was not going to let happen. Thankfully Archie’s private day nursery agreed with me and fought for his needs to be discussed at the Early Years Panel.
So much paperwork followed, a twelve page report of our concerns had to be filled out. We had to gather supporting documents from professionals involved with Archie and finally after waiting months Archie’s needs were discussed. The response? They were going to monitor him. I was devastated but at least we’d made a step forward. The nursery & I continued with the monthly progress reports & updates, repeatedly expressed our concerns then out of the blue I received a letter from the Early Years Panel. They recommended he starts at our local Special Needs school.
Were we upset? Shocked?
We were happy. Happy that Archie will finally be getting the right support through his new school. Happy that he’ll finally be getting specialist speech therapy through his new school. Happy that he’ll be getting occupational therapy through his new school. Happy that he’ll be with teachers & teaching assistants that understand his needs. That get his developmental delay, that can understand is complex sensory issues.
We’re happy and feel so lucky that he’ll be getting the early intervention that can make a huge difference to children with Autism, because not all children with Special Needs get the right support for them. Without this school I have no idea when my little man would be getting the additional therapy that he needs.
We don’t know what the future holds, or even if he’ll stay at this school after the foundation stage but we’re just so happy that he’s on the right path.
Have you experienced anything similar? How would you feel if you were in our shoes?