To the parent in the playground who shouted at my son and demanded he apologise right now. The mum who dragged me into a meeting with the deputy head and teacher to tell them she wanted my son out of the school, or her daughter moved to a different class. The mum who made a complaint. The mum who rang school to tell them she wanted her son moved away from mine. The parents in the playground who blanked me as I waited. The head teacher who told me my son would be better out the school. The teacher that told me to take him home. The parents who said let’s not invite him. The dinner lady that was mean. The child that wouldn’t let him play. The child that shouted in the street that he had no friends. The child that wound him up for a laugh. The children that moved away from him when he sat down. The children that laughed when he was sad.
To all of you I’m sorry. I’m sorry you didn’t understand. I’m sorry you didn’t care. I’m sorry you didnt teach your children to include others who are different. I’m sorry you weren’t aware. I’m sorry I couldn’t get my son help sooner. Please believe me that I tried.
Have any of you had to fight for an EHC Plan? Have you had endless meetings and appointments, endless sleepless nights? Have you struggled to drag your child to school every day and left them crying their eyes out? Do you know what it’s like to worry all day? Have you held them at night when they are so upset they want to die? Have you been told by your child’s teacher they have been googling “the best way to kill myself” during ICT? Does your child come home each day and melt down or run away because the day was so overwhelming? Have you spent weeks, day and night, researching why your child can’t go to a certain school and presented it to tribunal while they make you feel so small? Do you know how it feels to send your child to a place they hate every day, a place that makes them so sad and to really want to keep them home but you know they have to go or you won’t be able to get them the help they need?
I wish you all had taken the time to get to know my son, I wish that you had asked me about him. I wish you had, had the chance to know the kind, loving, caring child that he is. I wish you knew then what he went through every day. I wish you could of walked in our shoes for a week.
I wish as a child someone had taught you about Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD!
To the three parents that invited my child to a birthday party and the parent that brought him a party bag when he just couldn’t go. The little boy that stood up for my son and ate with him at lunch. The teaching assistant that went out and bought a book about autism as soon as my child was diagnosed so she could help. To the teaching assistant that provided one on one care for two years at the same time as doing her job. The SENCO that sat in mediation with me and carried on despite being put down. The teacher that admitted they were wrong and tried to help. To the parents of other kids like mine that text to check we were ok. The other parents who spoke to me and asked how we were doing.
You are our super heros! You might not have capes but your power to make a difference is stronger than any super power I know.
To the parent of the child struggling at school right now, please know you are not alone. When your phone rings saying “school” and your heart sinks to your stomach please know that others know what you are going through. When I see you in the playground I will always have a smile. When I see you struggling to get your child to school I will ask you if you need my help and I will tell you that I’ve been there before.
Be strong. Don’t ever give up fighting for your child. From one special needs mum to another, you are doing a great job!
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