Falling through the cracks….

Things are good..no actually..things are great!

Evan is happy, relaxed and coming on in leaps and bounds.

Over the last 2 years he has achieved more than I could have ever dreamed of.

But at what price.

I started home schooling Evan in October 2011 when it became clear his mainsteam placement had become totally unsuitable.

 In a small village school with a  detailed statement of special educational needs, funding 15 hours of 1-1 support, on paper there was no reason he shouldn’t thrive alongside his peers.

However in reality Evan  was  misunderstood, his needs ignored , punished for being himself.

The lack of understanding of autism beggared belief.

A statement of Special educational needs is a legal and binding document put in place to ensure the school are able to meet the specific needs of the child. Yet in our experience it seems the school used the funding as they saw fit rather than as directed.

 Due to ignorance Evan’s basic needs were not met and as a direct result he started biting himself and smearing at home daily.

When I withdrew him from education it was because I had to put him first,because the “system” was failing him,because I had nowhere to turn,I honestly had no choice.

How can this be right?

Since being out of the education system Evan has blossomed.

He is thriving and exceeding all expectations both personally and academically.

 I am angry.

Why is my son not recieving the equal opportunities education that he is entitled too?

Why as the parent of a child with a disability does this huge responsibility lay at my door?

Why does nobody within the system care enough to ask questions.

His statement, a useless piece of paper.

I recieve no resorses,no tutor or support.

 In the eyes of the education department I am “electing” to home educate.

The truth

 I ran out of fight, I got fed up of banging my head against a brick wall, of having to explain my child’s difficulties over and over to people that were being paid to care for and educate him.

I could no longer sit back and watch my child’s needs not be met,the impact was too grave and  too devastating.

Yet nobody cares.

As a parent I only want what is best for my child.

I struggle to understand why the education authority don’t bat and eyelid when an autistic child with a statement is removed by his single parent to be home-educated. Why a board of governors except the child’s removal without question.

 When a parent of a child with a disability removes them from school to educate them themselves, caring for them 24/7 someone somewhere must think there is a very good reason?

Sadly, this story is all too familiar.

 The system is badly flawed, with budgets that are stretched,so many boxes that require ticking the child that matters can sometimes be forgotten. The needs of the child reduced to a paperwork exercise that will all be in order should OFSED descend.

I feel the need to mention that it can work,I have friends with autistic children in mainstream placements that are doing brilliantly,but it shouldn’t depend on the integrity of the school and how they interpret the statement,it shouldn’t be “luck”. Evan was at two schools in 3 years and neither met his needs.

I have no regrets about removing Evan from education. It was 100% the right decision for him.

I do however question why my autistic child is not valued.Why we have been allowed to fall through the cracks.

I have lost faith in the system.

So for now I will continue to keep working hard teaching Evan the skills he will need in life,building memories and watching him grow into a well rounded young man, enjoying his home-school life.







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4 Responses to Falling through the cracks….

  1. K Hughes says:

    There’s a lot to be said about meeting Ofsted criteria or any other sort of generic/standard form. Unfortunately no matter where you live or what school your children attend you will find that education establishments are, in general, quite happy for you to leave them as they will no longer have a blip in their statistics! They are more interested in seeming to meet these requirements than meeting the needs of each individual child. Consider yourself very fortunate if you do manage to find a school that is able to meet the needs of your child while not compromising their score.

    Hopefully one day Evan will consider himself extremely fortunate that, because you are so attuned to his needs, you realised that home-schooling was the only way forward and that you were able to take up the gauntlet of challenges that involved.

    One of the main things that I see that is wrong is the complete lack of financial support/resources. When you are saving them so much money why can’t they find something to give you!!

  2. This could be me too soon as my son is about to start secondary and I’m so afraid that he will not survive x

  3. Deb says:

    I understand all what you’re saying. The way many of our autistic children are treated by the education system is incomprehensible to me. My aspergers daughter is out of school (couldn’t cope any more without support and dropped out over a year ago). She only gets 4 hours of local authority home education a week. We’re not happy with this; it isn’t equitable to her peers in school and neither is her statement being met and yet our council thinks this is acceptable. We’ve been trying to find a school but can’t find one that will accept her or one that the LA agrees with so we’re forced to put up with this paltry 4 hours a week; its either that or we home educate. My daughter doesn’t want me to teach her and with another autistic child it is a struggle to find the time and energy to do this. So it seems that I either proceed to appeal and try and challenge the council legally or accept the way things are. Its stressful because on top of caring and parenting we have this to contend with too but it seems to me that many of them up in the council house don’t give a stuff about my children. Its all about money.

    • Lin says:

      It just beggers belief how the local authorities get away with it! Now I have “elected” to home educate due to the appuling way My son was failed and his statment not implemented his statment is maintained WITHOUT hours?? I also do not recieve the Specialist advisory teacher imput and support that the school squandered.I do get ONE visit per YEAR from the home education section of the LA! So we have saved the Local authority thousands of pounds and fallen into an abiss. I think they count on us parents running out of fight.

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