I have a dream.

It is over 3 years since I removed Evan from School and started to home educate him.

In October 2011 it became clear his mainsteam placement had become totally unsuitable.

He attended a very small village school with only 40 pupils on role, he had a detailed statement of special educational needs in place with  funding  for 20 hours of 1-1 support along with a 12 hour package of input from the Specialist Advisory Teacher for Autism, school should topped up this provision to full time their own recourses/SEN budget.

On paper there was no reason he shouldn’t thrive alongside his peers.

However in reality Evan was misunderstood and his needs were ignored.

A statement of Special educational needs is a legal and binding document put in place to ensure the school meet the specific needs of the child. Yet in our experience it was a useless piece of paper.  The school used the funding as they saw fit rather than as directed and chose to ignore all professional advice and recommendations.

It shouldn’t depend on the integrity of the school and its staff whether or not the child  receives the support detailed in the statement, sadly  it did.

Due to an ignorance of autism Evan’s basic needs were not met and as a direct result he started biting himself and banging his head on the floor.

He was  fast becoming unrecognisable from the happy little boy he had once been.

When I withdrew him from education it was because the system was failing him and nobody cared.

All my complaints fell on deaf ears.

Until finally I had run out of fight,  I was exhausted.

It was then I acknowledged the stark reality that our situation was not unique, it wasn’t just one school getting it wrong, I realised  it was the entire system for Special Educational Needs that was at fault.

I knew it was time to walk away.

Since being out of  school Evan has blossomed.

With appropriate full time 1-1 support  he is thriving and has exceeded all expectations both personally and academically.

I am filled with hope for his future.

That said, Evan deserves to be able to go to school, he shouldn’t have to be home educated in order to have his needs met.Nor should I as a single parent have to home educate him, without any support in order to ensure he is safe and happy.

There are many children like Evan up and down the country either being home-educated at the expense of their parents due to lack of suitable provision or in full time education where the support  they receive is at best, adequate.

Evan is proof  that in the right environment children with autism can and will exceed  expectations.

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I have a dream.

I want Evan to go to a school that understands the needs of children with autism. Where his needs will be met. Where as a parent I know he will be safe and happy.

I now know that in order for that to happen I need to open a  school  to make the dream a reality.

Watch this space!

 

 

 

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