Tiger Mothers

I might be described as outgoing and enthusiastic with an ability to laugh at myself.

I can seem  strongly opinionated but have never felt the urge take my fight further than a friendly debate.

I am naturally a shy person.

I like to keep my head down,go with the flow and not draw attention to myself.

 Then Autism came along.

I knew nothing about it before it knocked on our door.

I certainly knew nothing about the Education system and its  provision for special needs children.

 I had not heard of  a Statement of Special Educational Needs.When I did ..I stupidly thought a diagnosed disability would serve as a right of passage to get one.

I quickly learned this was not so.

As a parent of a child with a disability or special need you learn to fight.

Everything seems to be a fight.

The fact my 4 year old had already been diagnosed with autism meant nothing to the Local Authority.

The child must be observed,poked and prodded some more in order for them to decide if your autistic child is deserving of a statement of Special Educational Needs.

They are not happy with just a diagnosis and the reports from the Child Development Centre they need to make sure for themselves your child that has a life long developmental disability, will require support to access an education.

As parents it falls on your shoulders to ensure you fight to get the help your child needs and deserves.

I was coming to terms with my child’s diagnosis,dealing with the daily challenges life was bringing us and instead of grabbing those precious hours of sleep instead was sat up studying SEN law trying to educate myself to find out my child’s rights.

I came close to a nervous break down.

I remember finding a case study on early intervention , a success story,with full time 1-1 support and phoning Mum at 3.am to excitedly tell her…..

I read everything I could on “early intervention” I bought every positive book I could find on teaching children on the autistic spectrum to learn.

I read the SEN code of practice and highlighted the parts relevant to us.

I had to write to the Education Authority to request an “assessment for statement”

I had to put on paper all the things my beautiful child could not do..

They knew all this! He had just been discharged from the Child Development Centre with a diagnosis of Autism.(after a period of assessment from a team of professionals)

It was hurtful and insulting.

Yet I did it. Like all those other parents in the same position.

I took a photo of Evan with me when I met with the education officer.

I snarled at him when he spoke of budgets.

I showed him a picture of my son. I told him… his child could be mine.

The parents out there fighting, the ones raising funds ,they are doing that on top of living with the heartache,the lack of sleep,the extra washing and all of the the work involved bringing up a child with Autism.

We are not brave by nature. We do not crave attention.

We have been thrown into a situation we knew little or nothing about.

 We were not prepared or trained.

I was just a mum. I was not special or strong or brave.I was just a mum.

But I am now a Tiger Mother.

I have had to learn to fight

 But….not by choice.






This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tiger Mothers

  1. Lisa Hickey says:

    This closely eccos my experience. I did not take a picture of Jamie to the meetings I had with the LA. I took Jamie and enjoyed every minute of watching him trash the womens room.

  2. Heather Young says:

    My son has dyslexia and dysgraphia and for most of his time in primary school I repeatedly told the teaching staff my concerns that I thought he had dysgraphia. They always told me he was ‘doing fine’. I knew my child and I knew he wasn’t. One day he collapsed and was taken to hospital and after a few months of testing he was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis and then after a session with a clinical psychologist came the diagnosis of dyslexia and dysgraphia. Watching my son learn of these conditions it looked like a huge weight had been lifted from his young shoulders (by this time he was 14). We have had tremendous support from the school he is now at and he’s getting there. He’s going to have to work harder, but he’ll get there.

    My heart goes out to you and Evan. I know what it’s been like for us and how hard it’s been. In your case, you’re not just a Mum you’re a campaigner, educator and protector. I hope the constant battle you have eases through time.

    love and ((((((hugs))))))

  3. It is so unfair that you have to fight at all, very unfair. :(

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>