When I first started making my family I never thought I'd be in this situation that I'm in now. Special needs children with an alphabet of diagnoses after their names, I never thought it would be all hospital appointments and Sen meetings, waiting on panel dates and having my children's future decided by professionals who only knew my gorgeous daughter by paper records.
I never dreamed that I would have to send one of my children to a special school, why would I? No parents ever think these things, it's not in any manual, there's no instruction booklet for it. It's just quite simply "one of those things"
"One of those things" turned into "two of those things" and more than likely a third, but like any parent facing obstacles, we deal with it the best we can. So when I was asked to write out a little something for the panel that would decide my daughters future on which schooling would best suit her needs I decided to be explicitly honest. I'd had enough of form filling, and box ticking. I'd grown tired of using statistical facts, and medical jargon. My child isn't a record. She isn't a statistic, or a bunch of facts, and opinions on a piece of paper, she is more than that, and she deserves the best. She deserves to be on a placement where teachers and peers respect and understand her for who she is, she deserves inclusion and freedom and the chance to be herself openly and honestly. She deserves more than mainstream can ever offer her. So I wrote to the panel but I forgot about the jargon and I wrote honestly.
It was a risky thing to do, I mean i put our whole family out there. I wanted them to sympathise with a parent and child who had done all they could, reached the end of a very long road and needed rescuing. I was so nervous pushing the send button on this email, it would have been the most doubtful thing I've ever done for one of my children!
The letter did work, it worked wonders I was so surprised, I had a telephone conversation with a lovely man at the SEN dept and he said it even pulled at his heartstrings!
And that my friend is how I got a placement for my beautiful daughter and THE best special school where we live!!! Yay!!