Fighting for my son's education
Fighting for my son's education
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Who am I?
I'm a mum of a son who has a diagnosis of Autism, OCD, sleep disorder and depression. He needs special support and care at school but he is not getting this.
I'm fighting to get my son the education and support he needs and deserves. Please support us by donating to my campaign and sharing it with family and friends.
I'm doing this, not just for me, but for all other parents across the UK who are faced with the same issue - that their child's special needs are not being met in mainstream education.
My son's story
When he was in primary school I had to fight to get him on the SEN register - they gave him no support. In year 6 of primary school he had a new SENCO start and she tried her best to help and support my son, including applying for his EHCP. Unfortunately, no matter how many times we told the Local Authority (LA) they still kept saying that we had coped this long with out one, so we didn't need one. I took this to tribunal and the judge ordered the LA to assess him for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). By this time he had started mainstream secondary school. He was assessed but once again turned down for the EHCP. Once again, I had to start the procedure of fighting again and back to tribunal again. In the meantime, things were just getting worse and worse for my son.
The school would ignore my emails and calls, make excuses up for lots of things that were happening and saying it was that my son did not understand the situation. I visited the school numerous times as my son was being bullied and beaten up. My son cannot use the main toilets (sensory reasons) so he refused to go to the toilet all together, which resulted in him having a lot of UTIs. Finally, the school did say he could use a private toilet but it was to late by now he needed to be escorted to a toilet and encouraged to use it. The school refused to do this and still to this day they have just given him an exit pass and trust he goes.
My son's mental health was also being affected very rapidly. He can't dress himself but no one will support him at PE times so then the other students will take the micky out of him. He wears ear defenders but can't anymore and he suffers instead because the other student make fun of them. He fiddles with a big piece of blue tac but again can' take this into school because of bullying. The school say that since he doesn't have these items he must be getting better, rather than looking at the reasons why he doesn't bring them in.
My son started to self harm because he could not cope anymore. He cut his arm up with a pair of scissors in school and he told the school it's because he does not want to be here any more as he can not cope with the bullying. With this incident a judge ordered CAMHs to assess him - they did a report that stated due to the school and the bullying he is being diagnosed with depression and put him on medication for it. After sending him back to school, we had a ASD Specialist go in the school for a day to observe him. Her report concludes that he is very lonely and sad and that every time he tried to speak to his peers, they were mean or ignored them. He did not express this to any teachers as he doesn't trust they will do anything to help. She concluded the same as everyone else - educationally the school can meet his need, but socially, emotionally and health they can not meet his needs.
After this my son threatened to hang himself in school so I pulled him out of school for approximately 3 weeks as the school took so long to communicate with me with me. They did a risk assessment on him after these two episodes and graded him low risk. I, of course, was not happy with this as I felt they could not safe guard my son.
Just before we went back to tribunal, the LA backed down and said they would issue him with an EHCP. They sent us the draft and it only offered him to have 12.5 hours of support a week. I made changes and sent it back, stating that he needs a new school placement.
While waiting for this to come through, my son has been beaten up on the way home twice. He has snuck a knife to bed one evening and attempted to stab himself.
The LA have changed nothing on the EHCP and stated he has to stay at this mainstream school. I need to fight to get him out of this school now. Please help me get my son the support he needs and deserves.
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