Unfortunately many of us have either been in, or know someone who has been in a relationship with someone that is completely and utterly wrong for them.
Now – imagine one of your friends is going out with Gary. Gary is a complete git. He does not care about your friend and does not have your friends’ best interests at heart.
Gary is controlling. He tells your friend what to wear, who to talk to, what they like and don’t like doing.
Gary suppresses your friend’s creativity. He tries to mould her into something she is not. Gary tries to stop your friend from being their true, authentic self. You know that Gary is really bad for your friend’s mental health and slowly but surely you see that your friend loses their identity and stops being themselves. Instead, they become a shadow of who they used to be.
Eventually your friend realises that Gary is indeed a complete Git! They leave Gary and slowly start to heal and mend and you all celebrate your friend ridding themselves of someone who is utterly toxic and wrong for them. After time, your friend starts to heal, recover from the trauma of such a toxic relationship, they feel like their old self again and you see their true authentic self return.
NOW – can you imagine in this situation that once your friend is better the general opinion of everyone is, “Oh! It’s so good you feel better – you are well enough to go out with Gary again!!!”
Or – “I am sorry but I am afraid to tell you that since you have embarked on a relationship with Gary you need to stay with him and get married – even though he is a total git and really damaging to you and your mental health. You cannot possibly consider a relationship with anyone else!!”
This would be seen as utterly ludicrous! However, every year thousands of children are forced into a “relationship” with an education system that is utterly wrong for them. They are forced into a system that does not care for them or have their best interests at heart. A system that suppresses their creativity, that tells them who they should be and tries to mould them into something that the child is not. Worst of all a system that is bad for a child’s mental health and chips away at their true authentic self leaving them feeling that they are not good enough as “themself”
Worst of all, when trying to remove their child from this system parents have to fight so hard for better alternatives. They have to fight for alternative provisions or EOTAS packages. They have to justify WHY they want to remove children from a system that is harming them. And then, even when the alternatives are granted, or agreed on, once the child has slowly begun to recover and heal from the experience of being in this system the pressure starts to creep up and the parents are told, “we really need to start thinking about getting them back into school again!”
Our children don’t need a one size fits all approach to their education. Our children need alternatives that nurture them and care for them. Our children need an education that helps them be their true authentic self. We need to stop thinking of alternatives to our education system as “less than” the norm – and parents need to stop having to fight so hard to justify these alternatives and keeping them…….
(this post was made with in collaboration with Positive Autism Support and Training)