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An illustrated blog about a mother navigating the education system with a child who can’t go to school.

My Story

This is an illustrated blog about my journey as a mother navigating the education system for our child, about a diagnosis of autism, to an EHCP, looking at special schools, meetings, phone calls, emails and lots of paperwork. It’s about a child having to fit in and get on until they can’t do it anymore. One way doesn’t mean it’s the right way. The system nearly broke us but we survived it, partly through drawing, partly through ranting and with lots and lots of love and perseverance.

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

Maggie Smith, Good Bones

Bouncer..

‘We’ve let you in a thousand times; meetings, phone calls, home visits and I’ve even gone on your courses. You pop in our lives for an hour and then you pop off. You bring your checklists and your generic questions and then you are gone again. This isn’t about my child and meeting her needs,Continue reading “Bouncer..”

Fix n’ Laminate..

What if our foundation of learning was one based on strengths of the individual, relationships and allowing each child to develop and progress at a pace that works for them? Perhaps we wouldn’t see so many not fit, because we would have adaptable and flexible learning environments. We would allow for individuals to get there,Continue reading “Fix n’ Laminate..”

‘Services..’

“Why don’t you like school?” “Can you use a knife and fork?” (true questions asked by an OT recently) A checklist of deficits is not okay, our children are more than this, they are not a list ‘can nots’. Anyone who works with our children must understand that trust has to be earned and ourContinue reading “‘Services..’”

No idea..

I didn’t know you could apply for an EHCP yourself so we waited years for the school to agree. I thought the case worker worked for us to get the ‘best deal’. Maybe the professionals thought that a positive spin on everything was encouraging to families who had hit rock bottom with it all. ButContinue reading “No idea..”

Today I Am..

Slightly falling apart, but I’m okay.. I’d like to say I did meditation, posted a positive meme, went on a healthy stomp through the countryside or took a relaxing bath but when I’m stressed these are my actual go-tos. We all need these, our own cheap therapies because we carry a level of stress aContinue reading “Today I Am..”

Lost..

For many parents we go through the process of diagnosis because we think it will open gateways of support for children. However, years in the system we learn that there are many more local authorities spending their time twisting and dodging their duties than actually providing adequate support. Often relying on us as parents notContinue reading “Lost..”

Imagine If..

Courses were designed to share knowledge and empower parents and families? We changed from a model of diagnosis with an emphasis on the child to change? We ended the narrative of parental guilt? Diagnosis should be there to inform systems of how to make adaptations. To educate the educators and professionals, rather than to useContinue reading “Imagine If..”

Stereotypes..

Our children are as complex and nuanced as any human being but post diagnosis I felt the stereotypes close in.(we are products of our own environments and cultures) But we all get sent on the same parenting courses with the other parents whose children have a diagnosis and our children get to go to LegoContinue reading “Stereotypes..”

Sanity..

Bad things happen. We all carry our wounds. We all have ‘that terrible thing’ that happened to our children. So we write emails, we make phone calls. I even spoke to our local MP. How can people be so unkind? Why can’t they just say sorry? But what happens? They argue the toss.They read theContinue reading “Sanity..”

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