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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

Uncertainty..

How do you describe what life is like? I often try and articulate- and fail to describe what makes life more tricky. Why we become anxious (we do not start out this way)It is the uncertainty, we live in flux, we do not know. But we are often working with systems that need to measureContinue reading “Uncertainty..”

End Of Term..

End of Term.. Meetings. Courses. Emails. Phone calls. But what is going to happen next year? How are they going to cope? I mean, they’ve barely scrapped through the last few weeks. And now? There’s no time left. So we phone and we email. (Oh and everyone in the LA is on bloody leave) EndContinue reading “End Of Term..”

Ready..

“Are you ready to learn?” Harry Thompson – PDA Extraordinaire said going to school he felt he was “preparing for the gallows” Nervous systems are already in a state of defence. Disregulated and in hyper arousal. This is how many begin their day. “Do you want to point to what you are feeling right now?Continue reading “Ready..”

Please Sir..

Trudging for days for supplies, gas lighting, sent to the mad house, begging bowls.. “Please sir..” No we are not in Hogarth painting, I mean we have emails and a telly, but.. Years and years on wait lists.Trying and convincing to get the right support.Court Cases (I mean, actual court cases!)Neurotypicals saying they know whatContinue reading “Please Sir..”

Consequences..

Inclusion and inclusive. No one wants to stand out for the wrong reason. These have lasting impact on our children’s wellbeing and self esteem. Attainment and achievement is different for many children and being included is often more important than anything else. Inclusion is not a corridor, is not putting them with the younger kids,Continue reading “Consequences..”

Business Models..

Phoning phone lines that never gets answered. Leaving voicemails you know will never get returned. Sometimes I even ring or email random slightly connected people just in case I have found a new secret pathway in. But what you can’t get your head around is how on earth you can run a system like this?Continue reading “Business Models..”

Unpaid..

When you get batted between services it takes up so much time.. It is a stalling tactic that only means our children spend longer without appropriate support or provision. The more unpaid time we spend on admin the less (unpaid carer) time we have with our children whose needs mean they often need us aContinue reading “Unpaid..”

Safety..

Safety is not pointing to faces on a piece of paper. Safety never comes from a piece of paper. Safety comes from relationships. No one learnt to self-regulate without co-regulation. You can’t do anything when your nervous system is shot to pieces. That blank face wasn’t calmness it was complete shutdown. We need connective subjects;Continue reading “Safety..”

Foundations..

We didn’t discover a landscape of learning and discovery post diagnosis. Because..We didn’t get courses on anxiety, masking and burn out. We didn’t get to hear first hand experiences. We get told, “it will be fine” and “they will be fine” How will it be fine?How can it be? We need to share knowledge andContinue reading “Foundations..”

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..”

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