Are you trying to cut your way through the special needs education jungle in the UK?
Special Needs Jungle offers tips, resources and advice to parents negotiating the special needs statutory assessment and statementing process.
It also features lots of interesting posts from both me, Tania Tirraoro, a parent of two boys with Asperger Syndrome who has been through statementing twice, as well as regular and varied guest experts.
There is also an accompanying book, Special Educational Needs – Getting Started With Statements, which goes into much greater detail – it’s available in paperback or ebook from Amazon and other online sellers.Home
This is a parent-to-parent site, so there is no legal advice, but there is signposting to those who can offer it should you require it. It’s mainly to help get you off the starting blocks and to provide links to established organisations who can help if problems arise along the way. It will provide links to useful sites and tips on how to get prepared and stay motivated throughout the process.
Getting a statement for your child is an exhausting, time consuming and often demoralising process. Local Education Authorities are usually budget, not child, focused for obvious reasons. They are required to provide an adequate, but not necessarily the best, education for every child.
If you want your child to go to a particular school because you believe it is the only place they will be able to have a good chance of an “adequate” education you must be prepared for an undoubtedly long, often drawn out, stressful process. Only the most persistent and prepared will be successful. Local Education Authorities (LEAs) aren’t about to make it easy for you; they will give you the least possible they can get away with.
LEAs are also focused on so-called “inclusion” but miss the point that the ultimate goal is to enable children to be included in society as an adult.
The fact is, for many high-functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children or those with dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia, a mainstream school often does not have the expertise or the resources needed to provide an “adequate” education because these children need a different style of teaching.
LEAs are also focused on so-called “inclusion” but miss the point that the ultimate goal is to enable children to be included in society as an adult. Making them all dance to the same tune in a test-driven, national curriculum based mainstream education system will turn mainstream children into successful mainstream adults, but those “square peg” children who do not fit into the “round hole” of the state system may end up never reaching their potential.
This site is not anti-LEA but LEAs have budgets to stick to and the power to decide where they will spend it. This site is to help parents get started on cutting their way through the special needs jungle from a parent’s perspective so they know what help is out there for them to get the education their child needs.
If you know of a good site that offers help, please send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can enlarge the knowledge base available and give under-pressure parents a fair chance of coming through the special needs jungle with their sanity intact and their child in the right educational setting.
Do read the blogs, to the right of screen, and leave a comment as I love reading what everyone else thinks about SEN issues. If you are involved with special needs, whether parent or professional and would like to contribute a guest post, then do contact me.