Please give a warm welcome to our very first Guest poster, Tania Tirraoro….
This year so far, I’ve started writing two fiction novels. Got to ten thousand words with one, then left it to sit. Another one, which I will soon be taking up again, got to just a thousand. Why did I stop the second? Because I woke up one morning and knew I had to write a book to help parents with special needs children get the educational support they required.
It was a bolt from the blue and then again, it wasn’t. I have maintained a special educational needs site http://www.specialneedsjungle.co.uk since 2008. It has lots of advice to help parents but, that morning, I just knew I had to take it further and write a comprehensive guide to setting out a child’s needs in a methodical way to give the parent the best chance of securing help from the Local Education Authority (LEA).
Parenting is tough. It’s even more difficult when, when your child has a ‘hidden’ disability such as Asperger Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia or ADHD. Strangers are happy to judge you, teachers are ready to label the child lazy or thick or just plain badly behaved. Daily Mail readers are all too willing to stick the boot into parents of ADHD kids – of course, they’re all just bad parents who reach for the Ritalin and the Disability Living Allowance before you can say ‘firm discipline’.
The real question is, how can exhausted and dispirited parents get the right education for their children when their kids are just round pegs who don’t fit into the square peg of mainstream education? And who will help them get it? Who will explain to parents how to go about gathering evidence and spelling out their child’s needs in a way that will make someone listen?
Well, I thought, I will. This book, published now in eformat and soon in paperback, gives parents a step-by-step approach to making sure they put forward the best case they can. It also points them in the direction of help from outside sources if they need it. It’s written in a friendly, parent-to-parent style, as if you were in a conversation with me.
Won’t the LEA hate you? I was asked. Why? I should think the opposite. Surely, they want to get to the truth when it comes to making a decision about an assessment for a particular child, don’t they? And the more thorough a case that’s presented to them, the easier it will be to make the right decision. Won’t it? In fact, LEAs should probably give a copy of this book to every parent who asks for an SEN assessment for their child – it might even cut the process in half. Dear LEAs across the UK, I’d be willing to cut you a good deal on some paperbacks… or you can just buy it in eformat from these fine ebook suppliers:
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