Saturday, June 17, 2017

Navigating from the other side

I am amazingly privileged to work in an Area School.  As a mum to five kids - one of the best things is that I know their teachers not only as a 'teacher' but as a colleague and know the amazing amount of work these people put into their students and the learning from the other side of the fence as well.

In less than six weeks my youngest is due to start school.  This is where the other side of the fence is starting to come in.  While our children all learn at different stages and paces and I've learnt about being well below national standards and navigated reading support - this one is helping me realise that our Special Needs (for lack of any other term I am aware of) system and that related aspects such as RTLB and HHN are woefully hard to navigate and gain funding for.

I have much that I would like to write about - but I want to be extremely careful in how I portray those in the system who do work tirelessly for the students in their care.  I cannot fault the staff in our school who have helped me navigate from the other side.  Here I was with this thought since I was 'in' the education system it would be easier to understand.  Um.  No!  If anything - I am left wondering where those with more severe needs manage.  Whilst my child has qualified, at least we hang on to the hope that she will outgrow this need within the next five years - best case scenario and positive thinking.  What about families who don't have this end game in sight - or don't have any understanding of how long the cogs in the system take to work so don't even start the wheels turning before a child appears into the primary school system.  What about those parents who had such a bad experience with learning and school themselves they are unsure where to reach out for their own children?

I have a special needs child - and inspired by several mama and papa bears out there - I will advocate for my child.

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