Crying with wolves
by Tanya Thompson
(Folkestone, Kent, UK)
A long and painful journey embarked when Taifoon 'Billy' announced my arrival. I was always the odd one out in practically everything. It was spanking, medicines to 'cure' my odd behavior and being dis-owned.
No surprise that my kids are odd balls too. All five of them.
The most painful experience of my life is to watch the children go through life due to the ignorance of others.
Since our ordeal with number 3 child, having suffered a breakdown at the age of 11 and with professionals attacking that child and my family relentlessly or failing to support, I learned a lot and found support elsewhere.
When he was assessed to be a violent thug with average to below average intelligence and in need of being at an EBD school, I hit back.
All the odds were stacked against me, but with the support of my new found friends, I got the right independent assessment, which proved all professionals wrong. I must admit though that the assessment would have revealed more if the person had have been progressive.
No EBD schooling for the little man is now at a private school at the expense of the LEA.
Only to find his headteacher shrieking: 'He can't read, but I know he can, as he reads like an adult!' Confusing? 'Oh, yes, I was confused.'
The school identified neurological developmental delay, severe delay due to psychological damage caused by his previous school experiences.
Needless to say, I searched deep and deeper, including very deep inside myself.
I finally broke and sobbed. I sobbed for the pain, frustration, exhaustion, ignorance and responses received.
Then I systematically went out of my way to learn and I am still learning, to find the answers as well as the support.
I also looked at all of my kids, number 5 also has identified
neurological developmental delay. He was average to above average in reception class, then deteriorated rapidly in his next class. No one noticed except from me. Of course I was written off as the over protective mum and whatever else they came up with. Again EBD was mentioned and No 3's Headteacher shrieked with laughter. No EBD there either:)
We are fearful that number 5 will follow into number three's footsteps, as professionals continue to be ignorant.
No 4. since a girl not considered to have EBD, but nevertheless unlawfully excluded just the same.
After reading this website, which has given me an even more in depth insight to difficulties including understanding why my kids cringe at a theater performance as others jump up cheering loudly and cry when having their toenails cut (much more, I know:).
No 1 and 2 no longer trust anyone and are happy to look to mum for guidance.
I could have written the story in another way, in a way that pain is truly felt. However, what I have also learned is to discard emotion when advocating a child to achieve progress and true success.
I am not quite there yet, but I will get there.
My kids are not odd to me, as they are me. I love them and they are spectacular, funny, full of wit and struggle with society as a whole in an ignorant world.
The wolves, you may have wondered, feel their pain and mine looks at me and the kids with adoring eyes.
I have been helped by CHI (Society for Children of High Intelligence), InPP (Dr Peter Blythe, Neurological Developmental Therapist), Wrightlaws (a wonderful parent/child adviser for SEN and advocacy local autistic website, this website, parents, strangely enough some disagreeing LA officials and author Stephanie Tolan.
Don't despair, arm yourself with educating the ignorant.