Thursday 14 February 2013

Managing children with Special Needs

I am prepared to be shot down in a ball of flames for this post and do you know what....I just don't care.

I am a full time step mum to a child (now aged 25) with Special Needs.

I have spent the last 24 years working with people with special needs.

My knowledge and range of experience is far and wide.

Mainstream, special needs schools, family support work, community work. Teaching, child protection, care, support. Autism, cerebal palsy, mental health, physical, learning. Paid, voluntary.

I've been bitten, kicked, punched, had a knife pulled on me, lost someone, been threatened by members of the public, called the police to domestic scenes, attened numerous reviews, funding meetings, been spat at,, been ignored, sat in the guards van, had taxis refuse to pick us up, been removed from buses, had a lock down in the cinema, been banned entry to certain places, asked to leave others.

And why?

because I've been with another member of staff, a parent, a carer that thinks their child, person in their care has the same rights as anyone else at the expense of everyone else.

My child spits, pulls hair, steals your food, will ram you with the shopping trolley. But you will NEVER see me let her do it without some kind of intervention. Be it asking the staff at the Asda cafe to take a table order and given an explanation as to why, upon entering a shop, gently holding her hands as we walk through the door so she doesn't grab someones clothing or hair to steady herself. I smile at people who stare, I stare, I wonder if I've met them, want to tell them I know how hard it is for them.

I dread the second someone tells me how good I am, how they or the neighbour have one like that at home, ask without any recourse 'what's wrong? why are they like that?'. But I smile, I am polite, I give a brief, well rehearsed line and carry on my way.

I do NOT and will never tell you to 'mind your own business' state that 'my child has the same rights as yours and if they want to go on the slide, scream their head off, slap your child, allow my child to bang on your bedroom wall all night and disturb you and your family' and if 'you don't like it, lump it, get over it, my child is special and that means that you have to tolerate it, understand it, not be concerned by it.

My child is special, I have 5 children they are all special and although my step daughter has little awareness of her herself let alone others, it is MY role to protect her, not allow her freedom that could cause her and others damage.

Stop telling other people who have little or No experience of special needs that they are IGNORANT. You're the ignorant one for allowing any child to behave how ever they want, whether you can control it or not without having just a little bit of respect for those around you that just need a quick explanation so they know they're not dealing with some naughty child with bad parents and can then educate their children accordingly.

Oh and for those of you that have tried that and had a negative response, remember that person may have been hit, bit, spat at in the past and no one even said sorry.

1 comment:

  1. After reading this, I thought I'd give my two cents about (something like) this: