BBC coverage of special educational needs

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BBC coverage of special educational needs

View profile for Liz Smith
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The BBC has recently been featuring a number of articles relating to children with special educational needs.  It has focused on TV presenters David and Carrie Grant, who have four children, each with a separate set of special educational needs.  Olivia, nearly 23 with Dyspraxia and ADHD; Talia, 16 years old with a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome; Imogen, 11 years old with a diagnosis of Autism and ADHD and Nathan, adopted aged 2 with attachment difficulties.

As parents of four children, each with a different set of special educational needs, they have explained that there is a lack of flexibility in thinking and that if children don’t fit inside a particular box then we must squash them until they do fit.  The biggest issue they described, is that if children on the Autistic Spectrum view the world in a different way, they need to have the world explained to them in a different way.  David and Carrie Grant described how they feel desperate for their children and they feel like they have failed as parents because they cannot get the services that their children need.  They cannot get the education that their children deserve.

In another article, BBC reports the growing number of parent’s home educating children who have special educational needs, reporting that their numbers have grown by 57% across England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the last 5 years.  In a specific case reported by the BBC, even though 11-year-old Emily has a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and ADHD, as well as taking prescribed medication to manage anxiety and is educated at home due to the confusing and overwhelming feelings of anxiety that she experienced in the school environment, the Local Authority has refused Emily an EHC Plan.  Emily’s mother is reported to say that if more support had been made available, home education is a step that she would not have had to take.  She is currently appealing against the decision to refuse Emily an EHC Plan.