IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME
My first blog post in many months. I keep putting it off as most of the time my head is too full of allsorts of information flooding through it & I find it hard to focus on one thought, feeling, emotion at a time.
I guess you could say I am living in a state of constant overwhelm?
Looking back at my last blog posts, they were written at a time of huge concern for both my autistic daughter's & their wellbeing, education & mental health.
Since January 2016 my main goal was to fight for them both to be given their individual EHCplans (Educational Health Care Plan) by our Special Educational Needs Council Department.
It was a full-time job, endless form filling, constant phoning, constant pushing/chasing, relentless emailing, each day & attending many frustrating meetings with professionals involved with both my daughter's cases.
I managed to get decisions reconsidered & overturned after finding the strength & courage to not give up the fight for both my daughter's education.
I was utterly drained & exhausted. My whole day was on constant warrior mum mode, never taking my foot off the gas once. My determination & drive was heaven sent. I was going to have to win whatever it took!!
I remember one desperate time when I even considered sitting in reception of the council not moving at all until they agreed to change their decisions about my girls. Thankfully it didn't get to that!! But you know I was so needing to be heard & my daughter's individual needs recognised, I would of carried such a crazy thing through!! Bring in the local papers, get on the local news, whatever it was going to take to allow my girls to have their EHCplans granted to them.
Finally after 20 weeks of constant battle both girls were given their EHCplans. It was our family moment to celebrate after the greatest battle of my life, in our own quiet way with a meal in a familiar restaurant. Finally after 6 years our eldest daughter had finally been recognised as needing support within a specialist autism school provison. After 2 years our youngest daughter was finally recognised as needing support within a specialist autism school provison.
The whole process quiet frankly nearly killed me. I had no energy or time for anyone or anything else. As a result I have become very isolated with regard to seeing or keeping friends. It has been a very lonely road, which I have had to walk on my own. online friendships have been invaluable & a great support which I am truely grateful for. It was my only priority to help my precious girls as much as I possibly could.
After a nerve racking long summer of waiting for the results by our council SEN department they were both awarded funding to attend the school of their choice & ours too. An independent specialist autism provision school, 13 miles away from where we live. Within our borough there are shockingly no other schools that can provide the support & environment for my girls.
They both started in October 2016 & so far it has been a different journey for both of them.
Our youngest has settled really well after an anxious start, we are so proud & happy for her to see her making friends & enjoying going to school each day.
Our eldest is finding it very hard to settle at all. We are hoping that with a slower but consistant approach by the school & myself she will eventually find her confidence & belonging at this amazing school.
It's been a long, exhausting & nerve racking 12 months, but so grateful to be on the other side of the fight with the local authority for now.
Thank you for staying with us & our story.
It has felt good to blog again, after so long!
Writing helps me to process our difficult days & celebrate our good days.
Until next time, take care xx