The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

I remember the first time Sam crawled.  Not a commando inch across the floor, but a proper crawl, a proper bridge-making, core-strengthening, arm-and-leg-pumping crawl.  He was in the bath.

I’d got distracted.  Impossible to imagine, I know.  I probably got sucked into cleaning the sinks or something, but whatever it was, my attention was drawn away from the rapidly filling bath, and, no doubt much to his infant delight, rather than pour water down the drain, in he went.

Now, I should explain.  He’d been moving himself around, creeping and rolling across the floor, to the accompaniment of excited squeals, for some time and I had been encouraging him, by being that most infuriating of parents and placing the most desired of his toys (probably a ball, or the stacking cups he used to like to bang together) just out of reach.  So, as I was (am) wont to do…

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Thy Meetings Come


Today I had a twitter exchange with a couple of tweeters I have come to respect for their passion and contribution to Early Years Education. They told me that they were valued by the schools they support and that their provision was good and I have no reason to doubt that from what I have witnessed them discuss.

But the discussion brought back memories of my experience of Early Years Education. The mismatch between what these posters believe they are delivering and what I felt my son received was stark. In short, I felt we received a generic patronising service from the services that purported to deliver essential ‘early intervention’.

8 months after my son was diagnosed with ASD and at 3 and a half yrs of age, (after an extremely tough battled for a statement of SEN), we had weekly SALT, weekly Autism Advisory Service, an EP assessment, and 80% of 1:1…

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Giving Up

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

The first time we walked up Pen Y Fan I think I can safely say that it wasn’t an unqualified success.  It started off so well.  We discussed the day and came up with a plan.  Find the car park (the one with a toilet), make a picnic, eat the picnic, walk up and down, have a take away when we got home.  So far so good.  Except when we got there it was, well, overcast and gloomy.  And when we got to the top, we couldn’t really see the top, being as the clouds were in the way, so we didn’t really make it to the top, only to the first top. And then, of course, what should happen on the way down, but the clouds emptied themselves upon us, which was fine for me and the kids, but not for R, as, in all the rushing and hurrying…

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A Mountain to Climb


The lovely and very readable @nancygedge posted a blog today about not giving up and not walking away; this was so much in tune with my thoughts over the last 24 hours I felt I had to blog too.

The children in my pru have a lot of obstacles to overcome….home issues, SEN, SEMH, medical issues, combined with poor behaviour and exclusion. Those of you who read my blogs know that they suffer extreme anxiety and become very attached to us whilst seemingly pushing us away with swearing, violence and the destruction of property. These are children who exist in the shadows on the fringes of society but they come to our small nurturing provision and learn to trust and to smile and to succeed. We are the sunlight sending rays into their darkness and they feel safe and valued.

Our Year 6 are a particularly vulnerable group; they came…

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The Fear Factor


This week’s Secret Teacher highlighted the perceived problems of an MLD special school teacher who argued that children with challenging behaviour should not be sent to his/her school (I think her) because they severely affect the safety and well being of more vulnerable pupils with autism, Downs Syndrome et al.

Now on an initial reading I felt some sympathy with her viewpoint and that her setting was not right for children with SEMH….after all we do have specialist SEMH schools (or BESD as they were once known)! I tweeted as much and said it was as a result of cost cutting and money saving resulting in a reduced choice of provision…which it is! Then I read an excellent blog by @nancygedge ‘Clickbait’ which argued that articles like this add to public perceptions that some children are to be feared and some children need to be further segregated for their own…

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