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(UK) Bromsgrove: 5 y.o. with autism in mainstream school that can't meet needs

Oct 8, 2023, Birmingham Live: 'I feel like the worst mum ever' - Mum's anger at failure to get specialist help for autistic son

W. Midlands

A campaigning mum has told of her desperate battle to get the right support for her five-year-old autistic son. Hannah Warman, from Bromsgrove, said she felt like the ‘worst mum in the world’ sending her son to a mainstream school that ‘can’t meet his needs’ and was fighting to get him into specialist provision.

Blake, who has been diagnosed with autism, is currently attending a mainstream school which Hannah said was ‘not well-suited’ to his needs. She said Blake - who has a two-year developmental delay - was routinely sent home in the middle of the day and had been excluded on a number of occasions.

But she has seen an emergency application to get Blake transferred to a specialist school rejected by Worcestershire County Council. Hannah said she feared her son would have ‘no chance’ at succeeding in life the longer he stayed in mainstream education - and hit out at the council's SEND department over a ‘lack of communication’ throughout the process….

“A panel at the council declined our request to transfer him, but they don’t know what he goes through at school. He can’t read or write, he has meltdowns which can get very intense and then we have to pick him up from school - he’s been excluded a number of times.

“It’s awful seeing him like that - it makes you feel like the worst parent in the world. I feel like he’s not going to have a fair chance to succeed in life as he gets older.”

Hannah called for urgent reform of the SEND system to ensure parents received the help they needed with their children. She has blogged about her fight against her local authority, offering advice and support to other parents on the same journey.

“The struggles facing SEND parents are never spoken about,” she said. “It’s a big issue at the moment….

A spokesperson for Worcestershire Children First, said: “Parent carers have a statutory right to ask for a particular educational setting and support for their child. We always aim, wherever possible, to meet both the child’s assessed need and parental preference. “We are continuing to work with his parents and the school to ensure the right level of support is in place to meet his needs.”

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