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(UK) Cornwall: "Desperate parents," severely autistic child; no school place

July 25, 2023, Cornwall Live: Desperate parents 'struggle on a daily basis' raising daughter, 6, in Cornwall with severe autism

SW England

A father from Cornwall is calling for more support for parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) after saying he has struggled to get help for his autistic daughter since she was a toddler. Jason Cutler, 44, said he has spent nearly two years trying to get his daughter Mia, 6, into a suitable school in the county after her nursery "couldn't handle her".

The father-of-one, who lives in St Ives, explains his wife Ella, 40, has had to become their child's full-time carer and he's had to drop down to working just three days a week at a huge financial loss so they can be there for their daughter at home. Mia is severely autistic, has delayed development and hyper mobility among a number of other disabilities.

Video: Mia’s father: …She was diagnosed with severe autism three and a half years ago. She’s got autism….the way she grinds her teeth. She’s got eight teeth where they need to be removed. She’s got hypermobility…speech and language development delays. Her mental age when I last checked…it about two and a half years old.

She’s not been in any mainstream school. She went to a nursery where we used to live about four to six weeks. They couldn’t handle her.

We weren’t aware at the time that she had the autism. …The NHS up there was a two year waiting list, so we ended up having to pay really 1900 pounds to get her diagnosed.

As soon as the specialist saw her they said it’s clear she’s got severe autism….

They’ve been trying to get her into school. …

She goes there for an hour twice a week if possible when she’s on her good days. … She’s been out of school for nearly two years. ..


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