(UK) Report finds lack of SPED services; schools, parents "struggling to cope"

Oct 29, 2019, Surrey Live: Oxted mum demands change as she battles 'bureaucracy nightmare' of SEND support for son An exasperated mum from Oxted is calling for change as she continues to battle for support for her six-year-old son with special needs. It was after receiving another knock-back email following months of trying to get social workers to help her family that Louise Jordan wrote a heartfelt post on Facebook sharing her anguish, sadness, despair and sense of isolation. The post published on October 23 has been shared more than 100 times, sparking hundreds of comments and messages. Now Louise and her husband Gareth have set up a meeting with their MP and want to turn their frustration into a cause of good to help others. “I came home from school and just cried,” explains Louise, a health and fitness instructor from Oxted. “At the end of the day he is not a piece of paper or a case number. He is a little boy, and a little boy who is amazing. He wants to be a super hero but he thinks he cannot because he thinks he is bad.” Last week a government report concluded that the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system in local authorities is under pressure leaving schools and parents struggling to cope. The SEND report, by the Education Committee after an 18-month inquiry, said “poorly implemented legislation” was leaving families “facing a nightmare of bureaucracy, bucking-pressure and confusion”. It made recommendations to increase funding and powers for the local government and social care ombudsman, and create a direct line for parents to appeal council actions. 'Fight the system' Earlier this month Councillor Chris Botten, leader of the Liberal Democrats at Surrey County Council, told the council chamber that despite changes being made, “families continue to suffer”…. And they still do not have the relevant paperwork needed to support their son Austin’s diagnosis of pathological demand avoidance (PDA). The National Autistic Society says people with PDA "resist and avoid the ordinary demands of life" and display "obsessive behaviour". … “We believe in the system and we understand they are overwhelmed with capacity and we understand there are a lot of people in this system. “But time is against us. We have a little boy whose mental health is severely deteriorating.” The family now has a case worker who is helping them to get a review of Austin’s EHCP and to follow procedures for a school place ready for September.