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(UK) Scotland: Parents call for mental health help for SPED kids; protest in Glasgow

Aug 21, 2023, Daily Record: Scots mum whose child attempted suicide demands more support for kids with additional needs ASN Reform Scotland have organised a gathering at George Square in September to demand more help for parents. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/scots-mum-whose-child-attempted-30749013.amp

A Scots mum whose 12-year-old son has attempted suicide four times will be taking part in a protest to demand children with additional needs get better support.

Kirsty Solman's son Kyle struggled with mental health after being diagnosed with autism and ADHD. The Glasgow parent said it has been a heartbreaking experience for the family.

She, along with other members of ASN Reform Scotland, will be taking to George Square in September to demand that better support if offered to children who are struggling, reports Glasgow Live.

Kirsty said that Kyle was pulled out of school in primary 7 after attempting to take his life four times.

She explained: "My son missed out on at least two months of Primary 7 because the support wasn't there for him and it impacted his mental health. This is happening to 100s of kids across the country, it isn't just one local authority.

"It is completely heartbreaking. Our children have same rights as anyone when it comes to education.

"If they are given the right support they flourish. Throughout primary school my son hated it, he was miserable.

"Sending your child to a place where he can't be supported is devastating, but as a parent we are legally expected to. It's wrong. I had to give up my job to care for my son….

"It's not the schools fault because they have been set up to fail. We are fighting for the teachers and the kids."

Kirsty believes she is just one of many parents who are facing these issue across the country and it is hoped that the George Square protest will be their biggest to date after a successful demonstration outside Holyrood earlier this year. ASN Reform Scotland hope this protest will help to ensure that those with additional support needs have the help they need when attending school.

Kirsty said: "We believe that there isn't enough support for our children who have Additional Support Needs in the education system. It's not fair on our children and it's not fair on other children because their education is being disrupted.

"We want to sit round a table a discuss the current policies because they don't work. We want more support going into mainstream schools for our children and the teaching staff.

"We also want to see more ASN schools open up so they can get a proper education."

Kirsty has seen how having the right provisions in place can really change a child's life. Kyle is attending a support unit at Drumchapel High and is now excited to attend school.

The loving mum said: "He is well supported there which has made the difference. It just shows what can happen when a child receives the help they need."

The protest at George Square in Glasgow has been organised by ASN Reform Scotland and will take place on September 6, from 11am to 3pm.


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