Campaign

• 92% of parents thought that their child’s school attendance difficulties were related to undiagnosed/unsupported SEND

• Despite this, 20% had been told not to bother applying for an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) and a further 20% did not know what an EHCP was

• 55% parents were blamed for their child’s attendance issues

• 25% parents were reported to Social Services because of their child’s poor attendance

• 18.4% of parents had been accused of fabricating or influencing their child’s illness (also known as FII or Munchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy)

• 67% had been put under pressure to force their child into school, yet 59% said this had made the situation worse

School refusal/school phobia/school avoidance

 

I found school so traumatic (due to some of the issues mentioned within this campaign) that I still don’t discuss it. Please, take the time to read (School refusal/school phobia/school avoidance) and sign it if you can.

Much thanks,

Chloe.

Learning Something New

Today, within my University lecture I learnt something new – kind of the point, I know… but still…

In my Law and Policy lecture this morning, we discussed all things law related and we were pointed in the direction of a case involving the Mental Health Act and the Human Rights Act. No other information was given other than the name of the case (Bournewood Case).

As my interest in mental health is quite a healthy one, I immediately noted it down and made a mental plan to go and look at it when I had chance.

I now have a 3 hour break (11.00 – 14.00) and find myself in the library getting a laptop out on loan to look at what I can find.

As someone who has spent years working with individuals with various learning disabilities and conditions, I find it horrifying to read that a person with autism could have ever been detained under the Mental Health Act ‘informally’. Surely the aim of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act is that it is the last resort and only done as a way of providing treatment and ensuring that the person is in a safe environment to heal and recover…

(Though I have never been detained or sectioned – my own experiences assure me that the system is not a kind one and that my view that people should be made to feel safe and secure may not be the case)

 

“They engaged a solicitor on his behalf and took a case for unlawful detention to the High Court, which ruled against him. The Appeal Court overturned the decision in October 1997, and the hospital chose to section HL, although he did not meet the criteria, and in December that year he was finally discharged by the hospital managers…”

“In 1998, the House of Lords overturned the ruling that HL’s detention had been illegal…”

“Mr and Mrs E decided to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, which in October 2004 ruled in HL’s favour. As a result the government introduced the new Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which came into force in April 2009…”

This case changed the law (in Britain) – thankfully, although I find it incredibly disheartening that change came from such trauma. As is usually the case.

I recommend reading about it (Bournewood Case), if you haven’t already.

 

 

University

In 2016, I had to go through the process of UCAS. I had to apply to several different Universities and hope that one of them would invite me to an interview.

In 2017, all but 1 sent for me (the other 1, no longer ran the course I had PAID to apply for).

My top choice asked me to go for an interview. How exciting!

Except it wasn’t. My cat had just passed away and the world felt incredibly numb. All my coursemates were applying and interviewing and giddy.  I just wanted it all to be over with. I would never be accepted anyways, I would just go and do it, just to say that I had.

So off I went…dxxcvvzxcae746f.jpg-large

The interview included: a one to one interview, a group interview/discussion and a written piece of work.

I was never once nervous, I did not fret. I said what I thought and was honest with my educational background. I wrote what I thought and did so with an academic flare.

Today is one year since the interview.

I am now a student at that University.

Sometimes, those days where you really do not want to, are the days where you absolutely should.

 

Unimaginably

“Residential Population: 21,707.”
“The proportion of ethnic minorities is 4.6% – significantly lower, by 12.2%, than nearby regions.”

This is where I grew up. I do not recall any child being from an ethnic minority at school. I do not recall seeing a person who was not white.

This is where I grew up. I do not recall, as a child, seeing anyone who was not heterosexual. I do not recall being aware of any existence other than white, straight, employed men and women and/or stay at home mums…

I grew up with every single person not having an issue with this. I grew up wondering where the hell everyone else was. I grew up watching TV and films and wanting to meet those people.

I grew up in a place that was not meant for me. I was placed in a box, I should never, ever have been placed in. I never fit into it, it was never comfortable.

So many people I had known as a child talked about leaving, travelling… they are still there. I never imagined I would leave, it did not seem an option for me. And yet, unimaginably, I was the one who did. And yet, somehow, they are still there.

It baffles me, so completely. Perhaps it always shall.

The one with all of the odds against her was the one to leave.

Irony is an amazing thing.

 

Triumphant (REDJanuary)

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Along this road, there is a school. A school that left with enough trauma that I have not been able to walk by it since I left at age 12.

Despite many attempts and the support of a friend – it was just never something I could do without extreme anxiety.

Today though, I smashed it!

5,700 steps later, I felt triumphant! 

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