In this week's double episode of SEND Tutoring’s Podcast, we had the privilege of hosting Jaymie, a 44-year-old mother of twins, both of whom are autistic and have ADHD. Jaymie's story, lasting 37 minutes and 4 seconds, is an emotional rollercoaster detailing the struggles she faced in obtaining the necessary support for her children within the complex world of special educational needs.
As Jaymie opened up about her twins and their journey, it became evident that her experience resonates with many parents dealing with the challenges of the educational system. The primary school and headteacher's lack of support created formidable obstacles in her pursuit of the help her children deserved. Raising one Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) is challenging, but raising two, especially when met with resistance from the school and the system itself, becomes a monumental task.
Despite the daunting barriers, Jaymie's indomitable spirit and relentless efforts are a testament to a mother's dedication to securing the best for her children. The podcast delves into the frustrating delays in the EHCP process, emphasising the vital role parents play as advocates in navigating these challenges.
While Jaymie has succeeded in securing both EHCPs, the funding for Education Otherwise Than At School (EOTAS) remains uncertain. The twins' education hangs in the balance, emphasising the ongoing struggles many parents face even after obtaining EHCPs.
Key Insights and Important Revelations:
The podcast sheds light on crucial aspects of Jaymie's journey, including her strategic use of the Right to Choose through the NHS for faster Autism and ADHD diagnoses. Jaymie's request for a subject access request (SAR) uncovered unsettling information – the school had reported her to Social Services, a revelation that shocked both the host and listeners.
Further, Jaymie's critique of Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) adds depth to the conversation. ELSAs, designed to support emotional development, did not meet Jaymie's expectations, highlighting the need for more effective interventions in schools.
Jaymie's sacrifice of giving up her work to care for her twins and reliance on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) showcase the profound impact of the challenges faced by parents in similar situations. DLA, which partially funds the twins' engaging activities, serves as a lifeline, alleviating some of the demands placed on them by the school.
As we await updates on Jaymie's journey, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for her openness and courage in sharing her story on SEND Tutoring’s Podcast. Jaymie's resilience serves as a beacon of hope for other parents navigating similar challenges, and we wish her the best in securing the crucial EOTAS package for her twins. Together, let us continue advocating for a more inclusive and supportive educational system for all children.