Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Right. I have a question for you all.

(66 Posts)
tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 15:05:10

I have no direct experience of SN. None. Nada. Zilch.

As a non-SN experienced person, what are the three things that I could do/change in my day to day life that you would most appreciate?

(off the back of my chat thread where I know I used a wrong term for example)

(I hope I don't sound patronising)

zzzzz Wed 30-Jan-13 15:41:15

If you are a member of a club, go to events, use after school clubs, swim lessons, ballet, theatre, church, orchestra, ask how many people with sn use their facilities. If it looks like their are less than in the population then ask why and what they are going to do about it.

If you have no one in your life with a disability ask yourself why and how that has happened.

Teach your children what inclusion really means (look it up)

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 15:43:18

Thank you.

proudmum74 Wed 30-Jan-13 16:01:27

Hi - just read your thread in chat & for what it's worth I think the comments you got were unfair. OK, the correct term is probably 'severe development delay', but anyone reading your thread would see you weren't trying to offend.

As background, my DD has Down syndrome and with that comes severe GDD (development is half her age, she cannot walk and has hearing & vision problems), as well as compex health issues.

Back to your question here, you actually sound fairly considerate, so these comments are meant for the general public at large, but what would really help us is:

1) Please don't stare in public - it's never helpful

2) Try and see her as the person she is, rather than your assumptions of what that condition means

3) Don't sympathise with me. I love my DD as she is, I don't wish
(i) I could make her 'normal'
(ii) "I'd been given the option to abort her"
(both genuine comments from random strangers in the street)

4) Please think about comments before you say them; the one that sticks in my mind is when one person at a soft play centre asked me in all seriousness if I'd ever tried to teach DD to walk hmm Damn, wish I'd thought of trying to do that first, rather than wasting 3 years on daily physio...wink

5) If any of your DC do have a child with SN in their class, you would absolutely make the parent's week by including them on play dates / to any party...

porridgeLover Wed 30-Jan-13 16:08:43

Yes to what zzzz said... inclusiveness where it counts. At church, in the cub's group, at the children's choir, ensure that the 'difficult' 'odd' 'weird' 'quirky' child is welcomed and accepted for who they are. They will reveal their wonderful sides if given a chance, which they rarely are normally.

Talk to their parents.... we have become used to being sidelined because our children are the way they are. We know that most judge that it has happened because it's our fault aka ''blame the parents''.

Parents social lives revolve around their SN children's needs; but probably more than most we need to get out and have a laugh. No I am not going to cry on anyone's shoulder, or fall apart, or get angry.

proudmum74 Wed 30-Jan-13 16:33:10

Actually, forget my ones - just go for porridgeLover's 3rd one! smile

Or better still, offer to babysit for someone with a SN child. I haven't been able to go on a night out with DH since DD was born, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one on this board with that problem...

PolterGoose Wed 30-Jan-13 16:43:49

proudmum74 shock at #3

tattoos I think you could probably learn a lot just by lurking on some of the threads on this board. It is surprising how frequently we all face the same crap with family, friends, professionals and institutions. Lots of good suggestions above so my 3 are:

Don't assume a child has bad parents because of the child's behaviour, I truly believe that children want to be loved and liked and want to be 'good' (for want of a better word) so any child who is consistently behaving in what might appear to be a terrible way, chances are the parents are doing everything they can.

You might also notice we ignore a lot of stuff that parents of neuro-typical children would deal with. We very quickly have to learn to focus our energies on the most important issue. An example would be me getting the judgy pants' evil eye because ds wasn't wearing a coat in sub-zero temperatures. My choice was force a coat and he refuse to go to school or get him to school reasonably calmly but cold. hmm

Please stand up for us when other parents are complaining about our children's needs or behaviour or whether they should even be in mainstream school. Some parents are truly vile and have very worrying opinions on anybody different angry

Mostly though, just be the kind enquiring person you clearly are. I never mind people asking questions about ds. You will find many parents of children with SNs massively under-play the amount of work they put in and how exhausting it all is. I'm trying to be more honest with people who ask because otherwise nobody knows. I would also say that we (en masse) are a pretty good source of support for ordinary parenting problems too, because we have usually tried everything and then found a whole raft of creative and alternative solutions too.

PolterGoose Wed 30-Jan-13 16:48:23

proudmum ds is 10 this year and me and dp have not had a single evening out together since a visit to a curry house to encourage labour when ds was overdue. I have only missed bedtime once when I got stuck on the motorway for 4 hours.

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 17:08:47

Thank you - honestly - I know I used the wrong term on that thread and I won't use it again, it'll be "developmental delay". Is learning disability OK or is it offensive, even if only a little?

I would never let the children stare (although they're older now but I wouldn't have when they were younger) or stare myself and I'd try to be understanding but I'd hate to offend someone or inadvertently (sp?) make their day any harder than it has to be.

ouryve Wed 30-Jan-13 17:09:29

YY on the party thing. I hear of so many kids with SN upset because they're never invited to parties. DS1 does get invited. He doesn't really interact with anyone there because they all belong in school, not out of school, but he enjoys himself, all the same.

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 17:15:07

My kids attended a small rural school and there just wasn't any kids with SN - apart from one child in the class below DD who had developmental delay and some sensory issues (sight and hearing) but since she wasn't in DD's class we weren't really in the position to be inviting or not inviting to a party. If she had been I'd never ever have left her out. That's horrendously cruel that children would be left out like that. sad

lovethesun1 Wed 30-Jan-13 17:21:45

The fact you are asking makes me think you are already a kind person. I have just skimmed the other thread & also think you were unfairly attacked. Very few people tread comfortably in a world that they have no experience of. Before I had ds (3.8,gorgeous,globalally delayed) I'm not sure whether I'd have done some of the things that now drive me crazy in other people.

I guess I would say the main things are:

1) inclusion, & trying to influence those around you to do the same.

2) try not to assume someone can't or won't want to do something. Its often the case that with a bit if a work around,its possible. & if not,its nice to be asked.

3) I'm sure you dont,but I hate it when someone I don't even know states the obvious 'oh he's v small' 'oh he's a v late walker' 'his speech is v delayed,do you talk to him' (!!!). Maybe stick with generic conversation-wow,cool coat etc. Sorry if that sounds really daft!

Thank you for asking the question smile

zzzzz Wed 30-Jan-13 17:28:35

Between 10% and 20% of children in the uk have special needs, so either the children in the school didn't have visible sn or they were discouraged from attending in the first place or transferred.

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 17:46:58

zzzzz - the school has grown in recent years but is still very small (50 pupils) so 10% would only be 5 pupils, and if they weren't in my child's year group, how would I know if they had a non-visible SN? Or actually, even if they were in the same year group, how would I know? The school would hardly tell me would they?

I can promise I will not state the obvious, ask a rude question, leave out an SN child and try to be as inclusive as possible.

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 17:47:52

Sorry zzzz that last sentence in my first para sounds rude, but I mean would the school tell us? Surely they wouldn't be allowed to?

Mollyweasley Wed 30-Jan-13 17:50:13

Since my child has been diagnosed with ASD, I never look at screaming children in supermarket the same way because I now know that supermarket can lead to sensory overload and I know that the only thing the parent can do to calm the child is to exit asap. So if a child screams and parents rush, don't think of these parents as bad and the child as naughty. And if you catch yourself staring just give an encouraging smile!

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 17:53:26

Oh I had an epic supermarket tantrummer - I remember the tuts from busybody judgeypants people!

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 17:54:38

Which I know isn't the same as having an ASD child I know but that is something I can at least empathise a bit with. blush

zzzzz Wed 30-Jan-13 17:58:10

Well if you knew ten children from the school, one or two of them in all likelihood had sn. If you knew twenty 2 to 4 of them did, so it's unlikely you don't know anybody with sn unless there is a selection process involved.
Of course school wouldn't tell you, most medical information is private, only the Mums could have told you.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 30-Jan-13 17:59:11

I just heard today from DS2 that his friend (they are 7) told him his mum says DS1 is spoilt.

Nice.

He has AS. We do things differently in school at drop off/pick up. She has obviously decided that is indulgence and it is nice of her to share that with her children hmm

So, in addition to inclusion NOT meaning integration ( we don't all have to be the same), it would be really, really, very nice if people didn't just think it was as easy as 'putting your foot down' - and that goes for some school staff too!

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 17:59:43

Fair point.

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 18:04:35

Sorry - the fair point was to zzzz

Don't tell me you feel sorry for me or say "oh what a shame/pity" or even worse "oh how awful", when you hear my child has special needs.

tattoosarenotallowed Wed 30-Jan-13 18:20:26

Do people really say those sorts of things? (Actually from my thread in chat I suppose they do I'm just shock and sad)

PolterGoose Wed 30-Jan-13 18:36:36

People say really horrid things, and, on the basis that the majority of adults probably have considerably better social skills than my ds, who is completely unable to keep a thought to himself, I suspect an awful lot more people think horrid thoughts but refrain from saying it out loud sad

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