Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Please come talk to MNHQ about Special Needs topics: better with fewer of them or not?

(310 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 05-May-12 11:54:13


We're looking into streamlining/reorganising our Topics list to make it easier for people to find the best topic for their thread, and to make it easier for everyone to find their way around Talk.

And, following on from some of the points raised on this Site stuff thread, we wanted to ask you folks about the range of SN Topics in Talk.

Currently, as you know, we have...
Parents with disabilities
Special needs support sessions
Special needs: children
Special needs: education
Special needs: legal/financial
Special needs: recommendations
Special needs: teens and pre-teens

Do you think it might be a good idea to lose some of these, given that some of them (legal, education, recommendations, in particular) are quite underused?

Would it be better to have fewer topics, so that every OP was more likely to get replies to their threads?

Or do you think the balance of Topics is fine just as it is?

Please do let us know...

coff33pot Sat 05-May-12 12:40:36

To be honest the SN children is the most used. From what I see of the list above the main ones would be Parents with Disabilities, SN Children only. Most tend to use SN children from anything to asking for a recommendation to legal.

You could title it SN children/education/legal and have done with smile

coff33pot Sat 05-May-12 12:41:31

Plus teens and pre teens are still children smile

Hi Helen <waves>

Here's a brew for you!

I agree with coff smile

AmberLeaf Sat 05-May-12 13:09:25

Yeah I think two, one for parents with disabilities and one for children [covering all aspects]

DameHermione Sat 05-May-12 13:17:28

I use the children bit even though dd is a teenager, because it has most traffic.

DameHermione Sat 05-May-12 13:18:43

Maybe one for adults (parents?) and one for children? All the other stuff is usually relationg to one or the other.

DameHermione Sat 05-May-12 13:19:15

Like what Amber just said blush

I agree with coff.

cansu Sat 05-May-12 13:53:47

Maybe one just called SN to cover all the other lesser used boards, plus another called parents with disabilities.

SallyBear Sat 05-May-12 13:59:11

But as Coff33 said. Specify the Group ie kids/ed/law/recommendation

zzzzz Sat 05-May-12 15:16:10

Sn children and Parents with sn

I never look the other topics in the sn suite.

Funnily enough the recommendations would be good if it was organised, for example apps for iPad seems to come up again as do toys for particular issues and pushchair/transport stuff.

If there was a way of having it all discussed as usual and then flipping it into a "hall of fame" type topic for quick ref that would be cool.

SEN Children and Young People
Parents with Disabilities

ouryve Sat 05-May-12 15:48:36

To be honest, I only ever look at SN children and when I do venture into other SN topics, there's a lot of tumbleweed in there. Most of the topics seem superfluous, though obviously I do see the need for a separate topic for and about adults with disabilities and/or SN.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 05-May-12 15:54:22

This is all good stuff - and v helpful. Thank you. Please keep it coming!

Re Recommendations: any mileage in renaming it Special needs Products? Then we could link to our Reviews here, which could become the ref point you're talking about zzzzz.

Unless Recommendations has a broader scope than just Products?

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sat 05-May-12 17:03:17

SN children and young people, and Parents/Adults with disabilities. Just to include those adults who may not be parents. The first is generally for the carers of those with SN, the second for those with disabilities themselves.

zzzzz Sat 05-May-12 17:15:16

Special needs products grin wow! That looks great.

I'm trying to think of things that are ever useful but not products....I think on the whole you would search for sleep, feeding or medicating issues stuff anyway, but what about the famous diary to teach past/present/future etc which are really just ideas not products?

Iceflower Sat 05-May-12 17:18:16

What EJ said. I always use SN children as it's the one with most traffic, and never look at the others.

HotheadPaisan Sat 05-May-12 17:47:24

I think go to two, in a year we'll be asking you to split it up more smile

And please do not move threads from elsewhere to SEN, move them them to SN. Can people take a look in SN education please, feel bad for lack of responses.

StarshitTerrorise Sat 05-May-12 17:50:47

But the Lingle Clock and the Moondog Calender ARE products, just not ones you can buy.

LunarRose Sat 05-May-12 17:56:15

A set of SN review topics would be handy, eg. Sn Mobility, SN toys

Othherwise agree with just the 2 threads. children aithSN and Adults with SN Perhaps also a autism spectrum section,I only say that because there is quite a few of us and I worry that other problems get a bit lost

First time I posted in SN I used SN education and I think the first response was someone recommending I used SN children instead. As that is where most people go and post and can post about ed issues then I don't think you need two topics.

SN products sounds better IMO, recommendations could be for anything I suppose. Erm. Dunno on that one <useful>

zzzzz Sat 05-May-12 18:58:27

I don't like the idea of separating it by disability even though I do agree there is a strong asd presence here. I think the input from different experiences of difference is helpful.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sat 05-May-12 19:19:09

I wouldn't like to separate by disability. I know there are lots on here with DC with ASD, but a lot of advice isn't disability specific. My DS does have ASD, I wouldn't like to be separated off. It may be that those whose DC don't have ASD would like this, though. confused

slacklucy Sat 05-May-12 19:37:19

tbh i only look at the sn children section as its where all the lovely people are

cwtch4967 Sat 05-May-12 20:57:41

Another vote here for streamlining into adults and children. We don't need all the others.

2old2beamum Sat 05-May-12 21:37:34

As a mum of 3 DC's adults with SN &2 DC's with SN I wonder if a different site
would be helpful so transitional help would be helpful plus moving on to independent living.

mariasalome Sat 05-May-12 22:50:28

I think 'SN: children', 'parents with disabilities' and 'carers' should cover most aspects. With some sort of signposting between the three, as (for example) much of the practical stuff on the SN board would be relevant to someone giving up work to look after an adult relative.

Summer123 Sat 05-May-12 22:51:34

Hi All
I'd go for just Special Needs, full stop.
There's so much knowledge here and thirst for knowledge here, that I think it would be best to stay here, on this well-sought-after site, where all can find it!

2shoes Sat 05-May-12 22:54:45

sorry disagree that teens are still children
I know they are
but what you face at 16 plus is a lot different to what to face with a 5 year old.
I know the teens topic isn't a success, perhaps be cause it is for preteens as well. I gave up posting in the sn topic, one of the reasons being is that it is mainly about young children
I would love for there to be a place that people like me with over 16's could talk.

2shoes Sat 05-May-12 22:55:40

2old2beamum Sat 05-May-12 21:37:34
As a mum of 3 DC's adults with SN &2 DC's with SN I wonder if a different site
would be helpful so transitional help would be helpful plus moving on to independent living.

sums it up well

Lougle Sat 05-May-12 23:23:03

I tell you what would be absolutely fab Helen, but it might be a bit tricky to achieve grin

It would be great if posters could post in, say, SN Education, or SN Legal, and for it to be flagged appropriately for archive searching, etc., but to appear on the one 'SN page'.

That way, we could find all the juicy links to LGO findings, Tribunal information, SEN Code of Practice excerpts etc, because they would be appropriately grouped, but we could see all the new posts because they appear under SN, so we only have to look at one board.

Is that even remotely possible??? I know tech is amazing <begs>

glimmer Sun 06-May-12 10:10:19

I would actually recommend to have an ASD threat and a GDD category.
The SN children thread is dominated by former, which is fine, but it's hard to find
and follow the few other SN threads. Thing is the issues related to the two categories can be just the opposite, especially in regard to social behavior.

I think keep it all under special needs. I don't know if seperating the disabilities is the right thing to do. Quite a lot of children have co morbid and multi disabilities so don't just fit in one section iyswim. This would eliminate support for some.

ohmeohmy Sun 06-May-12 10:30:22

stick with the 2

Ineedalife Sun 06-May-12 10:50:19

I only really use the sn childrens board, tbh so i think probably 2 boards, one for children and one for adults would be good.

As for the teenagers, i would prefer to put the with the children because some of us have a mixture of ages in the family and want to discuss all the children together. Also the children are all heading towards teens and we get to know each other on the children's board so they kind of grow together.

Sorry if this is rambling nonsensesmile

StarshitTerrorise Sun 06-May-12 11:28:56

I like Lougle's idea of a mothership where all topics appear but the different categories still exist on satellite boards.

HotheadPaisan Sun 06-May-12 11:42:59

Bit like active convos but just for the SN topic. Then we could have a chat section too that disappears after 30 days and isn't indexed.

StarshitTerrorise Sun 06-May-12 11:46:23

Yes, exactly Hot. I think the other sections may well get used more that way and people can find people with similar issues as they will be flagged up, rather than having to click elsewhere. It will 'hook' people in more and may sort out the issue with teens, in that people want it but it doesn't get the traffic yet etc.

2shoes Sun 06-May-12 11:55:24

I think separating sn into dx's would be a mistake.
yes it is sometimes dominating by certain sn's, but there are a lot of cross overs.
if people are objecting to a proper Teens section why?
I feel sad that I have no where to ask about post 19

Lougle Sun 06-May-12 12:04:12

Absolutely! A SN 'Active Convos', which I also think would eliminate a lot of the tumbleweed effect. For example, if 2shoes posted in SN:teenagers, I might not feel I can contribute because I don't have that experience. But if it was on a SN active convos, I would, even though if I then did a search for it, it would be correctly classified.

It also comes into its own when a new poster is asking a question which they think is about education, but in reality they haven't even had good advice about diagnosis, therapies, benefits, etc.

Finally, for those of us who like to know the SEN CoP, for example, it will be easier to find the threads.

<should have been a librarian>

pinkorkid Sun 06-May-12 16:06:50

Yes introducing an "SN active conversations" would be the way to go. Plus making "teens" into "teens and transition to adult services" or just adding a "transition plus adult dcs with sn" section would be good.

2shoes Sun 06-May-12 17:55:25

please can I beg you not to add the transition part into the pre teen section, I know no one is listening but honestly 19 plus is not something you can discuss in teh same place as 11 plus.

TheLightPassenger Sun 06-May-12 19:09:06

I agree with 2shoes, its worth continuing the sn teens sub board, in future years hopefully there will be more traffic as existing posters kids get older, and it is still a useful place if someone wants to ask a transition etc specific question somewhere quieter than main sn board

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sun 06-May-12 19:35:30

Well I'm listening, 2shoes. smile Would a carers of teens to adults with SN do it? Unless we don't need the carers bit, but that would distinguish it from the adults with disabilities section, which is somewhat different?

Lougle Sun 06-May-12 20:27:54

I hear you 2shoes, I just don't quite understand what difference it makes? As far as I'm aware, there is no restriction to posting on any of the boards, so you would not be guaranteed only to have Post-16 discussions on the Post-16s board, etc.

silverfrog Sun 06-May-12 20:37:42

I like the idea of having a SN active convos.

I am less keen on a SN chat (although can see why people would want it) as almost any thread that 'gets going' invariably has a lot of useful info posted, and it would be a real shame if that was then lost. I know that threads can always be moved, but that would defeat the object of having them 'disappearable' in the first place...

re: the teens and transitions etc. I don't know. I have a dsd with additional needs, and I have posted on the main SN children board for advice before, as that is where the traffic is. No point, imo, havingn the separate sections if no one (or not many) people are checking them.

obviously as the current cohort (of what seems like an ASD takeover) grows up, there will be more people about who have first hand knowledge of teen/transition issues.

but until there are more posters about, with teens, facing these issues, wanting to post about them, then the topics will remain a bit tumbelweed-y. if the threads were on the main SN children board, then you might get some more advice - from peopel with first hand experience who don't check elsewhere, from people who might have an idea or two, etc

2old2beamum Sun 06-May-12 20:54:58

Agree with 2shoes I think most of us are very concerned about our SN's when we are older and dare I say it when we are dead. Realistically is there any help for my 32 year old dear DS, 27 and 23 year old DD's I need people like you to mull things over with sad sorry I am getting emotional

beautifulgirls Sun 06-May-12 21:10:18

I dislike the thought of a SN Chat where threads disappear. It has been invaluable for me reading previous posts to help me learn about helping DD. Personally I would be happy with two threads, SN children and teens and SN adults with disabilities.

Firawla Sun 06-May-12 22:22:08

don't like the idea of separating into sections for different diagnosis
the active topics thing is good

zzzzz Sun 06-May-12 22:24:17

2old and 2shoes I wish you didn't feel your issues aren't our issues.

My ds1 is 7 and dd3 is 4 so no we are not living the same life at the moment, but the future......the future is what catches my breath, puts a lump in my throat, and leaves me breathless, sleepless, and despairing. Your experience, your worries, the hurdles you face can be so very helpful to those of us just starting out.

That said if they both feel a separate place would better serve their needs then I think we can only bow to their experience.

I'm unmoved either way by Chat options, for me less is more and I tend to find a place and huddle there. Sn children is what I would use most.

2shoes Sun 06-May-12 23:11:53

2old2beamum so glad you get it, sometimes I feel like I am on a lonely path to no where (and yes I have hidden that thread in SN) I have been through all the stages with dd but 19 plus that is the hardest so far,
I would love to find others and get support, but mn seems not to cater for the 19 -25 bracket

2shoes Sun 06-May-12 23:12:39

zzzzz no offence, but I can't help anyone else at the moment, I need it myself.

mariasalome Sun 06-May-12 23:57:32

Ah 2shoes, just knowing there's someone who's gone before, helps. You don't need to do anything extra or different. I have a bit of experience of post 19 services (used to be a carer and still work in the public sector) the actual provision stays similar, whatever the headed notepaper says, though i would be no use on the funding and admin which changes every 5 minute

mariasalome Sun 06-May-12 23:58:52

I wonder if tge mods could do a 'sticky' 19-25 thread?

coff33pot Mon 07-May-12 00:04:04

I thought we were all here to help each other and learn from each others experiences and leave a footprint behind for the next lot of parents to get supportive advice from................confused

Lougles idea sounds good smile

I dont like the idea at all of separating dxs. It would be difficult for some parents to know where they fit given that some children have complex disabilties.

There is no harm in having a 19 - 25 bracket maybe have it advertised somewhere on the main board that there will now be this section (if one is made) hopefully it will attract more parents with older SN children.

I dont use chat so not bothered really I always assumed that was open to public eye and so wont use it but others just might.

HotheadPaisan Mon 07-May-12 08:08:54

I just worry about some of the stuff I talk about on here and if the DC will read it as they get older. Also, other professionals and so on, I feel very identifiable. I think I would share more if I knew it wasn't going to last forever.

2old2beamum Mon 07-May-12 15:35:50

2shoes I think you underestimate yourself you do help people by saying how it is. Just to see someone else having the guts to say life is crap gives permission to so many people to think we am not alone. All you mums are so supportive I and am sure many others appreciate your honesty {thanks]
2shoes you sound really sad please pm if you want.
Back to the OP, the main reason I feel we need an "older" SN thread is we are dealing with the here and now, a mum with a 2 year old SN will not have the same worries as a mum with a 25 year old and hopefully us oldies can help change the future for your LO's.

2shoes Mon 07-May-12 15:39:56

2old2beamum aww thanks
I am not sad, well sad to be homeless on mm,
19 plus is the scariest place i have been to , I thought 16 plus was bad enough thanks to the LEA trying to move dd. but this will be the biggest change we will have had.
dd has been at the same school since nursery, so moving on scares me.
it would be so nice ot have somewhere on mn to talk to others in the same boat or further along.
tbh I don't want to post in sn kids, I would end up editing everything so as not to wrry people with younger kids confused
also what happens when she is 19? there is a hole in mn where people with adult sn kids! have no place.

you know what 2shoes if it helps, I still feel homeless on MN SN and there is a home for me if I felt a bit more comfortable.

It's a bit like my DS and his issues............square peg round hole................because his issues/problems don't fit.............I don't fit.

There is even threads on the board which I start or join yet I still feel I don't count!!

Anyway you know where I am if you need me.

2shoes Mon 07-May-12 15:59:18

devientenigma oh I know, dd is a bit like that(well you know what I mean) as she doesn't tick the CP boxes and is older.

2old2beamum Mon 07-May-12 16:40:25

I am perhaps "luckier" as i still have 2 children with SN although DS is rapidly approaching transition but his needs are so specific we have already approached SENSE, but God knows what we would do if he was not dearfblind, dare I say it perhaps he is lucky. Take care both of you you are not alone and you are both needed on MN

starfishmummy Mon 07-May-12 17:43:28

mostly look at sn children (even though mine is a teen!)

imogengladheart Mon 07-May-12 18:41:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HotheadPaisan Mon 07-May-12 18:49:28

They look good. There are so many day to day things I would put in a chat section, I put them on Twitter instead but they would be better here.

2old2beamum Mon 07-May-12 19:00:35

imogen I think your suggestions are good but feel once your young person reaches adulthood everything changes. Respite as we know it stops at 18 school 19 and life is a very different ballgame. Day services complex, transport nightmare especially if they need an escort. I feel someone just coming to terms with a SN 's child may not want to know this too early in their DC's life.

HotheadPaisan Mon 07-May-12 19:04:37

I don't think people need protecting from the future. It will change, all this will, so all the discussions we have about statements and so on will have historical importance but will not fit the future here and now of chatting and advice.

Must admit I thought MNSN wasn't on google search but it is, which is good. All the more reason to have an SN chat section similar to OTBT though.

silverfrog Mon 07-May-12 19:04:44

personally, I have always read 'future' threads and situations with interest, right from pre-dx days. there is always a bit of info to squirrel away, or a situation to think through and see how I/we would tackle it as a family if/when it arose.

it would not have bothered (that sounds wrong, but I hope you know what I mean) me in the early days to read of future issues - forewarned is forearmed!

2shoes Tue 08-May-12 09:24:02

well so glad that reading about post 19 is good for others hmm
but surely we need a place to post first,

2old2beamum Tue 08-May-12 10:10:26

If there is a post 19 thread it will not be inaccessable to parents with younger children, you lot are so quirky with your headlines I would miss most of the relevant posts confused

zzzzz Tue 08-May-12 12:50:10

I hate the thought of anyone trying to paint the future as anything other than what it is. I don't need to be sheltered from the truth I need information, if possible from people who don't sugar coat things. I didn't mean I expected anyone to help in any Extra way, just as someone else has said forewarned is forearmed . I don't think that having a separate section or older children will stop it being helpful, to me it just seems unnecessarily devicive. Those with older dc should choose.

silverfrog Tue 08-May-12 13:09:11

one of the problems at the moment (and has been moaned about for quite a while now) is that the teens board (ys, i know this is not the same as a post 19 sector) is not very busy.

unfortunately, that is the way it is. the majority of the traffic is on the main SN board - whether that is posters with pre-dx, very young children, posters with teens, or posters with older children (or a combination of soem of the above, like me)

a section for post-19 will not automatically make people post there. it may well end up like the teens board - not posted on very often. threads on the main board may get picke dup by posters who have relevant experience, but might not look elsewhere, due to a lack of time (my issue - I don't go to the teen board, as I check the main area and then have to pop off to do somehting else).

for me, as a poster with a young child with ASD, and a stepchild with other needs (who falls into the post 19 sector), I find it easier to have it all on one board.

as for hmm at reading other threads being good for others - I thought that was half the point of MN confused.

bialystockandbloom Tue 08-May-12 14:46:11

I tend to think that the more boards you have, the more dispersed it becomes, and and the more likely it is that threads go unseen and unanswered.

Can't see why SN Children shouldn't be a catch-all, regardless of age. "Children" to me suggests that we are talking about our children whether they're 2 yo or 20. (I'm still my mum's child and I'm 40!)

As long as the thread title is worded right, it should be easy for others to spot who share the same issue or can offer experienced advice. eg I post asking for advice about quite specific issues re statementing & ABA and always put it in the title so people who know about it will see, and those who it means nothing to can ignore it.

Just think if there is such little traffic on Teens etc already, increasing the number of topics is going to make it worse, not better.

Also it would be sad to think that general support given and received has to be restricted to age or diagnosis.

SN Active Conversations sounds a good idea.

Lougle Tue 08-May-12 14:46:29

I am confused. I wade in on ASD threads because so many start with "parents of DC with ASD...." or "Does your ASD child...." If I waited for someone to post a thread titled "Does your child with a squiffy brain do...." or "parents of children with otherwise undiagnosed brain malformations..." then I'd have no chance.

So, while I understand the wish for a specific post 19 category, what's the point of having it if no-one can respond? What is so wrong about people with younger children offering advice? On SKIUK they don't have specific areas. I find it a bit sad that you don't want support from those of us here with younger children, 2shoes. I find it even more sad that you don't want your threads to be of value to other posters who think of the future and wonder what it will be like.

2shoes Tue 08-May-12 14:48:01

oh well said my bit and now will bow out,
I think it is a shame that certain age groups are homeless on mn but the majority will rule.

AmberLeaf Tue 08-May-12 15:03:15

But surely there is and always has been a place here for you 2shoes? I can see that parents of older 'children' are in the minority but thats just how it is as I think peope with fresher DXs will seek out info and thats how this community has grown to be one of mainly younger children [mind you thw ages do range a lot-not just teenies at all]

I think in people saying they value and appreciate your posts 2shoes doesnt take away from your needs, I think its meant as a compliment and to show that everyone who posts here has value?

This community works because we all share, it has been really helpful to me and even the threads that ive just read and not posted on have been everso helpful.

2old2beamum Tue 08-May-12 15:33:56

I wonder whether we are talking at cross purposes here. My feeling is when our DC's reach 16 + we are very aware that our children have probably reached their full potential where do we go now, do any of you know the heartbreak when your child (30) moves on. Just because it is not a child SN thread your advice will always be welcome, likewise I will always go on the SN DS site----if you haven't chucked me off.

StarshitTerrorise Tue 08-May-12 15:35:04

Agree Amber, and although I think an active convos style will work I don't think a chat will. I know it makes people feel vulnerable to post where it will stay but it IS a public forum and a public forum is the whole POINT of mn really.

People should understand this and word carefully or name-change if they need to. We know LAs read. Some well known posters are LA employees/SENCOs etc. It's up to the poster to decide whether it is worth posting what they want to in this context. In some circumstances it might even be a GOOD thing that some LAs read.

2old2beamum Tue 08-May-12 15:35:19

2shoes sad

I think it's strange how I feel I don't fit/ not that welcome either and my DS is only 11. I personally still blame the board changing and the whole restructure.

I feel if shoesy felt the same about the board as it was years ago she would have no problem posting her stuff under special needs in children, transition etc attached!!

TheLightPassenger Tue 08-May-12 15:55:48

It's a fine balance tho at times, sometimes I think many of us experience bad patches, where we are in a place where we want help/support in the here and now, and it's hard to focus on the needs of lurkers/people in a similar position ten years down the line. I think many mums to SN kids often aren't selfish enough tbh!

StarshitTerrorise Tue 08-May-12 16:07:12

I do think that posters who post supportively on threads of others are more likely to get a response to their cries of help too.

Sometimes it is important to have a presence.

HotheadPaisan Tue 08-May-12 16:07:13

That's how I feel sometimes TLP, I want to talk about some stuff to do with DS1 in a section that is not indexed and disappears in 30 days. This is all deeply personal stuff. Also, do the Friday night chat threads need to live on for example?

I know I can create a thread in OTBT and link, and I have done, it would just be easier and more convenient to have a chat subsection here. I can't prioritise the future usefulness of whatever I might over Ds1's privacy. And I really do question the value of the archives for chat stuff - most people want to interact about a specific issue now or to rant or offload now, the hardlinks at the side are as good as the archived in terms of who's who and what's what, and are actually easier to find and use.

Also, there can be long-running specific threads too on any topic, we used to have one on PDA for example and the main boards have their own of course.

HotheadPaisan Tue 08-May-12 16:09:01

Now ST, having too much of a presence is precisely why I n/c! It's a double-edge sword without a chat section.

so Star, what your saying is if you can't be supportive, tough!!

zzzzz Tue 08-May-12 16:16:07

I understand what you are trying to say I think 2old but really we often have very different experiences and are different places.

I have 2 children with sn, one life threatening, one whose education is so problematical I sometimes find it hard to think about anything else, I also have 3 other children who have the usual number of upsets etc.

There are not so many on the board who have the same experience as me. I don't know the heartbreak of having a 30 year old as you describe. Will I ever? I don't know, probably.

I don't think it our style to chuck anyone off. We are just disagreeing about format.

2shoes I'm sorry if I have infuriated you. You certainly are welcome as is deviant.

StarshitTerrorise Tue 08-May-12 16:23:00

No dev. There are lots of newbies that get loads of help who haven't been supportive - yet. But being supportive doesn't take effort. It can just be 'oh, OP, that sounds shit!' The OP might go out of their way when busy in the middle of making dinner to respond to one of your posts. It isn't a 'condition' but it can help.

ok Star, I see the 1st part, as for the 2nd, I have been supportive on posts but it's not welcome, then when someone a few posts down says exactly what I have and everyone thinks it's a good idea, that you shy away from what you can say.

I post this in the middle of WWIII.

I think it's sad that a question about changing the board structures has led to rows between posters. We are all posting as we either want support/want to support others/just want to hang out. I'm sorry that some posters feel that they don't fit in - I don't think anyone wants anyone to feel like that.

bialystockandbloom Tue 08-May-12 16:31:36

I personally still blame the board changing and the whole restructure.

What restructure? The only one I remember within the last three years is when the new sections (teens) were added.

StarshitTerrorise Tue 08-May-12 16:32:37

Hmm, I don't know that it is as straightforward as that.

The nature of the boards and timings etc. mean that things don't always happen in a polite order iyswim.

I just don't see what you see. I'm not saying it isn't happening though. But I don't know what can be done to make it better for you. Do you?

Do you really think separate sections would help with that?

when it all hit the news, it changed, ok I'm finding it hard to explain but it all went downhill from then. I have been back and forth and it still seems 'different' not the same.

StarshitTerrorise Tue 08-May-12 16:36:07

Also, I find that depending on all kinds of things I don't always get the support I am hoping for. Some posters I have a huge amount of respect for and who have helped in the past suddenly turn on me. It takes balls of steel at times to continue.

I think again it is just the nature if a largely annon group.

AmberLeaf Tue 08-May-12 16:36:34

Yeah what change? Ive been here maybe 18-24 months I think I dont remember anything different?

I suppose the answer one can or wants to support including profs, so plod on the way we are or right this minute the bottom of a cliff. Have fun everyone and take care.

AmberLeaf Tue 08-May-12 16:46:06

Im sorry you dont feel supported, but I disagree that no one wants to support.

We all have our own shit going on, sometimes I see SN posts pop up in active convos and I just cant click because I cant think about it all as my own life is too much at that time.

If im feeling strong then i'll try and be supportive.

I dont expect anyone else to do any different.

HotheadPaisan Tue 08-May-12 16:58:08

I still reckon we'll be back here in a year asking for more separation smile

I think the Active convo approach sounds great, can have as many topics as we like then.

But I do really want the chat section, I think there would be more posts.

TheLightPassenger Tue 08-May-12 17:00:02

I'm a bit tired today, and I must admit I've sort of lost the thread of who is/isn't being supportive to who, but in terms of changes to board and people feeling left out, I see it as two issues - one that's been around for 5 plus years on this board, that the majority of posters tend to be parents to kids with language delay/and or ASD, between about 2 and 8, so those who aren't in that position find it harder to find people with similar kids/issues to chat to on here.

and another issue, as dev pointed out, as MN has become more and more ?over exposed in the media, people are becoming more concerned about privacy, so if they are talking about SN issues online rather than at local support groups are probably talking about some of their personal stuff elsewhere, by PM/e-mail/FB etc. I include myself in that, I am as culpable as anyone, really.

I guess some of this is part of the natural life-cycle of a forum and its users, rather than being SN specific.

bialystockandbloom Tue 08-May-12 17:08:18

Dev do you mean the R stuff? I saw all that, and saw so many people who had been around for a while suddenly leave en masse. Thought it was a shame that the board lost so much experience and knowledge, and a shame that all those people lost each other to talk to.

But that's no reason to keep sections that nobody uses.

no one can or wants to support That is massively untrue and unfair hmm

notparanoidiftheyreouttogetyou Tue 08-May-12 17:41:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

yes Bialy the aftermath lol. Although I didn't leave as such, the board never felt the same. I kept coming back but still not right. Like I said my opinions/experiences are not needed as I said earlier I have post on threads and been completely ignored, yet when someone further down says the same it's welcomed. It hurts and makes you feel not welcome/or valued and makes you refrain from posting.

It doesn't bother me what sections is kept, my posts haven't really been about needing sections, but feeling part of it.

As for no one can or wants to, this was my opinion/experience and if you knew a little more of our story you would see where I was coming from in saying that. So not untrue or unfair.

AmberLeaf Tue 08-May-12 17:58:43

I have post on threads and been completely ignored, yet when someone further down says the same it's welcomed. It hurts and makes you feel not welcome/or valued and makes you refrain from posting

That happens all over this forum TBH. usually due to pace of a thread.

never used to and some of these are very small threads with not many posts, tend not to go on ones with large or numerous ones.

you know a lot of what I have said on this thread has been highlighted by others, proving to me you are not to have an opinion/experience. It verges on bullying, wanting me to leave...........

Now this could be just the way I am feeling on a very suicidal day, however it is still not giving me much hope in the board itself............yet again proving no change.

or maybe not bullying, can't think straight.............maybe singled out!

I'm not the only one in the thread to have said they felt a difference.

AmberLeaf Tue 08-May-12 18:12:13

I can only speak for myself but im highlighting your posts because I am trying to understand and yes maybe resolve some of the issues here.

Im genuinely sorry that yoou dont feel supported here, im trying to show that I am willing as much as im able to show support.

Oblomov Tue 08-May-12 18:16:17

All the traffic is in SN children.
It all depends on how you use MN, how you search. I always click 'Last Day' and then scroll down to SN from there. I have no idea how anyone elses searches !!

StarshitTerrorise Tue 08-May-12 18:34:18

Dev, there's you, 2old and 2shoes that have raised similar issues.

2shoes said goodbye, so there is no point in responding directly to her, 2old has been answered but not posted since so the conversation with her is on hold.

I'm not sure what is going wrong for you though as you say that you're not getting the engagement, but then when posters take stock and try you feel singled out.

Tell us what you woukd want to happen, ideally, that woukd work for you?

bialystockandbloom Tue 08-May-12 18:44:34

Dev I certainly didn't mean to single you out - I was just responding to something specific you said about the board no longer being supportive, and truly ime nothing could be further from the truth. No, I don't really know what really went on at that point, but the thing is that now, the board is made up of genuinely helpful, supportive and kind posters who only want to help and be helped themselves. No hidden agendas as far as I can see.

I agree, it is annoying when you say somehting and it seems to be ignored, I think this happens to many of us (me included!) but I try not to don't take it personally, think it's just the nature of the board.

Honestly I think it's a huge shame for you and others who, because of past events, feel there is no longer a place for them on this board sad

I think most of us on this thread, and MNHQ by opening this discussion, are trying to ask you what would help and make you feel more inclined to post?

2old2beamum Tue 08-May-12 18:55:29

star I am still here but have been busy with DC's. I am thinking about this thread and I can see both sides and my DC's spread across the board. I have got broad experience of SN as have had 6 (sadly 1 DS died at 13) I try very hard to stay neutral (me I am a wuss) However I do think a lot more could be done to make people feel more included, personally I don't feel left out. But what can we do to keep people feeling more wanted.

can I come back to this??

I have a pounding headache, can't think straight and really could do with something light hearted atm.

bialystockandbloom Tue 08-May-12 19:08:54

2old I can see why people might feel the board is ASD-heavy atm, and that it might therefore feel irrelevant/useless/exclusive to parents dealing with other SN.

But anyway what could - or should? - be done about this?

TheLightPassenger Tue 08-May-12 19:09:35

I think that the Friday night type threads are a good start at encouraging people to chat to each other, without being focussed on a particularly diagnosis/therapy/age group etc.

AmberLeaf Tue 08-May-12 19:14:09

thanks @ devientenigma

thanks Amber brew or wine

notparanoidiftheyreouttogetyou Tue 08-May-12 19:45:17

Dev, truly sorry that you don't feel included-you and I used to 'speak', many moons ago. However, even when threads are started e.g. Kids who can't attend school, you always point out that your situation is too different from others'. Not saying that's wrong or untrue, but I think people do get put off replying if it will be rejected as 'you don't understand'. The other thing is that I have seen you start despairing threads and people ask what's up but you don't return. Just suggesting that perhaps these things don't make people put in the extra effort, and nor does posting at every opportunity how unsupportive everyone is. Hope you take this as the explanation it's meant to be x

thanks, I thought I have said what was wrong on my despairing threads. I think maybe I don't return as I feel the thread is over, it's gone way down and sometimes I just can't find it. The SW gets annoyed at us (me and DH) because we are very much live in the moment. So if DS is having a good minute, we are. Maybe this is where I am wrong. I do feel I don't explain right at times. I do feel we have a really long history and tbh find it so hard to write everything in a snippet. Maybe it's time I called it a day on MN too.

You've obviously name changed and I'm no good at games but you have me curious who you are, what we talked about and how many moons lol, anyway I hope all is well for you and your family, take care x

Lougle Tue 08-May-12 19:59:23

Devientenigma and 2shoes, can I just say, all the other stuff aside, that my view of both of you is the same:

I have always, and will always value and respect your posts and the experiences you share here. I noticed that you were 'gone', but as I mainly lurk here now, and myself feel somewhat isolated on the board (not as I would like to be, but nevertheless it is how it is), then it's not that logical for me to be saying where's....?

I'm sorry you both feel so isolated in an already lonely world. I do too, just not sure how I can change it.

Deeply sincere and unmumsnetty hugs to you both.

(((hugs))) lougle, you have me crying again now.

2old2beamum Tue 08-May-12 20:16:37

lougle what you have said sums up my feelings To devient and 2 shoes more hugs unmumsnetty to you both and for you lougle. Let's all try and be supportive because we really need it.

notparanoidiftheyreouttogetyou Tue 08-May-12 20:21:50

Dev, I know what you mean; sometimes it's hard to sum up everything in a post, and threads do move really quickly. I post less now- I used to post daily - partly because I hated all the off-site bitching like TTR and on Facebook BUT I know that the important thing is what binds us all, regardless of the type of SN or age of child, is the need for support in finding our children's place in the world. Because of that, I know that people on here might not be able to empathise 100 per cent of the time, but it's better than most can manage in RL.x

Oblomov Tue 08-May-12 20:22:46

Am sorry to see so many people who feel so isolated and unsupported.
I very much apprecieted Lougle's p-o-v, on my recent 'why bother getting as AS statement'. I had no idea you felt like this Lougle. If I didn't tell you at the time, that I valued your opinion, let me say it now.
This is not good. We need to make sure this isolation/unsupported feelings by Lougle, Dev, and others, is addressed.

zzzzz Tue 08-May-12 20:24:26

We used to honk but it went out of fashion! grin

2old2beamum Tue 08-May-12 20:32:05

thanks to all for a start.


yeah but I always wanted a like button!!!

<ducks and runs for cover>

Anyway, I have just been looking at my old threads, wished I hadn't now lol

so not any clues, you were on TTR and FB, do I still have you on fb? possibly not if you are sick of me lol, inbox me who you were, go one be a devil...........I'll give you a biscuit

I want a "yeah, wot she said" button. grin

We all post when we are at our most down DE. I have looked back before. It didn't do me any good.

Can I have a biscuit. Jammie Dodgers are my favourite smile

Come and chat rubbish on the Friday Night thread Devient, 2shoes, 2old and lougle. I often don't post ATM but often lurk and snurk at the thread. Drink wine and chat rubbish about nothing. Sounds a good combo to me.

PaperView Tue 08-May-12 20:43:08

I've only read part of this thread but wanted to add my thoughts.

As someone struggling to even get a 'label' for DS2 i don't know which part of SN to use - children or SEN, so i don't. Its bewildering being in the situation anyway, especially for as long as i have (7 years and still begging for help) and when you come here for help its even more bewildering when everyone seems to know what they are talking about and where you should and shouldn't post.

I think the main thing to remember is that its not just current MNetters with SN children (of any age) that will need support/advice. There will be newcomers.

IMO it should be one section for Parents of children with ANY special need and another for Parents WITH special needs.

(((hugs))) to paper, battling that long is hard work, I know Iv'e been at it 9 year, although DS is 11 and has a few official dx's and no real/correct support.

biscuit biscuit biscuit biscuit biscuit biscuit biscuit biscuit biscuit
sorry meant to say Ben..............finish the packet lol

PaperView Tue 08-May-12 20:49:42

I should clarify that when i have posted, i have had support but its difficult to separate all the issues your child has into the correct sections on MN as a whole and not just on here.

thanks dev

mariasalome Tue 08-May-12 23:05:55

I'm feeling worried now that I might have missed acknowledging to someone's posts to me... and i definitely repeat what others say at times, usually when cross posting but sometimes out of sheer ditziness. it is quite hard for me to follow MNSN sometimes so any bitchiness flies right over my head

the whole many voices/ various nicknames /log on/ log off/ problem with dc & can't post for a few days stuff etc is really confusing, and I also go through phases of mumsnet 'crash dieting' when I try to click only a few threads, or not post for a few days etc.

I'm conscious that with an 8y old DS with asd, I'm a majority poster unlikely to have very novel insights... that said, with adult relatives with dementia, severe mental illness, learning disability, and a range of cancers (big familywink) this board has tutored me about much more than ds.

about caring, disability, vulnerability, isolation, worry, professional errors, education, unresponsive services, personal budgets, respite provision, managing a wheelchair with a baby, not being listened too, budget cuts, benefit hassles, legal wrangles and the usual general nonsense that pretty much every poster knows more about than they ever wanted to...

To me this is far too big a common ground to give up lightly.

Lougle Tue 08-May-12 23:06:02

The thing is, for me, that as soon as someone puts 'parents of ASD children..',etc., in the title, I am by definition excluded. But I may have some useful experience or knowledge. Those words remind me of our uncertainty with DD1. We're having a tough time with DD DD1, but the thought of having to give a summary of her before asking for support is exhausting. I envy those of you who can just put (ASD).

mariasalome Tue 08-May-12 23:09:25

Special needs:carers/financial and SN:education/development maybe?

zzzzz Tue 08-May-12 23:11:39

maria that is a brilliant post.

Lougle I sometimes suffer from dx envy too.grin

mariasalome Tue 08-May-12 23:15:08

For the record, thanks to dev lougle 2shoes amber and 2old as lurking on threads you've been on has always been enlightening. Speaking for myself only, I tend to be a bit scared of giving ideas or advice to people I perceive as way ahead of me in SN Knowledge unless it's on one of my pet topics.

mariasalome Tue 08-May-12 23:17:14

Now I needs to say hi to ben and zzzz grin right, am off to bed now as dh pointing how much I'm addicted to the iPhone (he has a point)

Davros Thu 10-May-12 20:35:40

Children and young people with SN/Disabilities (whatever age they are, they are sill our children)
Parents/Adults with disabilities
Products/Services for SNs/Disabilities

AmberLeaf Thu 10-May-12 20:53:26

Yes good post Maria!

2old2beamum Thu 10-May-12 21:16:25

Maria thanks

StarshitTerrorise Thu 10-May-12 22:48:24

Lougle, the ole ASD is a bit of a pain. It's useful for those that can use it I think, but it's only psychological. It actually means very little in defining terms and most of us use the Dx/definition as an approximate rather than an absolute I think, at least once you have lived with it a while and learned that the picture can be quite a bit less straightforward than it first appears.

Lougle Fri 11-May-12 06:33:59

I know, Star, and it's deeply unreasonable of me. I just hate it that the profs seem quite happy to accept that DD1 has a brain with subtle but extensive abnormalities without actually knowing what it means.

I feel trapped in a world where she's so able in SS and therefore I get lulled into a sense of 'I'm exaggerating her SN and she's not that bad', then I get crushing whiplash in the outside world when I come across NT 6 year olds who are light years away from DD1 in their abilities, hobbies, etc.

It even starts to hurt that my reflexive "this is DD1, she goes to special school in x town..." (i.e. she has SN) isn't really necessary anymore. People have already sussed it.

Davros Fri 11-May-12 10:03:18

Actually I just looked at the SN section in Education and its active and good. So maybe we should also have a separate Education section, possibly combined with legal/financial BUT I do think SN should all be in one place, maybe with a signpost in the Education section? I wonder though if being placed in SN it would put some people off?

StarshitTerrorise Fri 11-May-12 10:07:52

I don't think you're being unreasonable Lougle. It's an ambiguous situation/system and it is embedded in a culture and semantics and the confusion means different interpretations for good and bad.

silverfrog Fri 11-May-12 10:19:58

Davros - it might put some people off yes. another problem alongside that is that a lot of posters don't always know the SN section exists - because it is an active 'opt in', then posts don't appear in active convos, and I have seen quite a few posts since that opt in change (in behaviour/development, in parenting, in education) where the posters gets gently directed towards SN, only for the OP to say "i didn't even know there was one - where do I find that?'

a tricky one...

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 11-May-12 13:48:31

I never opted into SN, it was just there. This was the beginning of last year.

I had to EJ and I started posting on MNSN in around Oct/Nov 2010 - maybe a few months later.

zzzzz Fri 11-May-12 14:42:53

I don't think I opted in or out, but obviously hand is up and sitting up straight now.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 11-May-12 14:44:36


coff33pot Fri 11-May-12 16:30:26

I snuck in when someone left the door open............grin

EllenJaneisnotmyname Fri 11-May-12 16:53:30

It wasn't me...

yeah silver you don't need to clarify why you need to be on the SN board unlike the essays we had to write lol

bonceaswell Tue 15-May-12 14:17:58

some of this won't be helpful at all, but here's how the NDCS (Nat. Deaf Children's Soc) break it down













sickofsocalledexperts Wed 16-May-12 15:20:32

I only ever go on SN Children

latedeveloper Wed 16-May-12 19:27:24

I only ever go on the SN children but as only an occasional poster I should only get a quarter vote blush .

I totally get why a SN teens topic area is such a good idea but it seems they're are just not enough people posting there for people to get the support they're after. Would it be worth taking the opt out/in option off of the SN topics for a trial or would it quickly get messy?

PipinJo Fri 18-May-12 19:13:22

I personally would like to see CN and Teens together because you learn so much reading from parents further down the line and I forget that Teens exist!
I know what Ellen is saying but what if ie parent of DS child came for advice urgent and no DS parents around but MN of ASD dc who knew answer to ie statements would be same advice.
However lot more ASD threads here than other disabilities....I do not know if that is because higher ratio of kids or LEAs refuse to help kids with ASD or as parents we often have some of the traits ie PDA OCD that ensure our kids get what they deserve and won't stop until they do ie Star grin grin
But other MNs of non ASD dc may want to separate from us ...which I understand totally!

I think 3 groups would be nice! SN children (up to 17yrs) and education and legal, then parents with adult Children (so the children now over 18 yrs and now adults so a NEW one) and finally Parents with disabilities. I guess recommendations would fit into each group naturally according to who and what ate of person with disability.

PipinJo Fri 18-May-12 19:16:44

ate age

WetAugust Sat 19-May-12 23:39:46

OK - this consultation thread has run for a fortnight now.

Meanwhile the SN Education baord is still full of really desperate parents who are receiving no responses or many fewer than they wuld have had they posted in SN Children.

I find that really sad sad

When is a decsion on the way forward with these disperate SN Boards going to be taken please <asks nicely>

I'm nearly always around, as a parent of a child with down syndrome, however most don't want my advice as he's more ASD/ one size doesn't fit all.

doormat Sun 20-May-12 00:10:06

when i first became a member of mn there was no sn section whatsoever...when the sn section was built up by mn it was a relief...i had somewhere to talk, somewhere to hopefully find answers, hoping someone could give me a little hope...a little advice....i have made some great friendships with some mnetters on here through...without actually meeting anyone face to face....ppl on here are supportive and may i say all in the same boat...we all worry for our kids with sn

may i just happy what you have got because years ago on mn there was nothing.....

if my ds was still alive he would be 15...and i would of liked a teen would actullay help and support others whose children are growing up and for newcomers......

support should be here for all...despite age, sex, dx, non dx etc it is called diversity....remember that plz ppl

Davros Sun 20-May-12 12:06:24

If you have teens combined with children (as it used to be) it can freak out some people with younger kids. They don't want to read about how difficult life can be when our kids are older, about puberty and residential etc they are still full of hope and I'd hate to tread on that. I still go mostly on SN Children, although DS is 16, but I wouldn't start a thread or post something very teenage or for those further down the line on SN Children, I feel I should always try to be careful and sensitive to those with younger kids.

AmberLeaf Sun 20-May-12 12:31:23

I still go mostly on SN Children, although DS is 16, but I wouldn't start a thread or post something very teenage or for those further down the line on SN Children, I feel I should always try to be careful and sensitive to those with younger kids

As the parent of a 9 yr old, TBH id rather you did post freely.

I dont think you can say that parents with younger children 'don't want to read about how difficult life can be when our kids are older' you really cant speak for anyone else!

I dont think anyone should inhibit their posting content to fit the perceived sensitivities of others.

Davros Sun 20-May-12 12:51:53

I didn't mean they DON'T want to literally, I meant they often could do without it. I'm sure its not the case for everyone but I have found this to be the case in RL. In any situation on MN or in RL there are appropriate times to say things that can be helpful and times when it is not appropriate to share an opinion or experience.

PipinJo Sun 20-May-12 12:52:55

Dav I prefer to be open eyed's no good just reading Catherine Maurice and think everything will be ok...I learn a lot from the more experienced mums further down the road and I wondered where a lot of them went...until I discovered teens and felt a lot of knowledge is missing then....sometimes as mn to younger dc can't see wood for trees...but then we could also break it further to pre school primary juniors etc....I do think the larger the group the more power/support etc

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 20-May-12 16:27:32

OK, folks - thanks for all the suggestions and for the very interesting discussion.

To sum up, it looks like the majority would prefer:

Special needs: parents with disabilities
Special needs: children and young adults
Special needs: education - shared with Special Educational Needs in the Education topic (we'll figure out some way to do that)

With, possibly, also: Special needs: products

Sound about right?

Any mileage in a Special needs: newbies topic?

Or maybe a permanent sticky in Special needs: children and young adults, where we can welcome newbies?

AmberLeaf Sun 20-May-12 16:32:18

I think a newbies sticky is an excellent idea.

I like this idea "permanent sticky in Special needs: children and young adults, where we can welcome newbies". Unchartered did start one but as it isn't sticky it gets lost in the posting frenzy.

2shoesqueenofeverything Sun 20-May-12 17:09:02

oh well, i see no topic for post 16 so will give up

I'm not sure Helen. Education is the predominant topic in SN children and you'd find it hard to find a thread that didn't have some mention if school or the very least Local Authority.

robotcornysilk Sun 20-May-12 18:40:11

I don't like the idea of education being in with special needs children.

Well thats one down, how many more mn's eliminated to get the balance in SN right. For all those not in the know and want a teen/post 16/post19 section try SK.

robotcornysilk Sun 20-May-12 18:44:34

what is sk?

doormat Sun 20-May-12 18:45:35

agree deviant..there should be post 16 section x

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 18:47:24

I agree, Star. Brilliant idea to dovetail SN: children with SEN, but not SN:Education with SEN because you can't really separate out the home life from school life, so SN:Education is underused.

2shoes, I still don't understand why you feel your needs are so very different that you can't get support within the main SN board, and I'm still really sad that you feel that you can't give support to others. How does it help to reduce your pool of potential supporters and resources? You know, in 12 years, DD1 will be 18. Not that far away in the scheme of things.

TBH, I'm no surprised shoesy left at the end of the day we all have many battles day to day and really just want to fit somewhere..............some of us live on the internet, the problems we have with our DC mean we have become prisoners in our own homes. That is hard enough to deal with but to feel not needed/not welcome on a forum based on need is just as hard.

robotcornysilk Sun 20-May-12 18:49:47

dev I love to read your posts - in fact I particularly like to read posts by MNERS with older chn. I find them really helpful.

lol Lougle my DS's home is his school grin

There you go 2shoes, robot will read, although my DS is not that old yet.

robotcornysilk Sun 20-May-12 18:52:31

your dd is a bit older though isn't she dev? You see I have been paying attention!

doormat Sun 20-May-12 18:52:38

lougle i think matter of fact i know 2hoes has offered unwavering support to is not fair as her child has grown up...2soes needs answers to questions we coulnt even begin to imagine....a teenager is not the same as a child...they hve differing needs...

it ia not fair to 2 shoes and others to be discriminated against because of their childs age

lol yeah she is, not quite post 16 and not as needy as a lot on here. I also have 2 boys who are stuck in limbo, age 18 and 19, expelled from SN college.

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 19:20:57

"zzzzz no offence, but I can't help anyone else at the moment, I need it myself."

That's what I'm referring to, doormat. I am struggling to understand why 2shoes doesn't see SN:Children as a home for her issues, because children isn't the technical 0-18, it's the people you have parental responsibility for, regardless of their age.

Why doesn't 2shoes want our support? If I needed support I'd go to wherever I could find it.

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 19:26:09

It's not discrimination, is it? 2shoes is saying that we're not good enough to support her. She hadn't even given us that chance. She's also said that she's not able to offer support, but feels sad that she can't have support herself. I don't get that mentality.

doormat Sun 20-May-12 19:26:22

lougle maybe not to scare parents of ppl with younger children with sn....i must admit the last year of my ds' life he was in high school and i was worried sick what was going to happen to him re puberty etc....i cant answer for 2shoes but i can answer for myself if my ds was still alive and i would want a seperate section for sn teens i wouldnt want to worry parents of younger children

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 19:31:05

But we are all saying that it wouldn't worry us!

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 19:32:20

Don't you think I already think about DD1 in 10 years time??? It's not rocket science to think things get harder.

AmberLeaf Sun 20-May-12 19:34:30

TBH, I'm no surprised shoesy left at the end of the day we all have many battles day to day and really just want to fit somewhere..............some of us live on the internet, the problems we have with our DC mean we have become prisoners in our own homes. That is hard enough to deal with but to feel not needed/not welcome on a forum based on need is just as hard

I really am struggling to understand this seriously.

It seems self imposed. I havent seen anyone indicate anything other than her [and those like her] being needed and very much welcome.

Im also finding all this talk of shielding parents of younger children from the harsh realities a bit patronising, life isnt exactly easy now TBH!

Also re being a prisoner in your own home...why would you think its any different here?

doormat Sun 20-May-12 19:35:58

lougle it is a diffucult subject to braoch with an older child with i said i can only spk for myself...i couldnt bear to give parents the ins and out of a ducks bottom of what was to come broke my heart, when i learnt a few things and i wouldnt want to put someone is that position...sad

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 19:39:54

But are judging our ability to cope. The unknown is very often worse than the known. All of us are wading through the same stuff, yet it seems that once people are past a certain age with their DC, they disappear from supporting. It shouldn't be. We should all be able to support, no matter what stage. I personally would love to be a support to 2shoes, et al.

doormat Sun 20-May-12 19:47:49

lougle i didnt think any different and of course you would be a support to 2shoes et al...didnt think that for a for judging ability to cope...maybe you are right..i never seen it that way but i do get your point....but in my situation all i can say is i was devasted, i never thought that far ahead as ds was only supposed to live a weekend and the goalposts never really changed....i just lived day to day for 11 yrs with the fear that the next morning i would wake up and he would be gone iykwim...nothing was ever explained to me, only to just enjoy him whilst i could and when he started high school, they filled my head with all kinds that i never expected....

WetAugust Sun 20-May-12 19:59:13

So basically SN Education will continue to be unknown to most and unanswered.

Wasn't quite what I had in mind when i started this thread.

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 20:00:31

Perhaps a simple renaming, wet?

So 'SN:Children and Education'?

WetAugust Sun 20-May-12 20:01:17

Quite Lougle - the bleeding obvious, which is often overlooked grin

The BEST thing about MNSN is the lack of shielding and the blunt truth. It empowers.

I agree Cornsilk that there is currently a distinction between posters in SEN Education and posters in SN Children who predominantly talk about education. I would feel vulnerable in the education bit because there are some less than friendly/understanding professionals who hang out there, and I suspect some of them don't want to hear our whinges there either.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 20-May-12 20:08:12


oh well, i see no topic for post 16 so will give up

Does children and young adults not cover it, 2shoes?

silverfrog Sun 20-May-12 20:09:27

the problem is, there has been a SN teens topic for a while.

2shoes felt she did not get enough support there (sorry to talk about you, 2shoes). mostly, this was because not enough peopel post there.

one solution is to not segregate out - yes, the majority of posters on this thread have younger children, but we cannot magic up more posters with teen children. if they are not there when there is a separate topic, then likely they will not be there if the topics are integrated. that is just how it is.

what might change, however, is more general support, as more people will, by default, read the posts and threads. some of those posters might have relevant knowledge. the vast majority of posters on this thread have said they don't check SN: teens. so obviously they cannot help and support even if they have relevant info.

how is moving the topics back together (by majority decision, it would appear) discrimination?

it is not saying 2shoes cannot post - in fact, it is creating a space where more people may see anything that 2shoes does post.

I am sorry if 2shoes feels she cannot ever post on SN children, whether that is the board as it currently is, or whether it is a board of mixed children and teens. but I do not actually understand why she feels this way.

I agree with lougle - my dd1 is 'only' 8. but that is not so far away that I am oblivious to what may happen. jsut as when she was 2 and I started posting on this board, I read threads about what might happen once she got to pre-school/school, and statementing etc. because I did not want anything to come up and bite me in the bum - I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to know when I shoudl be starting to look at these things, rather than have them surprise me at the last minute.

and dh and I regularly discuss and revise our plans for dd1. dh (nor I, if it comes ot that) is not getting any younger. dd1 will probably not ever live independently. I am not going to leave it until she is 17/18/19 to address this - we are putting things in place now, and considering various options while we have time to 'mull over' them.

I have said this before, and got a 'well, I am not here to educate' reaction. but that is partly why people come to support boards like this - not 'just' for help with the here and now, but to see what else might be in the pipeline, and work out ways to deal with potential outcomes.

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 20:12:40

Well,'ve just said it all. The answer isn't more topics, more division, more segregation. The answer is more inclusion and breaking down the barriers that LAs and organisations would love us to see. Because the fewer the number, the lower the power.

WetAugust Sun 20-May-12 20:14:24

Isn't it obvious when 80% or more of education realted posts get posted in the SN Children section, that SN Education is actually a redundant forum?

Surely this has sorted itself organically.

All that's need is SN Children and Young People.

Scrap the rest <spekaing as the mother of an almost 24 year old>

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 20-May-12 20:19:09


Well thats one down, how many more mn's eliminated to get the balance in SN right. For all those not in the know and want a teen/post 16/post19 section try SK.

Oh dear. We're definitely not in the business of 'eliminating Mumsnetters to get the balance right'.

The idea of reshuffling the topics within SN a bit was purely to make sure people's threads were getting answered.

We interpreted 2shoes and you, devientenigma, as saying no one answers posts in SN teens, so, going by some of the suggestions here, we thought making one SN children and young adults topics would be more inclusive and, hopefully, mean threads started about teens/post-16s do have more chance of being seen - and posted on.

Apols if we've got the wrong end of the stick. But the intention was very much to integrate you MORE, not 'eliminate' you. God forbid.

It is heartbreaking for many of us with young children but long in the tooth wrt they system to inform new parents with recent dx but hope of support that there is often very little without a fight or resources, but we do it because we have learnt the strategies that make a difference as well as from our mistakes.

Why would this be any different for parents of older children. God my heart breaks when I see a new poster with a forthcoming dx.

But there ARE posters with older children who share their experiences and talk about forthcoming battles I.e the post 16 education funding issue recently posted about. I was able therefore to a) begin thinking about what I'd have to sort out for DS myself and b) sign the petition.

It was valuable for me and for the poster who raised it.

and yet again my post gets quoted, singled out, victimised...........................not entitled to an opinion, feeling, voice!!!

oops blush that wasn't to MNHQ.

All I am trying to say is everyone needs a place as life at home is crap and for some this maybe there only release.

AmberLeaf Sun 20-May-12 20:28:02

This is getting fucking ridiculous now.

I cant be arsed I really dont need the bother of it TBH.

silverfrog Sun 20-May-12 20:32:15

devient - agree that everyone needs a place.

I am still confused as to why this place needs to have a different name. especially since, from the time the topics were separated out, there have been complaints that the teens (and other separated out SN topics) don't get enough traffic, that the posts are never replied to, that it's like a ghost town etc.

surely the only sensible solution is to put all the topics back together, where there will be more people to see them?

I said upthread I have posted about my (adult) stepdaughter before, and chose to post on SN children because that is where the traffic is. I don't get why the fact it doesn't specifically mention post 16, or post 19 in the board title means that anyone feel sthey cannot post there.

yes and so do many others Amber

It's just a shame that some feel left out. I hate to think of anyone who doesn't feel supported or needed. That said I think I may bow out too..............and then some wonder hmm

AmberLeaf Sun 20-May-12 20:47:30

yes and so do many others Amber


I dont know why you are taking such an issue with me replyng to what you have said?

This is a forum, its a discussion.

I am replying to you! but you feel victimised by it? of course you are entitled to an opinion, but so am I too!

This is so ridiculous, some people here are trying to reach out to those that feel excluded yet still its the same thing.

It doesnt make any sense.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 20:48:34

I haven't posted on this thread, because I have no strong opinions either way, other than I like the fact that people can ask questions or scream or share good stuff without the rest of the world being judgemental or getting the wrong ideas about what is a concern or a success.
I post anywhere and everywhere, although I've got a 17 year old, I'm still a primary teacher and so sometimes I might be able to say something useful or not from that perspective.
I do have concerns about my privacy, so I have namechanged a few times, and if I think sharing something very specific might help another poster, I pm rather than go into details on the open forum.
I do think those with younger children are often helped and encouraged by a glimpse of the future. Even if it's a different sort of tricky, it's not as if most of us aren't going to get there at some point, and knowing that others have coped is less lonely.
So whatever is the outcome, I'll probably still be here, under one name or another. smile
I just want a solution that the majority if not all are happy with, and I'd like 2shoes to feel she's a part of it all still.

not need the bother

victimised by you, take a look through the thread, no need to explain my life to you and if thats what you call support I'm off

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 20:53:57

<looks at werebear of a DS sprawled on the sofa>

That's it really for me. He's going to be my child always and forever, however huge and mature he becomes. I'll always appreciate someone who understands that when I describe my worries or some of the hysterically silly bits, I'm not talking about an NT teen. Someone who will laugh, or pass the wine bucket with understanding and acceptance.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 20:58:12

Am I woffling in the middle of a bunfight and a flounce?
Aren't there enough people out there in RL waiting to kick our arses and be unpleasant to our children without it happening here? confused

HotheadPaisan Sun 20-May-12 20:59:46

There are lots of education posts are not getting answered, that needs addressing.

WetAugust Sun 20-May-12 21:02:10

Which is why I started this thread...

2old2beamum Sun 20-May-12 21:02:53

Come on ladies we are all in this together on this SN site don't lets scrap our DC's come first and we all have opinions. devientenigma and 2shoes give good advice.

AmberLeaf Sun 20-May-12 21:03:10

Devientenigma I have done nothing here but try to reach out to you including the PM I sent you the other week when you were having a bad day [as said in your posts on this thread]

If that has made you feel victimised and not supported then im sorry.

I shant ever bother trying to be supportive to anyone again.

I have enough of being made to feel shit for trying to help/do the right thing in real life so sod it im out.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 21:08:02

You both sound as if you've had a shit time in the real world and are short on patience and thick skin and all the rest of that stuff.
Sometimes the journey is a bitch.

HotheadPaisan Sun 20-May-12 21:13:08

If people feel strongly about a post-16/19 topic then it should be tried.

I want one bookmark to click for SN though so if all the topics can't be rolled into a single area similar to Active Convos then I would prefer the education posts and this topic to be combined.

It would be really useful if we could hide threads in a single view too <pushes luck>

HotheadPaisan Sun 20-May-12 21:14:13

Oh, there is SN Teens, ok rename or just leave that.

2shoesqueenofeverything Sun 20-May-12 21:16:14

I wish I could get this across , But I seem to fail every time, maybe it is my wording , but will try again.
my dd is 17, we are facing 19 plus, it will be the biggest step we have ever made.
someone with a 5 year old for instance will not be facing this, they will not know anything about it, anymore than I can now really advise someone with a 5 year old.
so I suppose I was looking for a new home,
I did hope the teens(sn) topic would work, but sadly it pre teens and teens.(strange that in the nt part of mn these are separate)
I just wish there was a topic for people like me with older "children"
sorry but I don't like the "oh well they are all children"
if that is the case why so many topics on mn as a whole. it could all go in one topic.

WetAugust Sun 20-May-12 21:21:03

My DS is 23. I still post on SN Children <although I avoid Early Years threads>

If you posted asking for advive on SN Teens, I wouldn't see it because I very rarely look there.

You could take that as lack of support. I just see it as not having time to click on every variant to see if there are unanswered threads on which I could share my knowledge.

I started this thread because SN Education threads frequently go unanswered. That's all I was looking for a solution to.

Is it a Carers of disabled teens/adults type topic you are seeking as I don't think that exists or is the 19+ issue seperate for you?

2shoesqueenofeverything Sun 20-May-12 21:22:33

WetAugust I was thinking of starting a thread in the teens topic(not the sn one) would be great to talk to you, would you?

WetAugust Sun 20-May-12 21:23:38

Of course 2shoes.

Something like parents of sn teens and adults? I could relate to that - children def v different issues.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 21:26:14

My DS is 17, he's at college and doing A levels. Hasn't worked out the difference between girl friends and girlfriends yet, but is managing other aspects better than expected.
But someone else could have a 17 year old with much more severe needs who will never make it to MS A levels and might feel that she really doesn't want to be in the same section as me wittering on about catching trains independently.
Likewise, I have also been the mother of the same DS at 5, and can sympathise with a mother of a similar 5 year old.
I suppose I'm saying that the support is more important than the chronology in my mind. I'm happy to talk to anyone about teenagers. In any location.

I think we need it to be like this

ACTIVE SN (all posts within sub-topic displayed)
-----------Special needs: parents with disabilities
-----------Special needs: children and education
-----------Special needs: teens and adults

Therefore 2shoes can post in a topic and not have to plow through us talking about Y2 SATS but can still benefit from others like Silverfrog who has an older SD with SN as well as younger children. The same goes for the rest of us who can either use the active or the sub-topics. Sorry to name you 2shoes but we need to make sure that all of us can use the boards inc you

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 21:31:14

So if I want to talk about DS and his manly urges, I can avoid frightening the horses and parents of children with SN? Sounds good to me. smile

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 21:36:31

Ok, 2shoes, I hear you. But, whilst I can't tell you 'I know how you feel' and I can't say 'me too' or whatever, I might know something about your thread. I might be able to google something which helps. I might be able to make you feel just a little bit better by acknowledging that at the end of the day, the options are crap.

Why, why, why does it upset you that it is teens and pre-teens?? I can't understand it. It's like <clutches for words> it's like someone wanting a topic for elderly parents and saying 'oh but sadly it's not just for really elderly parents, but those who are just getting on a bit too'.

It should be irrelevant. Either you can post and get support there or you can't. It strikes me as a bit territorial. I know you say you aren't in a place to offer support. But really, if a parent of a pre-teen posted about something and you knew an answer, why does it offend you if they are posting in the topic that you also call 'home'?

Genuine questions - If there was a topic called 'SN:Teens', do you think you would get your support? Do you think there would be enough posters to offer support? Do you think other people there would get support, if you are saying that you couldn't offer it? Would you want the MNHQ blurb to say 'please only post here if your child is over x age?' What age would that be?

Say a child has precocious puberty as part of their SN. Should they post in SN:Children, or SN:Teens? The Teens section would know more about having a child with SN going through puberty. The children section would be more 'age appropriate'.

Perhaps it's all irrelevant. We talk about 'stage not age', but you are saying that age really is important to you. I find that sad.

Lougle Sun 20-May-12 21:40:03

Fallen, I am increasingly frustrated and angry at the suggestion that the posters on SN:Children need protection from being "frightened" angry.

We spend hours on here building parents up, preparing them for taking action, etc. Parents spend hours being soft-soaped and patronised. Please don't start patronising us on this board.

I fully expect DD1's future to be frought with difficulty. I don't expect to be treated like a child who can't cope with the rating of the video angry

2shoesqueenofeverything Sun 20-May-12 21:49:08

sorry but I want to talk to people who are going through it, or have been through it, thats all really, I realise it isn't going to happen on the sn topic on mn.
I think it is a shame, but mn hq have gone with the majority, fair enough.

so why is there a teens topic and a pre teens topic in the nt part of mn?

2shoesqueenofeverything Sun 20-May-12 21:50:47

and Lougle calling how I feel "sad" is nasty.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 22:01:18

Wow Lougle, have you read any of my posts?
I've never patronised or soft-soaped anyone intentionally and I do think that knowing what's ahead is important. I've always been open about DS and his dx and the challenges involved.
Which is why I stay off some topics where I can't be squidgy and lovey-dovey if I think the poster is being ridiculous. I'm very puzzled that you think of me otherwise.

Teens and children are different.
NT or SN doesn't matter. Provision is different. How to handle things is different.

silverfrog Sun 20-May-12 22:10:49

2shoes, can I ask - where are you going to find these people to talk to? I can totally understand why you might want to, but the SN teens section is hardly overflowing with posters waiting to discuss these issues, is it? And I don't think that is because the subtitle of the topic is 'pre-teens and teens'

trying to equate the separation of pre-teens and teens over on MN main secitons is a bit odd, imo. there are (I assume) vastly more posters for each section, and the separation makes sense.

I can't remember when the topics in SN got expanded out, but pretty much ever since you have be bemoaning the fact that the pre-teens and teens section is hardly used. as i said before, posters cannot be magiced up to fill this seciton, nor can posters who feel it is not out of place to discuss the issues that arise with teens and post-19 on SN: children be made to post in a spearate section.

I am not sure what you want to achieve. I mean, i can understand what you want, and why you want it, but you have had that for the last few years, and it hasn't really worked. posts go unanswered; threads are missed. same for the education section, and the legal section (doe sthat still exist?)

for better or for worse, threads on the main SN seciton get answered a lot more frequently than in any other section. creating a post-19 topic woudl, imo, mean yet another ghost town area, where the odd thread gets posted and hardly anyone visits or answers (and remember I am facing some of the post-19 issues too)

2shoesqueenofeverything Sun 20-May-12 22:16:47

silverfrog why do you care?
you keep making the same point,
I won't win the one and I know it, but as long as I can get the point across that post 19 are not children they are adults and imo they should be treated as such, that is all I can do.,
I do 100% understand why people don't want more topics, oh dear they might not get an answer.
I just want some where that I can post about 19 plus that is all, I don't see why people keep on ....having digs tbh.
perhaps when you are facing it you will finally get it.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 22:21:50

2shoes, just as an aside and I'm not trying to shunt you anywhere, do you know this forum? Lots of knowledgeable parents, lots of students and young people with ASDs discussing all sorts of useful stuff.

silverfrog Sun 20-May-12 22:23:00

have you read any of my post 2shoes?

<yes, you can say my dsd is not my dd, but she is part of my family>

maybe that is why I care.

but clearly you cannot be bothered to answer a genuinely asked question. I do not understand why having a section labelled post-19 woudl make it any easier to ask any questions you have. that is what I am trying to get to the bottom of. especially since, over the last few years, you have been dissatisfied with the teens section. why would having a separate section make such a difference?

I totally get that you want to talk to people going thorugh the same thing. that is a large part of why anyone comes to boards like these.

but those other people do not seem to be there in any large quantity. having a separate section will not mean they appear, necessarily.

so why do you feel you cannot post on the main seciton, and hope (given the larger passing trade, as it were) that someone might be able to help? is that not better than posting in a section that may not even be looked at form one week to the next?

2shoesqueenofeverything Sun 20-May-12 22:23:16

thanks fallen, but she doesn't have ASD,
I am very lucky I have to say as I have lots of support from her school and elsewhere , I just think it is a shame that there is no where on mn for it.

however I am the parent of an 11 year old who gets no support and the support I am getting here makes me feel uncomfortable and even victimised at times.

Must stress at times.

2shoesqueenofeverything Sun 20-May-12 22:27:04

Silverfrog tbh you are being very rude. I have only posted what I feel, I can't change how I feel.
you have every right to your opinion,
i have explained it over and over, but you refuse to understand as it isn't how you feel.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 22:27:39

Sorry for the unhelpful aside then! I'm not very good at remembering stuff.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 22:30:37

Have we come to any sort of resolution then, that is possible?
The problem being that you can't snare posters and make them comply and post where it seems most appropriate.
One of the things that this thread has shown is that everyone seems to have different ideas about what is and isn't appropriate and useful.
WetAugust, are you still there?

pinkorkid Sun 20-May-12 22:31:56

Selfishly perhaps (as my ds is 14 so in the middle of the age range) I'd prefer there to be only one sn children and young adult section.

One, because I've had useful advice in the past from parents of much younger and much older children with sn.

Two, because life is already busy and I'm told I spend too much time on mumsnet as it is, so one sn topic is quicker to read through.

Three, if I need to post I've always done it in sn children because I know I'll get a quick response.

I understand that some posts are going to be age specific and people will want to target parents who are at the same stage and that it is potentially isolating if you feel other posters don't understand what you are facing or you may not feel comfortable sharing some of the dilemmas you face with a teen or adult dc with parents of much younger dcs.

Would it make any difference to establish the convention that we flag individual posts up with a key word at the beginning eg "teen", "young adult", "*pre-school*", "education", "lurking LA employees only", if we are keen to target a particular audience among the more general sn population? And just leave that out if you want input from anyone on the board.

I think if there are any posters who feel they prefer a separate topic for teens and young adults that we should keep it rather than lose their input on the sn board. If that's the case, could we just keep a sticky reminder at the top saying (as has been suggested upthread) that there is more traffic on sn children for anyone who would like responses from a wider audience?

my point exactly one size doesn't fit all and as you emphasized earlier it should be all about support. However I do think you also touched on something quite relevant earlier too.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 22:36:57

I just think there are enough people out there trying to put he boot in without us getting pissed off with each other. If anyone understands the sort of pressures and isolation caused by being the parent of a child with SN, surely it's us all?

and some literally more than others

silverfrog Sun 20-May-12 22:37:50

I'm sorry, 2shoes, I am being rude?

I'm asking a genuine question - quite politely, while being told I shouldn't care and have no right to ask it.


oh well.

I'm out.

skrullandcrossbones Sun 20-May-12 22:40:46

I would vote for a single 'Special Needs and Disabilities' topic.

Parents with Disabilities gets so little traffic it's not worth having a topic to itself. (I speak as a parent with a disability and also as a parent of a child with a form of special need.)

The thread titles give you an idea of whether a thread looks relevant to you or not.

MN topics need serious rationalisation.

HotheadPaisan Sun 20-May-12 23:04:34

Teens could be renamed post-19 and the rest rolled up into SN: Children and Education.

FallenCaryatid Sun 20-May-12 23:10:15

Or we could just all get cross and flounce and then we won't need any categories at all. sad

if you look back through my posts fallen you may pick up with where and what I have agreed with you

I'm a bit lost tbh.

Is THIS a discussion summary?

SN teens gets little traffic
SN children regular posters suggest it is merged with the board that does.
A couple of SN teen posters don't want that whilst expressing upset that teens gets little traffic.

WetAugust Sun 20-May-12 23:25:00

that's it in a nutshell Star

HotheadPaisan Sun 20-May-12 23:38:12

It was actually about bringing education into SN: Children originally, which should be done.

but that's another argument for should be all about support, being able to give it as well as feeling you have it. It's about not making some feel isolated as well as not isolating some etc etc

It also shows as with all SN, one size doesn't fit all and life is never perfect or easy with a child with SN.

PipinJo Mon 21-May-12 00:09:31

I meant education just to dissolve into the groups as SN children 80% of it is about school/statement/tribunal issues! I always forget there are other subgroups...and tbh I could input a lot into 'teens' and adult children even though ds only 7....I just forget they exist as not there on line on main talk page unless you expand it. I had totally forgot their was education never mind legal and have even opened recommendations I think?

Also I know our dc all develop at different rates but what we all have in common is whatever the development age the cronological age is vital as that could be the age statements finish, or school ends and college uni or supported living etc next, changes to DLA to PIP etc

I would like to see:

SN children and teens ( mainly because poor teens don't get much traffic)
SN adults
SN parents with disabilities

As dev says hard as one size doesn't fit all!

Lougle Mon 21-May-12 00:11:07

I fail to see how my expression of sadness that you view things the way you do is mean, 2Shoes.

This is a really simple issue. You can dress it up, you can strip it down. But either way, there will be no more 'traffic' in an area just because there is a section for it.

Codandchops Mon 21-May-12 06:33:01

I like the suggestion by Ben10

ACTIVE SN (all posts within sub-topic displayed)
-------Special needs: parents with disabilities
-------Special needs: children and education
-------Special needs: teens and adults

Surely this would cover all needs - teens and young adults are facing similar issues - either looking forward or going through the post 16/19 stuff. This wwould be inclusive for those who want to talk to people understanding the new issues they are facing.

2old2beamum Mon 21-May-12 09:08:11

I may be talking out of my arse but have we cosidered what our SN DC's feel. My 2 DD's now adult can read but have limited intellect. They would be affronted to be thought as children. I am not trying to protect parents with younger children they can still browse and offer advice.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-May-12 10:54:38


Which is why I started this thread...

Actually, we at MNHQ started this thread, WetAugust. As part of a general consultation with our users about reorganising the Topics list.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-May-12 10:58:34


I wish I could get this across , But I seem to fail every time, maybe it is my wording , but will try again.
my dd is 17, we are facing 19 plus, it will be the biggest step we have ever made.
someone with a 5 year old for instance will not be facing this, they will not know anything about it, anymore than I can now really advise someone with a 5 year old.
so I suppose I was looking for a new home,
I did hope the teens(sn) topic would work, but sadly it pre teens and teens.(strange that in the nt part of mn these are separate)
I just wish there was a topic for people like me with older "children"
sorry but I don't like the "oh well they are all children"
if that is the case why so many topics on mn as a whole. it could all go in one topic.

We have no problem with a separate SN: young adults topic, 2shoes. We are just trying to gauge whether the majority would prefer fewer topics (with, therefore, a greater chance of most threads being answered) or more topics (with a chance that some topics will be very quiet).

We're sad and shock that anyone would think our aim is to exclude.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-May-12 11:00:24


sorry but I want to talk to people who are going through it, or have been through it, thats all really, I realise it isn't going to happen on the sn topic on mn.
I think it is a shame, but mn hq have gone with the majority, fair enough.

so why is there a teens topic and a pre teens topic in the nt part of mn?

And we haven't 'gone' with anything yet.

zzzzz Mon 21-May-12 11:28:51

Goodness! shock this has all got very emotional and a little involved.

We can disagree with each other without seeking to exclude or upset.

We can hold totally apposing views and still support and learn.

Whatever the outcome it does not imply that those who supported that idea are more welcome, or have more place here.

I post on sn children, because 2 of my children have sn. I also post on other non sn topics. I don't visit other sn topics and so don't see the need.

For the record my children will be my children (both sn and not) forever, and I will be their mother.

For the record I do not need anyone to candy coat my possible future for me, I am an adult and perfectly capable of not reading threads I find unhelpful.

Helen my advice would be to look at the stats for who is posting where, and see what makes sense. Change is not always a bad thing. I don't envy you at all.......who knew this would be such a huge deal?

For me, it isn't that I WANT fewer threads, it is simply that I want fewer threads to go unanswered, because I have benefitted so much from this forum and have no idea what I would have done without it and am just gutted at the thought that there are people out there that don't know the ropes who get missed.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-May-12 11:40:48


Goodness! shock this has all got very emotional and a little involved.

We can disagree with each other without seeking to exclude or upset.

We can hold totally apposing views and still support and learn.

Whatever the outcome it does not imply that those who supported that idea are more welcome, or have more place here.

I post on sn children, because 2 of my children have sn. I also post on other non sn topics. I don't visit other sn topics and so don't see the need.

For the record my children will be my children (both sn and not) forever, and I will be their mother.

For the record I do not need anyone to candy coat my possible future for me, I am an adult and perfectly capable of not reading threads I find unhelpful.

Helen my advice would be to look at the stats for who is posting where, and see what makes sense. Change is not always a bad thing. I don't envy you at all.......who knew this would be such a huge deal?

Thank you, zzzzz.

We do look at the stats but that is not the basis for our decision-making here (though it might be elsewhere on the boards).

Our main aims are a) to arrange topics in a way that is as inclusive as possible b) to arrange topics in a way that ensures OPs stand the best possible change of getting a timely answer c) to be as welcoming as possible to newbies.

But we don't have to change anything at all.

HotheadPaisan Mon 21-May-12 11:41:46

Helen, can you make SN: Education appear within SN: Children?

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-May-12 11:49:28


Helen, can you make SN: Education appear within SN: Children?

Well, only by making it SN: Education and Children.

Is that what folks want?

We were actually wondering about SEN in the Education topic. And trying to make that a shared topic with SN: Education. How would that play, do you think?

HotheadPaisan Mon 21-May-12 12:10:03

Yes that would work well and get around some of the opt in issues. I really can see a time when the SEN boards are so busy we would need to separate out education from the general advice and support as more people find us but I'd like it to appear in one Active Convos style so I only have one link to go to.

If we do combine I would call it SN: Children and Education maybe but only because I started looking at the issues DS1 had first then thought about education but it was all really quite combined at the time.

It's tricky, SN Active Convos is what we need really!

HotheadPaisan Mon 21-May-12 12:13:21

Special needs: legal/financial isn't getting answered much either. I think the topics are good, with post-19 added, it's the fact they are not combined that is the problem.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-May-12 12:15:48


It's tricky, SN Active Convos is what we need really!

The simplest way to have an SN Active Convos is to only have one MNSN topic (called Special Needs) and then make it so that the thread titles specify what specific area of Special Needs you're discussing.

<sets cat among pigeons>

Lougle Mon 21-May-12 12:16:45

Helen, in principle that's great.Would you be able to get around the fact that the SN section is 'opt-in'? I'm wondering if we'd end up with posters who have opted in seeing more post than those who haven't, so perhaps confusing?

Oh well, tech's great, I'm sure he'd be able to sort it.

I still think a SN active convoys would be fabulous!

HotheadPaisan Mon 21-May-12 12:24:29

Helen, noooooooooooooo!

Do you know, one other option is to get busy with moving threads so everything ends up where it should be and we all click on the various topics as we should.

Or I hide all topics except the SN ones then my Active Convos will be right!

<full circle>

Lougle Mon 21-May-12 12:24:32

I think the trouble with that simple method, Helen, is that often when people first post, they don't know what needs to happen. So they might put 'behaviour'in the thread title, but the thread might actually hinge on inadequate educational support, for example.

zzzzz Mon 21-May-12 12:24:58

Feathers totally unruffled by that! wink.

Then again I am generally pretty inert a very calm person.

Also slightly distracted by having lost my all incompassing matron swimsuit and facing the very real prospect of taking my oh so octopus armed ds swimming in an ancient skimpy! shock blush

If only there was a little emoticon button to give the vibe of your thread (eg little water board for education or tasmanian devil for behaviour)

<ousts cat with unreasonable fantasies>

HotheadPaisan Mon 21-May-12 12:30:03

But there is a lot of crossover, it starts off about support and ends up as an SEN green paper discussion for example.

I dunno.

Helen, the techies must be able to do something like this:

ACTIVE SN (all posts within all sub-topics displayed)
---Special needs: xxxx
---Special needs: xxxx

I love the water board emoticon. However I've been told that there isn't an emoticon maker at MNHQ so we can't get our goose emoticon sad Surely MNHQ can employ an emoticon maker for the purpose of goose making??

Davros Mon 21-May-12 19:28:31

Oh dear, I wish I had never said that I am careful about what I say on threads relating to kids at the younger end, DS being 16.5yrs, but it is true.
I'm also guilty of not posting much on SN Teens although I wanted that section and do read it sometimes but I think the main reason is that I just don't use MN nearly as much as I did when DS was younger.
I also think it would be much easier if thread titles were very specific but I don't see how that one can be enforced. E.G. I always ignore something that says "Can you help?" but would be more likely to open and read and/or post on something that says "Can you help with bed wetting in 9 year old?".

PipinJo Mon 21-May-12 22:00:29

I went on SN teens last night and I posted in December and it's still on same pageshock
I just went back 50 pages here and still in 2012!

Just shows the 'underusage' and when one doesn't post everyone stops!

I never see many of the further down the road mums start threads on I am sure they still have issues as it just doesn't stop sadly.

So come on teen mums a problem shared an allsmile
Give it a go now as a trial before changes made and then decide if you still want to be separate.

Davros Tue 22-May-12 11:49:26

I don't post much for several reasons:
- I just don't need the support and have developed other places for support if I do need it but I genuinely just don't need it so much
- I don't think parents of younger kids can realistically help with issues such as "should DS be on the electoral register?", "which shaver should I buy for DS?" etc, whereas parents on the EGroup of his school really can help with those. I don't need to proliferate an issue to lots of groups iyswim
- I have seen most problems and issues a thousand times on MN in the past 9 years that I have been a member and have posted extensively in the past. Its someone else's turn to answer! and there is always the archive

FallenCaryatid Tue 22-May-12 17:36:44

I don't tend to start threads anywhere on MN, but I often respond to a question.
DS will be on the Electoral register, and he wet shaves now, because it's all about the danger!

PipinJo Tue 22-May-12 23:16:26

Ok MNHQ I don't know the answer to electoral register...I retract my idea of children and teens together then as I cannot help them back so no point to shared thread then.

FallenCaryatid Tue 22-May-12 23:21:32

I often can't help people back who have helped me, so I try to pass it on down the line and help someone else instead.
Like, karma, dude. smile

Same as me. Those that help me are usually way more knowledgable than I am. All I can do is learn from them an help the next person who asks!

WetAugust Tue 22-May-12 23:54:17

But the person will be flattened by the last domino confused

PipinJo Wed 23-May-12 00:21:32

oh Wet I feel flattened reading this thread tbh, I know your a mum to AS adult but don't leave us...I promise you membership will be on the house every yeargrin

madwomanintheattic Wed 23-May-12 01:59:00

I have been pondering this, and my pondering has made me more confused. smile

Fwiw, mnsn is reasonably new in comparison with, say, skinuk. And sn isn't the mn raisin d'être. (despite this, all good, the mnsn community has built up, but as a matter of course is still largely parents of younger children - this will change as time chugs along, obviously. The hiccups referred to that 'changed' the nature of the mn board have also prompted change in similar sites - (notably the Tia/ lanie tragedy and privacy concerns for skinuk etc). Media interest isn't new, but it has to be remembered that the mnsn media frenzy was instigated as a means of support for poster, whereas the skinuk interest was as a result of an external tragedy iyswim.

(rambling continues apace). Skinuk used to be all in one - teens and young adults mixed up with newborns and toddlers, not sure what they do now as I don't pay for membership (maybe someone can enlighten?)

I kind of see 2shoes as a Robin or Tia (I have no idea whether y'all know what I'm banging on about or not - but hopefully there are enough posters who use both sites to see where I'm going). Yes, posters of older teens/ young adults, some going through transition to adult services, some negotiating post 16. Usually these posters were in a position of 'giving' advice and support, because they had a wider experience of all things sn, and were old hands at negotiating the system. But sometimes they needed (and need, I assume) support, too, which certainly on skinuk was freely given. I haven't noticed any lessening of support offered to parents of older children (and I use children in all senses, inc young adults) on mn, and I wonder if it is as a result of infrequent posting (now) and newer posters not recognising faces, and so not being specific enough in the support offered? Everyone on skinuk knew that robin and Tia were the 'old guard' and responded accordingly. I don't see it being any different here, tbh, if faces are recognised.

Not having experienced an issue doesn't preclude anyone having empathy, tbh. And offering a shoulder or bouncing ideas around. I'm sorry that 2shoes and dev feel excluded. I do pop on occasionally and respond to posts in the middle of the uk night, but hadn't been aware of any ostracism. I know I've chatted to dev once or twice of a difficult night. grin

I think the support is here if you are prepared to accept that people won't have the same experiences (yet) but I do agree that this is probably where a more specific sn board like skinuk can offer a parallel support system for those in transition, where you will find those who have been there and got the t shirt. But if you do hop over, please do use mnsn as well! Otherwise we run the danger of the board only ever being a dx support board. grin we need to woo our parents of older teens so that they become the robins and Tia's of mnsn. The fonts of all knowledge etc etc.

I use the term lightheartedly, with the understanding that the lovely ladies named get as much support as they give, when needed.

A note of warning. I find skinuk harrowing as I am there so infrequently, and the complex issues of those involved mean that the bereavement board is a sad necessity. It is a different place.

That said, the cp-ers have taken matters into their own hands and are chuntering away on their own support thread (got to get away from all this asd stuff somehow wink) so I think the sn board is largely evolving of its own accord.

Anyway, congrats if you managed to wade through that and realise there is not a conclusion to be drawn <removes splinters from arse> but I wanted to get rid of the stream of consciousness drivel that has been buzzing round my head.

FallenCaryatid Wed 23-May-12 06:16:29

'But the person will be flattened by the last domino '

Celestial dominoes of love WA. Groke the vibe!

PipinJo Wed 23-May-12 08:28:04

ooh another board snki? Do you have link madwoman?

Fallen I am lost too?

I think what I was saying also is frustrating/boring for MNs to be on SN children and been there done it million times answering Qs but if then have an issue re Teens no one can feed back as have not gone down that road yet if dc still under 11yrs.

So no I agree now it should be seperate the Teens SNmns want it to remain seperate we have to respect that as they are there not MNsns children...maybe things will change when our generation hit teens...maybe not?

lol madwoman, I know exactly what you are talking about RE boards and the media hype. Thankfully you are up during the night for those, like me, who has difficult times wink and now I am removing the splinters from my own arse after reading............Pip I have inboxed you.

PipinJo Wed 23-May-12 08:44:18

thanks devsmile

Davros Wed 23-May-12 10:06:06

I absolutely agree with the Karma principle of not necessarily being able to help someone who has helped you but helping someone else when you can. Whenever anyone has thanked me for any help (quite a while now you'll not be surprised to read!) I always say "just do the same for someone else". Mind you, I think a lot don't but then they aren't lovely MNSNers.
I also agree that the teens section will thrive in time, you just all need to get there! The SN section was tiny years ago and now look at it!
Personally I don't feel unsupported as it is my choice whether to seek help and support and where to seek it. I am finding MN more useful for 9 year old DD (NT) now

or it could be that those not so lovely mnsners are just so stressed and caught up in their own plight to realise they have had help and support via a thread iyswim

WillowinGloves Wed 23-May-12 11:21:55

Have just caught up with this thread and haven't read my way through it all so apologies if repeating ...
I'm not very experienced with these boards and would find it easier if there were fewer of them, so that I know where to go for queries/research/support (both giving and receiving). But I haven't sufficient knowledge to suggest anything more specific!

zzzzz Wed 23-May-12 15:01:00

I have yet to meet a "not so lovely" mnsner....

Googol Thu 24-May-12 20:09:13

I haven't read all the replies but I discovered this evening that Directgov has a link to Mumsnet's Special Educational Needs thread (down the bottom of the webpage under 'more useful links').

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-May-12 12:37:50

Hello. Just coming back to say thank you - again. And to say that....

* We will look into the feasibility of having an SN Active Convos - love the idea; we just need to make sure we can make it work.

* We're thinking of renaming SN Teens - as SN Teens and Young Adults. Anyone violently object?

* We're still looking at making SN: Education dovetail with Education: Special Educational Needs (ie the topic on the main Education boards). ie one topic that you can access from either MNSN or from Education. To do that, we'd prob have to make the access from Education restricted by the same opt-in as MNSN - ie it wouldn't appear in Active Convos unless you selected the option to make it appear. But we don't think that's a huge issue.... Unless you folks know better!

* We're still wondering about Special Needs: legal/financial. Happy to keep it if most of you would find it useful - and make use of it.

Do let us know what you think.

And thanks for all your input and patience so far. We know this is all a bit of a headspin...

2shoes Fri 25-May-12 17:11:11

* We're thinking of renaming SN Teens - as SN Teens and Young Adults. Anyone violently object?

brilliant Idea

2old2beamum Fri 25-May-12 18:40:32

2shoes Right behind you

Just a very small point some of us old fogies have DC's who are not really "young adults" hope this does not exclude us!

FallenCaryatid Fri 25-May-12 19:03:02

Well.if the new middle age is around

2shoes Fri 25-May-12 19:34:57

2old2beamum good point, but they aren't old adults lol

2old2beamum Fri 25-May-12 20:44:18

OK you cocky lot-----you know what I mean you little tinkers. Just a thought will parents with pending dementia be allowed to join you. gringrin Whey hey here I come.
PS Guess who has fathomed out how to do emoticons despite 2 glasses of wine

2shoes Fri 25-May-12 21:48:40

2old2beamum the new room will have a couch in the corner just for old people like us

2old2beamum Fri 25-May-12 22:13:24

2shoes you flatter me however I would be honoured to share the aforementioned couch but we would probably fall off it laughing. LO's in respite so off to catch early Stannah stair lift upstairs

WetAugust Thu 31-May-12 00:51:20

Just noticed this thread is still running.

At this rate the problem will resolve itself as our kids will all be SEN-Pensioners before anything changes.

HRH2shoesofMn Thu 31-May-12 07:46:09


2old2beamum Thu 31-May-12 10:16:26

grin and I will not be here to hand out excellent advice

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