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There's a real problem on the SN boards

(475 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

GobbySadcase Thu 13-Feb-14 00:34:26

For a long time now I've been really saddened that I've not been able to post on the SN boards.

I took a brief foray into there when I was a newb years and years ago now and got my head bitten off because I have my own way of doing things with my children. I thought it would be a supportive, empathetic, inclusive place to be.

It happened at a time I was particularly fragile, so I retreated to the main boards thinking it was just me.

Having got to know some other parents who also have children with disabilities I discovered this was not the case. At least five others have left for the exact same reason.

Tonight I responded to a post which stated that I was somehow failing my children. The thread had been moved from a main board, I repeat I do not routinely go to the SN board due to the way posters have behaved to me there on three occasions now. In return I got a personal attack. Someone else backed me, they got further personal attacks.

Neither me or the others who have been attacked retaliated. We stated our views calmly and logically and got MEGA CAPITALS in return.

It seems to be becoming more and more nasty and confrontational on there as time goes on. My concern is that a parent undergoing the diagnostic process or with a newly diagnosed child is vulnerable, and as even saying you want to explore all options is a heinous crime on there may get attacked at a time that really isn't good for them.

I even specifically tell parents I know in RL not to go there, and why.

Thing is, what can be done?

Ledaire Thu 13-Feb-14 00:40:37

I was on there a few years ago and left after the sort of thing the OP describes. She's not wrong.

HanSolo Thu 13-Feb-14 00:45:16

I think it's a bit curate's egg. I have had some fantastic support on there, but on the other hand I've seen some very odd threads. I appreciate people need to let off steam when their children have chronic conditions, but I have been told my concept of disability is wrong hmm

Despite having a disability, and having a child with a disability, I obviously have no idea about what constitutes a disability nor living with a disability.

I think it's the old "If you're not with us, you're against us" mindset tbh.

Though having a username such as 'gobbysadcase' might not win you any friends! grin ...everyone loves Han, of course! wink

GobbySadcase Thu 13-Feb-14 00:48:12

It was to pre-empt the haterz.
If it was just me I'd live with it. But I know it's not.

WandaDoff Thu 13-Feb-14 17:25:44


Despite having a child with a disability, MN SN would be the last place on earth I would look for support.

defineme Thu 13-Feb-14 17:32:41

I've been on and off it for 8 years-I'm low profile, but I received a huge amount of support in the early days with ds1.
I am worried by your concerns as I've recommended it to lots of people
. Can you be more specific or link?

lougle Thu 13-Feb-14 17:56:36

If by 'support' you mean hugs and snuffles, you're probably not wrong. Although there are honks and the occasional hug, plus tea, cake etc.

If by 'support' you mean thick and thin, talking over the issues, mundane or massive, offering potential courses of action, etc., it's there in spades.

People who want someone to tell them they've got the worst life in the world probably won't want to post there, granted.

MothratheMighty Thu 13-Feb-14 18:14:27

I know the thread you are talking about, and the poster.
I've known wetaugust for years and years. She isn't a huggy squishy person, nor is she very good at sweetening stuff for a more moderate palate.
But when the shit hits the fan, she's the legal whizz with fangs, and she has given endless time to posters here and on other boards with practical advice, knowledge of legal, social and educational systems and how to make them give you what you are entitled to.
She has sent draft letters for posters too inarticulate, whose literacy skills and confidence are too rudimentary to form their own phrases.
She can sometimes be rude and grumpy, or go OTT, but because she rarely posts about her own circumstances, she doesn't get cut any slack either.
And she needs someone in her corner on occasion, because she's trekked a very long way for a very long time without any.
Yes, she does piss people off, but there are many others she has helped when no one else could, and for free. She has never fitted the 'Parents of children with SN are saints' image, but she's done some amazing things for others without needing thanks.
So, I'm sorry the shit hit the fan, and two people I admire ended up yelling at each other. But we've alweays said Sod Holland, it's more like Beirut.
Sometimes that creates wider problems for those in the melee.

PolterGoose Thu 13-Feb-14 18:56:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hazeyjane Thu 13-Feb-14 19:05:57

I agree with Poltergoose. I don't recognise the picture you paint. I looked at the thread you are referring to, and was shocked by how out of kilter it seemed on the sn boards.

I started posting about 3 years ago when it was obvious that ds had issues. I haven't seen 'nasty and confrontational', I have never been attacked for not following some supposed favoured method or option.

I have found support, advice, friendship, a place to celebrate ds's triumphs and vent when feeling down - I always recommend it to people who have concerns.

NewBlueCoat Thu 13-Feb-14 19:11:04

One thread. One.

And one poster too, actually.

And that is enough to (once again) shout "bullies!"?

I don't get it.

I'm not there an awful lot anymore (although more recently as I need the support as looking at dx process for my youngest 2), but I'd be very surprised if you could find another thread over the last couple of months where you could say the same.

So all this 'oh yes, it's always like that over there' is just bullshit really, isn't it?

Levantine Thu 13-Feb-14 19:12:46

I don't recognise that picture at all either. I was on mumsnet for six years before posting in sn. To me it is by far and away the best thing about mumsnet. I have had amazing support and very good practical advice, when there has been no other support available. It has been a total lifeline to me and I would hate to think that people in need of help might be put off posting there

Perspective21 Thu 13-Feb-14 19:14:22

Can anyone link to the thread, I've missed it...

I am shocked to read about your experience and views of the board. I have found support, some very useful and practical advice and friendship from others in a similar position.

I also do the opposite to you OP, I regularly recommend theses boards to RL friends. You will get the best info ever from our bunch!!

SauvignonBlanche Thu 13-Feb-14 19:17:32

I don't recognise the problem at all. confused

HanSolo Thu 13-Feb-14 19:31:23

I haven't seen a thread to which you're referring, but I have seen attacking behaviour before, from 2 posters in particular, but I wasn't taking notes, so couldn't tell you who'd they'd pounced on! (though once was definitely on me!)

They are both pretty antagonistic across the whole of MN, so I think it's just their character tbh and I tend to steer clear of them when I can.

bluebirdonmyshoulder Thu 13-Feb-14 19:34:48

I'm afraid I just don't recognize what you describe.

I have had a huge amount of support on the SN board, quite possibly life saving support (we'll never know) but certainly life enhancing.

OP, I'm very sorry you feel the way you do and sincerely hope that you find a source of support that works for you.

AliceinWinterWonderland Thu 13-Feb-14 19:38:42

If this is the thread I'm thinking of, it started in AIBU, did it not? So there was already a fair bit of arguing on there to begin with. Hardly fair to blame that on the SN board. confused

I have found the SN boards to be very supportive and helpful. Yes there are disagreements sometimes, but people who are living their lives stressed to the eyeballs on a daily basis can hit flashpoint pretty quick - but they're also quick to move on and get past it. We all have our days, and we try to cut people slack over it.

And we're all people.. just like there are annoying posts on the other boards, there can be annoying posts on the SN boards. We are not "saint-like mummies of children with disabilities." We're people, no different than anyone else on any of the other boards.

MothratheMighty Thu 13-Feb-14 19:39:47

That is the thread Alice. smile

autumnsmum Thu 13-Feb-14 19:46:49

Also as hazey says if you don't have an interest in a pArticular therapy for example I have no interest in Aba you just avoid threads on it

AtYourCervix Thu 13-Feb-14 19:54:59

I have had nothing but support and friendship from the SN boards.

i've not posted on the thread in question as I've only just read it and don't want to get involved in someone elses spat half way through.

ouryve Thu 13-Feb-14 20:02:31

You gave as good as you got, Gobby.

And it's a shame you want to tattle on an entire board full of people because of your interaction there with one person. Makes you look quite churlish, I'm afraid.

What exactly is it that you want to achieve, btw?

GobbySadcase Thu 13-Feb-14 20:12:00

Three threads over six years, maybe seven actually. Not with this nn but because I think a little differently from other people I have been called a bad parent. I've been told I'm not doing the best for my children...

For what it's worth I do fight. I fight constantly. I still don't get all the provision I need and to get told that means I didn't fight enough defies belief.

But fighting for three is much more than fighting for one. I have to prioritise. Health and education are the main ones at the moment so I have to let respite slip. Does it help me cope better? No. Does it mean I can fill in a simple form or write a letter? Absolutely not. I just can't do it. I'm fought out to the point of inertia. I'll bounce back eventually but what a shame there's nowhere here I can exchange experiences with because my mindset doesn't fit.

Did I make any personal attacks? Tell people to fuck off? Call them cunts or a bit dim? You can read my posts, they're still there because I didn't.

The only thing I regret is that it started on another poster's thread, hence why I started this one. If you read back others agree with me. Yet more people also agree but I completely understand why they haven't posted.

This is not a recent thing. It's been going on YEARS. I completely agree that support is given on the SN boards but only if you are prepared to do as you're told.

GobbySadcase Thu 13-Feb-14 20:12:43

Oh, and unless those three individuals name hanged it's three different posters on those three different posts, by the way.

lookdeepintotheparka Thu 13-Feb-14 20:19:34

Don't post there very often now but have done in the past. I've had experience of wonderful support but have also had some rather harsh, unnecessary responses to posts at times. I did go to other, more gentle and supportive forums because of this although I still find it a very useful source of information.

ouryve Thu 13-Feb-14 20:42:06

Well, that's not my experience, Gobby. If you've had this from 3 different people, whilst many others haven't experienced it at all, then given the frothing you're doing now, maybe the problem is with your perception of events. Maybe, as you did yesterday, you read something that's not there into what is written and on the defensive, far too easily.

And there are many of us on the board with more than one child with additional needs of some description and/or health concerns of our own. You are not unique. Yes, it is exhausting and something does have to give, sometimes. For me, what I don't have the time or energy for is a "poor me, everyone's so meeeean" act.

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