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This Is My Child - the new MNHQ campaign. Everyone come look please!

304 replies

RowanMumsnet · 16/08/2013 15:16


As lots of you will already know, we've spent the last few months working on a new campaign called 'This Is My Child' - and it's launching on Monday. (We're letting you know about it now because there's a rather nice piece about in in the Guardian this weekend.)

You can read about the background to the campaign here, but in essence it's about myth-busting and awareness-raising - so we'd really love you all to share it as widely as possible. We've consulted with Mumsnetters and the material is supported by input from some of the leading charities in the field: Mencap, Contact A Family and Every Disabled Child Matters.

Over the years on Mumsnet, parents of children with SN have described how their lives are made more difficult by the occasional (or not-so-occasional) judginess of members of the public. They've described how this can contribute to their isolation, placing limits on their social opportunities because they can't face the stress and disapproval that comes with public interactions.

That's why we came up with This Is My Child. Its aim is to support parents of children with additional needs, inform everyone else, and open up a conversation about how we can all act together to make day-to-day life a bit easier for these families.

The input of parents caring for children with special needs has always provided a fascinating perspective for other MNers, encouraging empathy and giving real insight into what life can be like. We're hoping that our myth-busters, tips for non-experts and strategies for parents and carers, along with our background facts and figures, will help to bring the wisdom and perspective of Mumsnet SN posters to a wider audience.

So if you like what you read and think someone you know would find it interesting or useful, please share it as widely as you can (you'll find our impressively large sharing buttons on each page Wink).

And for the Tweeps among you, we'll be holding a Twitter party on the #ThisIsMyChild hashtag on Tuesday between 1pm and 2pm; please join in if you can.

As ever, we'd love to know your thoughts and hear your feedback, so please use this thread to post up anything that occurs to you.


OP posts:
PolterGoose · 18/08/2013 12:15

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dementedma · 18/08/2013 15:13


Pawprint · 18/08/2013 16:34

My late sister had learning disabilities and hated being stared at. It was usually kids who stared - they didn't know any better.

To be fair, most adults were kind (albeit patronising).

I do remember a rude (and drunk) woman in a restaurant openly laughing at her.

My mum was v sensitive about tactless comments.

My personal bugbear is people making a big deal about how beautiful/cute children with SN are - as though that 'compensates', somehow, for their SN.

Themaneoftherose · 18/08/2013 17:45

Hi , I blog for Mumsnet about the humour I find everyday with my Asperger daughter. She's 17 and lots of people with younger ASD kids find it useful to see how their kids may develop. It isn't all scary, There is SO much fun in seeing life viewed through a different lens. My post this week is about a summer holiday job. Yes, they CAN work! They can laugh and they definitely see subtleties - just sometimes not the things you want them to see.
Please follow me and post your stuff. I think we need all the support we can muster from each other.

HarumScarum · 18/08/2013 20:35

I like this campaign a lot and will certainly share it, and the lovely Guardian article. Good work, MNHQ.

MissM · 18/08/2013 21:18

Love the gallery. What beautiful children!

MissM · 18/08/2013 21:23

I read the Guardian article yesterday, and have been thinking about the incident when a father in the park pushed his glasses down his nose to stare disapprovingly at one of the mother's children. I've been thinking about it all day, and imagining scathing put-downs I wish I could have given him on her behalf. What an ignorant, rude idiot.

kbewick · 18/08/2013 23:30

Everyone looks at my son and says he's not special needs, you are just making it up for attention because he does not have a visable disability. They don't know the daily struggles we go through with him and never truly will

cazzap06 · 19/08/2013 03:43

I used to end up in tears

Battling for my Grandson every day

Tutts , dirty looks , rude nasty comments

And it never , ever went away

Now I am choosing to ignore

And instead gaze into my Grandsons eyes

I'd rather see the world through this angels eyes

Than to the scorn , the misery & cruelty rise

He is happy even with all that he faces

They are not although they have it better

Walk in his shoes even just for one hour

And then let me know if you're still a hater!!! Smile

justaboutreadyforbed · 19/08/2013 05:17

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JaneMumsnet · 19/08/2013 12:13

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your supportive messages so far, and for sharing the campaign so brilliantly via social media - it makes all the difference.

We've had a national newspaper request for an interview on the phone today - they'd like to talk to a Mumsnet user about the campaign's main issues and the reality of raising a child with additional needs (and to include a photo of you with your child).

If you're interested, would you PM me or email //[email protected] so that I can give you a bit more detail?

And we may have other interview requests as the campaign goes on; if you're up for being interviewed to raise awareness of this campaign then please do drop me a line so that I can take your details.

Many thanks,

Serenity16 · 19/08/2013 12:13

This is a brilliant campaign. As a parent to a four year old girl with Autism, everything said rings so true, its the ignorance of others particularly adults. Lets get this message out there!!

Blu · 19/08/2013 12:18

Good article in the Guardian.

Maybe the Guardian themselves will think twice before peddling the myths expounded a week earlier in this uninformed load of bollocks by their columnist Giles Fraser.

Dawndonnaagain · 19/08/2013 12:48

Have rejoined so that I can share this. Twin dds chuffed to see their pictures up!

RowanMumsnet · 19/08/2013 13:37

Hello again

We'll come back and go through individual queries here soon, but we just wanted to post up this link to a Five Live interview with our own SarahMumsnet and another Sarah, a Mumsnetter, talking about the campaign. It starts at 2h 43m.

OP posts:
ScooseIsLoose · 19/08/2013 15:48

Great campaign mn Thanks my dd is 3 and we are currently going through the process of having her assessed and diagnosed for autism. We know she has it and have help and support in place for her already we are just waiting for the official dx.

I have lost count of the amount of times people have said oh she's fine or she will grow out of it wait until she starts nursery. I know they mean well but I feel like shouting no she won't you don't understand!. When autism was mentioned my husband and I thought it was the end of the world obviously we worried about our daughter and how she would cope with the world around her. We made the decision to educate ourselves about autism and now realise it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with her it just makes her who she is.

Dd continues to amaze us everyday with new things she learns or even just coming to me for a cuddle. We couldn't be more proud of her she's our amazing, beautiful little girl and although she will have her challenges (as will we) we will face them together.

Anything that raises awareness of any type of sn is important in my opinion and I hope that this campaign will make people stop and think before you judge, our children may not be 'normal' to you but they are our normality and I wouldn't change mine for the world.

StarlightMcKenzie · 19/08/2013 15:51

Can someone please steer KT Hopkins towards this campaign please......

I would like to see Hopkinitis as a diagnosed medical condition for the symptom of ignorant pignamous........

amessagetoyouYoni · 19/08/2013 16:03

Fantastic campaign, MNHQ. Hope it gains momentum.

My DS has Asperger's Syndrome. The hardest part of dealing with his condition day-to-day - by a country mile - is dealing with other people's attitudes towards his behaviour, towards our parenting of him and to disabilities in general.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 · 19/08/2013 16:04

She would probably just write something foul about it, knowing her

fanjoforthemammaries7850 · 19/08/2013 16:11

She causes real harm with the tripe she spouts and doesn't care one iota.

fightingforjustice · 19/08/2013 16:35

I am so glad that this campaign is gaining publicity - lots more is required to make the general public aware of how shabbily some children as well as the parents of children with disabilities/additional needs have been treated.
I regularly post on the MNSN board and some of the experiences of parents are absolutely shocking. My own ds who has an ASD has had to endure some terrible things and because of this I am pursuing a discrimination claim. This has resulted in threats of legal action against me if I persisted and attempts to discredit me and my husband. I am not deterred though and will carry on as if I win my case I will be highlighting just how badly so called 'professionals' can treat such children. I will be happy to talk to the media about this to increase awareness.

AmberLeaf · 19/08/2013 16:46

My personal bugbear is people making a big deal about how beautiful/cute children with SN are - as though that 'compensates', somehow, for their SN

Maybe they just see a beautiful/cute child? I know my sons SNs take nothing away from his gorgeousness!

Unless you mean in a 'she/he looks so normal' kind of way?

Love the campaign. Thank you Flowers

StarlightMcKenzie · 19/08/2013 16:50

A professional told me that it was a shame about my ds, but at least he would good looking as that would help people accommodate him.

SallyBear · 19/08/2013 17:12

Katie Hopkins (over-opinionated freelance bigmouth) has willingly earned herself such a bad reputation for saying vile things on tv, that surely most people will look at her outspoken behaviour as nothing more than shit stirring. Then we must do the same by ignoring her and focusing on making the 'This is my child' campaign the forefront of people's imaginations and understanding of life with a child/children who have Special Needs and disabilities.

There is a huge onus on the MNSN board about Autism, and whilst I have two DS with ASD it is worth bearing in mind that there are fellow Mumsnetters dealing with other disabilities that are just as important and valid to their families.

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