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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:
thescribbler · 19/08/2013 18:19

If I was Giles Frazer I'd be suing Katie Hopkins for plagiarism. Isn't what she says pretty much what he says in less sophisticated language?

googlyeyes · 19/08/2013 18:31

I agree we should completely ignore Katie Hopkins. Don't give her one iota of oxygen

EechieOchie · 19/08/2013 18:32

Looking at the photos brought tears to my eyes. Lovely.

greener2 · 19/08/2013 19:32

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Dawndonnaagain · 19/08/2013 19:58

DS is off to university in a few weeks. He has AS. The uni will be putting in support, we've had meetings and it's all arranged, but most importantly, off he goes to do Literature (not maths!) and live a life. I'm scared silly, but equally, he's made it and I'm so proud. One down, two to go. Yep, I have three children with Asperger Syndrome!

JustGeri · 19/08/2013 20:13

A couple of friends linked this article and campaign on their FB pages so I had to take a look. You see, I am no a mother but I AM THIS CHILD.
Though now 45+ years old I am not longer a child per se but I certainly remember being that child. And that child is now this adult.
I am not part of any formal organization but I do have my own website: // and a FB page of the same name: Just Call Me Geri.
I would be most pleased to offer any support, advice, encouragement, "Dos and/or Don'ts" or whatever may be useful for this awareness campaign. I enjoy going around to schools and talking with students because as far as we have come I love seeing the "light bulb" going on in the children's eyes as they start to "get it." I talk about my life experiences which include being given up as a baby b/c my biological parents did not want "this child" to be their child. In the late 1960s society was indeed undergoing changes as to what might be acceptable and I was given a chance to live out in society as opposed to being institutionalized. I was enrolled in public school in 1972 before it was legally mandated that special needs students be accepted. I was mainstreamed before mainstreaming became a term associated with educational practices.
I welcome anyone to contact me if there is interest.
In the meantime, all good wishes for a successful campaign. I have already shared this article and site on my FB page.
Best, Geri

Summerhasloaded · 19/08/2013 20:26

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.

Sallybear is absolutely right. I have two children with ASD, but there are many here with other disabilities.

And yes, ignore KTH. She's being deliberately outrageous to get a following - all publicity is good publicity and all that!

missorinoco · 19/08/2013 20:32

This is an excellent campaign, I especially like the "What you can do to help," section. Photos also good, agree the comment made by one parent - Would you know unless I told you? for many of the pictures.

Well done MN and all the contributors.

justaboutreadyforbed · 19/08/2013 21:04

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StarlightMcKenzie · 19/08/2013 21:24

How do you get to see the other pictures in the gallery.

The first one is absolutely gorgeous but I'd like to look at the others and the buttons don't seem to work.

Also, the pic I sent in doesn't appear to be there. Not sure why but assume there must be a reason!?

glummum · 19/08/2013 21:25

you might not like this, but I think you need to get rid of the word 'special' - children with disabilities and teens are not treated as special people when they arrive in the adult world - they are treated as scroungers, are friendless, and excluded from most things. My daughter who is nearly 21 has been patted on the head, has been told she is beautiful and touched by strangers in shops and I've been told to offer up her 'suffering' to a higher power, it's all a load of bull - its a tough world out there. Then there are the children who stare and their parents pull them away in case they 'catch it'. We need to concentrate on teaching 'ordinary' children, and 'parents' AND health care 'professionals' that disabled children/teens are equal to everyone else.

EllenJanesthickerknickers · 19/08/2013 21:31

Yes, the MNSN board is dominated by autism but I guess that just reflects the predominance of autism in the population as a whole. Not a lot we can do about that, but I think we do try to be as inclusive as possible. Lots of threads about education, DLA etc are just as relevant to other disabilities. Threads celebrating little successes are always well supported.

EllenJanesthickerknickers · 19/08/2013 21:32

The picture I sent in isn't there, either, Star.

piedpiper4 · 19/08/2013 22:22

Thank you for mentioning selective mutism. My dd has this and as it's so rare people really don't know how to react around her. Reactions can range from anger (she's very rude isn't she?), fear (no, she really can't play with my child because.....well refer to the previous reason), to being patronised and babied. Education really is the key.

Pawprint · 20/08/2013 03:05

Hi Amber - I'm certain the children are cute :) I just think some people can be a bit patronising.

SallyBear · 20/08/2013 04:52

When total strangers say to you (sometimes in front of her) 'What's wrong with her?' That is intrusive, clumsy and rude. She does not actively want to draw attention to her looks. She was born that way. So when I reply 'Nothing is wrong with her' that is because she is the most courageous person I know and I couldn't be more proud of being her mother.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit · 20/08/2013 09:36

Fantastic campaign, love today's guest blog. It's opened my eyes to the way some families are treated.

muchadoaboutsomething · 20/08/2013 09:55

Hi. I just want to add that yes MNSN has a lot of threads about ASD. But there are so many other threads on their including some long running ones on other disabilities.

I have a child with another disability, but still find the ASD ones so useful. For example I took DS to a clinic last week where there was a teenager who was clearly very disabled, in a wheelchair and non-verbal. He had 3 adults with him (2 ambulance and I assume a parent) He made a lot of noises and I still have no idea how to answer DS when he says what's that noise? My heart went out to them and apart from just saying it was another person in as matter a fact a way as possible, I had no idea what to say in response.

SunnyIntervals · 20/08/2013 10:03

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Mrbooandsissyboosmum · 20/08/2013 10:03

I am very pleased to hear about this. My son (16.5 months or 14 corrected) was born at 29 weeks and, as a result of contracting meningitis on day 3, has cerebral palsy, infantile spasms (a 'catastrophic' form of epilepsy), global developmental delay and is the happiest and loveliest boy you could ever meet. I started a blog about him and our family (including his lovely nearly 6 year old sister) a few months ago partly to work through some of these challenges and also to raise awareness. I wrote a post about people staring last week which lots of other parents of SEN children seem to relate to. The judgement is quite hard to deal with sometimes.

SallyBear · 20/08/2013 10:26

Sunny - the fact of the matter is that when you have a child with a facial disfigurement or craniofacial issues, there comes a point quite quickly when you cease to see it yourself and just see the beauty in their eyes, or their smile, the softness of their skin, the curl in their hair. It's hard dealing with the stares and there have been occasions when I have said "Don't stare" to people because it infuriated me. My DD has so much spirit, that once you realise that you stop noticing her lack of ears, her scars, her hearing aid attached to her head and you see a courageous, funny, bright, and pretty girl with huge eyes who so much gumption that you marvel at what else she will achieve in her life. This is my child, and I love and admire her for her uniqueness, strength and compassion for others. You would too.

confusedmuch · 20/08/2013 10:36

Thank you MNHQ and all the brave parents who stepped up to say what I couldn't, care don't stare x

RowanMumsnet · 20/08/2013 10:41

We're really sorry about the missing photos - not quite sure what happened but the most likely explanation is that they got lost in the welter of things that needed to be done over the last couple of weeks!

We will try to track them down and add them over the next few days. Apologies again - definitely nothing intentional (unless there was a tech issue with some of them).

OP posts:
SunnyIntervals · 20/08/2013 10:42

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fanjoforthemammaries7850 · 20/08/2013 10:42

Muchado..I would just say that was the teenager expressing his feelings.

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