I remember when you were born, our first child, our boy, our son. We were filled with hopes and dreams for you, Daddy wanted you to be an Arsenal striker, fighter pilot and doctor all rolled into one (it's OK, he wasn't serious, well maybe not about the fighter pilot bit...). But what we wanted most for you was to be yourself.
Obviously, I don't think that parents of children with special needs are miserable moaners with greasy hair. Well not always. As for the greasy hair, I mean it in the metaphorical sense. In the way that, because of our offspring, we are sometimes viewed to be a bit downtrodden, frumpy, burdened, the underdog, the one (gasp) who is not much fun to be around.
Imagine a world where nearly two thirds of children were leaving school without getting good GCSEs. Parents would rightly be furious that their child hadn't got the right support at school. There would be outrage and a clamour for urgent action. But when it comes to deaf children, this is the reality that we face.
After spending a day at Putteridge High School meeting the students and the committed staff members, I am sure that the Inclusive approach to education really works. Putteridge does have two special needs groups, made up of children of all abilities and impairments, but the goal is for those students to enter the mainstream classes eventually.
What I am asking here is why does it have to be so bloody hard? All schools are given a SEN budget, unfortunately they are afraid of labelling a child at an early age, as are the County. The end result is a child who has no behavioural need is left to slide, loosing self-confidence in their ability.