Passed with honours...

The rite of passage… I spoke to someone this last week and expressed all the things I would love to change within the SEND world. Whether it would be the small things to the really big things, there is more than space for improvement within the SEND world.

Coming into the SEND world is difficult…

It’s almost like having to struggle, fight and negotiate is your rite of passage. As if, until you have passed these tests and proven yourself you will not be able to withstand and endure the SEND world. But why is that? There has been so many other parents and carers before us, there is information everywhere you look and systems being changed all the time. So why are people still coming in, struggling and scraping by?

In my view, it’s simple… no one talks to one another.

We already know the systems, authorities and professionals in this world aren’t going to change their tactics and ways of dealing with situations, if they were going to they would have by now. Instead, we need to look outside of the systems towards the charities, organisations and supports which were set up to help. Now I know the good old saying of “you can take a horse to water… blah, blah, blah…” but surely where you can’t help somewhere, someone else could. We talk about signposting a lot in the SEND world but I feel there is a lot more improvement needed on this front. Organisations should be actively working together to share one another’s opportunities in order to reach more parents and carers. We all know a simple social media post can go a long way on a bad day. Having the option to have support is a blessing, sometimes one that is taken lightly.

We as parents also need to reach out more, not just to new parents but to all these organisations that are set up to support us. Whether it is following their social media pages, leaving feedback - whether it is negative (and constructive) or positive, all these little things can keep these organisations and charities afloat. Even if you never use them, need help or support someone else out there will and slowly but surely they could vanish. Join closed groups, share your stories and reviews of places and equipment, remind people that although a difficult but messy world it can be beautiful and calm. Be involved.

Look, this is just the tip of the iceberg of the things I want to say, changes I would love to see made and my hopes for the future, but for now let’s just support one another. Let’s just reach out more, support each other and support those who set out of their way to help us too.

Struggling should not be a rite of passage into a world that can be so amazing, no amount of systematical change will help the grief, the pain and the struggle, I am aware of that… but maybe, just maybe, families will start to get the right support at the right time and mental health wouldn’t decline so quickly. Charities and organisations will last a lot longer, families will be able to cope a lot better and slowly but surely changes will be made. Tracey X

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