Last week, the dreaded letter arrived.
It had been a long wait of ten statutory days to find out the decision from the governors – would they act upon the advice they had been given at the review?
It was news I had been waiting for – they had followed the direction and decided to reinstate my daughter back on school roll. The permanent exclusion would now be removed from her file.
It was almost as if a weight was instantly starting to lighten.
The two years of judgements, the gossip, the tuts and the stares. The times I had been mis-informed or ignored. All of that was starting to feel less encompassing now.
The subject of information request I had trudged through scrupulously for the true evidence to come to light at the trial. Too many evenings I had spent at my dining room table swamped by papers and feeling out of my depth.
The ongoing joke within the family was that I needed to take a rest as I was becoming too passionate – a wannabe Erin Brockovich of the SEN world. Well they had one thing right – I certainly was a mum on a mission.
It can do that to you when you become systematically oppressed.
Of course the majority of the parents at our school are still none the wiser of our personal plight. Nor would they have noticed that I have been unable to do the school run because I have a child who is prohibited from being on school grounds.
Which is all well and good until you have another child still at the school.
The day the letter arrived, I dropped what I was doing and ran. I grasped the chance to do the school run with ALL of my children and it was momentous.
I walked around the playground, no longer embarrassed or afraid, but hand in hand with all my children. Together. United.
We were a family unit once again.
Something so small, so insignificant and yet a statement so powerful.
To have that right taken away from me was heart wrenching. No matter how much I complained or raised concerns that I was unable to take my middle child to school, or for me to accompany her to sports day, shoulders were shrugged and it was just a problem sidelined. It didn’t matter to anyone.
But… my god it mattered to me.
They didn’t realise the struggles I faced on a daily basis. The four year old I had to get picked up and taken to school by somebody else because I couldn’t be in two places at the same time; always crying ‘mumma’ as she left.
Or that I was at home every morning physically restraining the other one who to this day still gets herself dressed in her school uniform. She screams and cries as she claws away to escape out of the front door.
One crying to go, one fighting to leave and then add to the mix the baby at my feet in distress by all the noise around her.
All three children need me equally and every single day I feel like I am letting them down.
So, the day that letter arrived, it gave me a piece of me back again.
All I’ve ever wanted to be is just mum. Mum to all of my children, each of them unique, but all of them loved the same.
I held my head up high that day I walked back onto the playground. I was just another parent and that feeling felt good. Only I had the freedom to walk with all three of my girls for the first time in many months. I was beaming with pride.
This journey has been difficult so far but one that brings with it valuable life lessons.
I’ve found the school run arduous in the past but my passion has been ignited and my flame has relit. Who ever knew dropping the kids off could be so enlightening?
#school #autism #PDA