There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
They were wise words spoken by Brutus in the play Julius Caesar.
Penned by the lyrical genius William Shakespeare and with as much potency today than in the historical period they were written in.
Brutus was discussing the final phase of the civil war and was persuading Cassius for their need to close off the enemy sooner rather than later; “the enemy increaseth every day,” he proclaimed.
His argument being that it was far more advantageous to act there and then – comparing it to the ebb and flow movement of a sea tide: to wait any longer could far outweigh the probability of risks they would face.
I think the same can be said for the army of SEND parents out there; united, we can grasp the moment to influence much needed change.
There are far too many SEND casualties of war – if we don’t do something NOW these will just continue to happen in depth and with magnitude.
The reality is that there are far too many children and adults without access to treatment or support (due to apparent funding costs), who are discriminated against daily (which is directly related to their disability/educational needs) and have lost many of their basic human rights.
Expectations that society should be and could be inclusive, but without the relevant frameworks in place, how do those words turn into action?
Children who are misunderstood and their needs are not being met.
Being excluded from schools – the numbers just keep rising and parents suddenly find their children off-rolled by persuasive county representatives who suggest it’s the most feasible option.
In some cases some children can’t manage a school environment, but that should not mean that they are not entitled to access some form of learning.
Instead, many children stay at home, waiting desperately for school placements, as parents just watch them fall into the shadows with little life or enthusiasm left.
With no news, no support and no glimmers of hope.
And sometimes, in the worst case scenario, families often get ripped apart by services who have a complete lack of training in what living with SEND really looks like.
The damage that can be done is altogether mind blowing.
Breakdowns often occur and some even result in severe crisis – my daughter was one of those and shockingly she was only an infant.
It is sad and beyond tragic, just like Brutus articulated:
Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
There are plenty of us parents out there – trying to represent our children who need us to advocate for their rights.
We are often lone warriors and the system we try to navigate is getting more difficult to steer through alone.
I would like to say that this is not the case, but so far, I have only met other broken soldiers, instead of an army that is strongly moving forwards united.
A life in SEND is akin to living through a battle zone – depending on how many weapons are thrown at us will determine how well we cope through the conflict.
Maybe it is our time – our window of opportunity to take action and put our army together.
We can wait, but the barriers are getting stronger.
On #WorldDisabilityDay I think we need to push through with our objectives.
First and foremost, we need a government minister who is specifically there to advocate for those with SEND and to whom concerns can be escalated to when needed.
Other departments have this procedural route to ensure rights are followed adequately – why do we not have a specific senior minister for SEND?
Are we to assume that it is not a cost-effective resource to invest money into?
It really is imperative that laws tighten and support those who are more vulnerable in our society – without relying on battled and weary family members to do this instead.
The sea has ebbed so far already and we need to grasp that flowing current as it leaves.
There are stories breaking the media daily and there is enough pressure, enough passion and enough determination to win this battle.
To change the way we view, support and are able to make reasonable adjustments for those with SEND.
We really need to seize the moment.
Our tide can rise; we can gather those ships.
Shakespeare said it. Why can’t we?
If you enjoyed reading this post please do give it a like and a share – I would love to hear in the comments any thoughts you may have on this subject.
Lastly, if you could spare a quick moment, please do sign and/or share this petition against the unneccesary detainment of those with autism/learning difficulties in ATU’s.