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Paving the Way

Early intervention for children with learning disabilities whose behaviours challenge

Josie: Out-of-Area Residential School

by Ann, Josie's mum on June 1st 2010

Josie, smiling Josie, smiling

Josie has severe learning disabilities and epilepsy that often lead to challenging behaviour. Initially she went to our local special needs school, but she was taken out of her classroom due to aggression.

A behavioural specialist carried out an assessment which concluded that Josie’s behaviour was due to increased anxiety. The Deputy Head then told me that my daughter could no longer attend the school and that she felt Josie should go to a residential school. Infuriated, I suggested that there was a behavioural plan in place, drawn up by the behaviour specialist and asked why it was not being adhered to at school when it was working very well at home. Despite this Josie was permanently excluded from school, which also meant she no longer had access to her respite centre. As a consequence this led to Josie having to stay at home for 8 months. I felt Josie’s only option was to attend a residential school, as she could not get the education or help she deserved at home.

Josie has now been at residential school for three years, about 200 miles away. The school provides consistency and enthusiasm, which is all that Josie really needed to help her progress. It angers me that this support was not available in our local borough, not only for myself but for all the mothers and fathers who are still in the same situation. Something needs to be done!

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