Letter: Special needs

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The Independent Culture
Sir: My son has a statement of special educational need and I was offended and hurt by your leading article of 18 September. You obviously have no idea how traumatic the statementing process is for parents. Many experience great difficulty in getting professionals to diagnose their child's problems, let alone obtain the support and help their child needs.

My own son has a diagnosis of semantic pragmatic disorder/ atypical autism. I did not, as you stated "need something to blame for my child's poor performance or behaviour". I needed to secure the help that would enable him to fulfill his potential and be successfully integrated into school life. A statement enabled the school to employ a support assistant in the classroom and a lunchtime supervisor.

Yes, the school may gain financially if a child has a statement. However, it is the local education authority that decides whether to assess and statement a child, not the school.

I agree that the statementing process is bureaucratic. The process of obtaining help needs to be made easier, not harder. If we invest in these children now, we will save more than money in the future.

ANGELA LEA

Kidderminster, Worcestershire

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