Our pick of the most topical news around SEND issues this week
1. Is my child autistic? Four Grimsby parents tell us about their battle to get a diagnosis
Difficulties for parents in getting children assessed and diagnosed for Autism in Grimsby. CAMHS services in the area are very hard to access, with long waiting times and barriers put in the way of early diagnosis. This is not a situation restricted to Grimsby – access to CAMHS is a problem country-wide and leaving too many children without the mental health and Autism services they need.
2. Disabilities caused in babies by epilepsy drug a ‘scandal’
The epilepsy drug Sodium Valporate, often taken as Epilim, has caused severe disabilities in children born to mothers taking the dug in pregnancy. It is thought that 20,000 children are affected and new research suggests that the disabilities caused may be passed down to future generations, even though mothers are not taking the drug.
3. Down’s syndrome test could see condition disappear, C of E warns
This article looks at new testing for Downs Syndrome in pregnancy, and the chance that it could be “eradicated” in future generations as mothers choose to have their pregnancies terminated. However many would argue that this is a very negative take on a condition which is no longer a guarantee of a short life and limited prospects.
4. Children with special needs in Durham facing unacceptable waiting times because of weaknesses in system
Inspection of SEND services in Durham found “significant areas of weakness” in practice in the area. Watchdogs Ofted and the Care Quality Commission inspected the service between November 27 and December 1 last year.
Inspectors found “fundamental” weaknesses in the local area’s strategic leadership and governance, with leaders having an inaccurate view of the effectiveness of the local area.
5. Blocked aisles and inaccessible toilets: Britain’s shops are failing disabled children
Highlights the difficulties faced by parents of children with physical disabilities and complex needs when they need to change their children’s nappies or help them to take of their clothes to use the toilet outside the home. There is a severe lack of hoists and changing tables suitable for older children and adults. Changing Places toilets are needed – facilities with an adult-sized changing bench and hoist so that children do not have to to lie on a disgusting toilet floor. One of the families we know well has started a petition on this very subject;