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SEN Goggles ... A Parent's Viewpoint

SEN Goggles ... A Parent's Viewpoint

At the Start...

Your beautiful baby is born, a baby that you vow to love, cherish, and protect forever. Months go by and things seem ‘normal’. She smiles at you, reaches for you and is happy when you are near. Maternity leave is in full swing and you attend ‘baby groups’ and that’s when you begin to notice small details. You begin to compare your baby to all the other babies at the group. ‘Little Dylan’ will happily go and explore the environment, babbling and waving away. Your baby is stuck to your lap with the look of fear in her eyes. You think nothing

In the blink of an eye, maternity leave is over, and it is time to settle your baby into nursery. Mum guilt is tearing your heart out but deep down you know it must be done. As time passes, your baby is becoming more and more ‘toddler like’. Nursery announces that they are having parents evening and you jump at the opportunity to see how your toddler has settled. “Monitoring” they say. “Concerned” they express. “Referrals” they propose. “Plans” they suggest. “She’s fine at home” you counteract. Confused, you are.

Your mind begins to wonder and google becomes your new bedtime read. She’s too old for baby groups now so you begin to attend ‘stay and plays’ on your day off work. She’s developed a stutter and her speech isn’t too great. ‘Little Emily’ comes over to you both and asks, “What dat?” whilst pointing at the toy your child is holding. Your child attempts to answer but cannot get her words out, she becomes frustrated and pushes Emily over. Emily’s crying. Your child is screaming with her hands over her ears and throws herself onto the floor. You feel overwhelmed. You feel embarrassed. You feel ashamed for being embarrassed. Never again.

The nursery years fly by, as do the plans and reviews that are in place there. Social events become less and your both happiest at home in your own little bubble. Appointment dates seem to be the 45th of Marchembuary at 15 o’clock. Your left to find your own way of getting through each day and each obstacle. You find comfort in virtual friends across the globe who share similarities within their families. The transition to school is around the corner and you've just found out that you are expecting a new addition to the family.

Shinade Duffus

SETTING-BASED SENDCO