Describe your child’s overall experience at school?
She didn’t have a good experience. There wasn’t any knowledge of her as an individual. She had a poor start at primary and wasn’t diagnosed unitl secondary school. There was no or very little knowledge of autism.
How did your child’s school life impact on your development?
I spent every lunchtime at her primary school as she bullied. I had to give up work when she went to secondary. I paid out for private tuition and drove her to school everyday, using £600 per month with little income.
How did your child’s school life impact on the family?
Her stresses and frustrations caused numerous arguments at home. Her dad couldn’t understand her, which nearly caused a relationship breakdown. I always took her side. Her dad was going to move out.
How did your child’s school life make you feel?
I felt extremely bad about the situation. I cried buckets. I just wanted her to make lots of friends and be happy.
Did you access any support as a parent/carer? If so, what support did you access?
The support came after a Teenage Life course with the National Autistic Society. Support is not naturally given, meaning you have to fight for it yourself.
What support would you’ve liked for yourself and your child?
The primary school should’ve realised that Lauren was slightly different and should’ve offered us transition support before secondary. This would’ve made the outcome very different and we would’ve chosen a different secondary school. I would’ve liked continued support for the family, as there was often meltdowns and challenging behaviour.