Suffice to say…
… that i was NOT impressed by the EP report that dropped through my door this morning – thank goodness all those other people actually LISTENED to me!!!
Here, for your approval, is my reply to him, copied to every person that he sent his report to!
With regard to your report, which I received today, I wish to point out some inaccuracies.
Firstly, I corrected my daughters name spelling at the time â€“ her name is spelt M**** and her sisters are F*** and A*****, not Francis and Emily. Given that this report appears to be reflecting on our family choices somewhat, I think it would be courteous if at least the details were right.
F**** DOES NOT have â€œsevere difficulties with speech articulationâ€ â€“ she has a few distorted sounds go with her condition of cleft palate and is perfectly intelligible to anyone who talks to her. They are NOT issues that Maddy has mimicked in any way. I was not aware you spoke to F**** and find your judgement rather offensive. I very much doubt if H. R., who sees F**** regularly, would agree with your remark.
Maddy DOES NOT like to go to bed with no clothes on the bed, in fact the opposite is true, she likes to be warmly and tightly wrapped up. I am concerned by this inaccuracy, partly because it suggests to me what I communicated to you was not really listened to, and partly because it makes it sound as if I leave her to sleep uncovered in some neglected fashion, which I certainly DO NOT. She DOES NOT have a positive pattern of sleeping; she wakes several times a night, wets the bed several times a night and often lies awake at night for hours, requiring a parent to be with her to keep an eye on her and comfort her.
With regard to toileting, I think I made it quite clear that Maddy wets herself FREQUENTLY at home, needs even the slightest dampness to be changed at once (backed up by nursery staff experience) and has to poo in a nappy. Toileting is a BIG issue for Maddy, not a minor â€œsometimes wets herself at home.â€ I imagine just about ANY 4 year old would be covered by that remark!
I do not think a 30-minute observation of Maddy in nursery constitutes long enough to understand her fairly complex personality. Its notable that all the people who spend any length of time with her think the opposite of you and in fact diagnosed her with Asperger Syndrome last week.
With regard to you comments regarding our educational choices for Maddy, I wish to make the following points.
Home education is a legal and accepted form of education and in itself is generally accepted to be highly successful by anyone who spends time actually informing him or herself about it. Perhaps you might be interested in the research of Paula Rothermel, of the University of Durham, who has done considerable research into Home Education.
Your remark â€œchildren being educated at home can dictate the pace at which they work through the curriculum. This sometimes results in an uneven profile in which the child develops abilities and skills in certain subject areasâ€ illustrated EXACTLY why we enjoy home education. What a TRULY terrible thing that a child might be allowed to work at its own pace, spending time cultivating a love of certain subjects and skills in certain areas! Sometimes it strikes me that the people who have lost touch with what education is about, are the people running it. There is very, very much more to a broad education in our home than what is on offer in small, easily digestible packages via the National Curriculum. More than anything, my children love to learn and that seems to me to be an excellent premise for allowing them to continue to do so.
Our reasons for home educating are partly that we would CHOOSE to allow our children to develop passionate interests of their own rather than being turned out as clones how have all had identical information put into them. It may interest you to know that we have just had our educational provision assessed by Elaine Coward of the Education Welfare Office, who is â€œvery satisfied that [we] have and continue to give careful consideration to [Francesâ€™s] program.â€
As I made VERY clear at the time, Maddy has a full and busy social life with a wide range of children, older, younger, of both sexes and in different settings. We are by no means a reclusive family needing school to give us a social life. She attends music classes, ice skating, several groups, has both schooled and home educated friends and goes on group holidays several times a year.
You seem to me to have been somewhat prejudiced against considering my worries and I feel this is related to my choosing to reject the â€˜precious school systemâ€™ for my children. Since you suggest I need to keep an open mind to Maddyâ€™s educational provision, may I suggest you do the same? Since I am the one currently using LEA nursery provision, but who has gone to great lengths to research and decide what I might offer my child beyond that, I think WE are far from being narrow-minded about it. Whatever your opinion of my choice, it is a legal one and one I am entitled to make without the pressure and disparaging attitude you seem to have taken.
I asked for information to help me assist Maddy â€“ thank you for your book recommendation. I shall see if any of the other professionals are able to supply me with it. I was, however, hoping for a positive set of suggestions tailored to the findings of your testing but it looks as if I am on my own there.
Given the inaccuracies of this report and your attitude towards us, I prefer that we do not meet again. If Maddy requires the further assistance of a psychologist, I would prefer to deal with another person,