Having a voice & Being Heard 

 My Autism journey began the day I was born, before that really, but none of this was known to me, or anyone else. Not until I became a mother, to a child with significant difficulties, and although incredibly intelligent, articulate and adorable, was challenging, violent and controlling. We came to our son’s diagnosis in a very round about and traumatic way, which I share elsewhere online and has been a recovery process for me surrounding the way our family were treated by ‘the system’ in a search for answers. Ultimately, in 2016 he was diagnosed ASD/PDA and further into the same year, it was informally recognised by an expert in the field, that I too have the same neurodevelopmental condition. I do what I can to share our story as it was unfortunately not a rare account and many parents of Autistic/PDA children encounter similar treatment, the failure being that the children suffer, through long drawn-out diagnostic processes and lack of support. It seems from personal experience that once a SEND parent wins one battle, the next is waiting on the horizon, and in fact there are several wars ongoing at any one time. I am keen to advocate for this group of parents who face this scenario by representing them in my work and being heard by the services that impact on the lives of so many.

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