Struggle of autism parents

21st April 2006 at 01:00
Jane Willey, the mother who heckled education minister Lord Adonis at the House of Commons select committee, has acted as the voice of many parents of children with special needs (" 'Free' appeal costs parents pound;15k", TES, March 31).

A "Sendist" special needs tribunal is the last resort. Most parents do not have the time, energy, knowledge or financial means to reach that stage.

Too often parents are forced to give up work to care for their child with little or no support from local services such as home tuition.

At the same time there are appointments to keep, phone calls to make and letters to write as one tries desperately to find suitable education. It is easy to feel isolated and unwanted by today's society. This is the reality that Lord Adonis needs to wake up to.

Many young people are being failed by the system, particularly in the case of autism. To these families, the "Every Child Matters" slogan sounds rather hollow.

R A Lever 120 Westway London SW20

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