I have a feeling this post is going to turn into a bit of a rant so turn away now if you don’t want to feel the anger of an annoyed mother.
This morning I received an email from school entitled ‘swimming certificates’ I opened the email to be informed that ‘each child in year 3 and 4 have achieved a stage in swimming’ brilliant I thought, just brilliant considering Livvy isn’t able to access swimming lessons due to the pool not being safe and the council dragging their heals in making alternative arrangements for her swimming lessons or adapting the pool to include Livvy in the lessons. The email read that each child in year three has achieved a certificate, Livvy is in year three the email was sent to me therefore I’m presuming that she has a certificate coming her way!!!! I have been accused of being a tad sarcastic in the past but I don’t see where people get that idea from?
Let’s hope there isn’t a big deal made of this great achievement, although I can imagine that each and everyone of Livvy’s year group will be paraded in front of the whole school to show off their certificates, probably in the end of year achievement assembly, at the same time as the 100% attendance certificates are handed out. Something which again Livvy will never achieve, not through illness or lack of trying but through life saving surgery to remove cancer from her perfect skin.
I just love the way school is so inclusive! Such as on the final day of term all children are having a teddy bears picnic out on the playing field, all children have been instructed to take a packed lunch to school. Such a great idea, 10 out of 10 for whoever thought of that one! Livvy of course won’t be included in the teddy bears picnic and will be having her own picnic in her classroom with her TA, it’s great to feel included the week before you turn 8 years old!
When you don’t fit in with the normal mould that society has created the world is a cruel and difficult place. I have found that some people will adapt their plans to include Livvy to the fullest whereas others turn their backs like she doesn’t exist. If they can’t see her then they don’t have to include her, Livvy rarely gets invites to parties, she listens to her friends talking about them but it’s easier for parents not to invite Livvy than have to make slight adjustments in their plans, heaven forbid that they should have to close a blind on a window!
Livvy has a hard life ahead of her, there’s no way of getting away from it, it’s the truth. But what annoys me so much is it doesn’t have to be that way, it is society that puts blocks in front of her, its society that forces her into a corner time and time again, its society that can’t find a way of including her!
When I go to pick her up from school later I will make a point about these swimming certificates, the teachers already think I’m a crazy over-bearing parent so let’s just fuel the staff room gossip one more time before the school year is done. If they were living with a daughter with XP that gets excluded time and time again I can bet they will be the first ones complaining and banging down the head teachers door, but they aren’t and they will never know what it feels like to be the one sat watching from the side lines time and time again. Looking out of the window on the last day of term watching all your friends and peers enjoying a teddy bears picnic whilst she eats her own in her safe classroom. Schools are very good at inclusion when you fit into a box but as soon as you fall from that box you are on your own no matter what they claim. Do you know that corny saying that gets used by bosses of big corporations, ‘there’s no i in team’ Well I have a saying for you, ‘there is an i in inclusion!’
3 thoughts on “Inclusion!”
i was so sad reading this as it seems some schools have taken a step backwards, my son was 4 when he was diagnosed and in our area Social services and the Education department did everything to make sure he was included in school activities. For example for Sports day, they had a UV tent which he could sit under while he was waiting his turn and a few fellow class mates were invited to join him so he was not alone. The local swimming pool could not have the windows filmed but they had some tall mats that were put against the windows for his lesson. For school trips I was asked beforehand if we could help them to make it possible for him. to attend and in all the years he was at school there was only 1 trip that he could not attend and as he was not the only child that couldn’t attend they arranged an alternative trip. It is all possible if schools work with parents rather than against them. I know its’s easy to say but don’t concentrate on the parents of the children that don’t invite Livvy to their children’s parties concentrate on the ones that do. My son only had a few friends that included him,but they are now still friends and I am still friends with their parents. My son is now 23. My motto over the years have been don’t think about the things he can’t do and work on the things he can. With this motto it helps me to get through the times when things are working against us
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Thanks for your kind words Sandra. That is amazing that the school changed a trip to include all children. I know that Livvys school would never, she has to fit in the best way she can and if she can’t then she misses out. It’s so frustrating as at home I don’t feel she misses out we just adjust our plans where needed it’s not difficult or rocket science it’s just common sense
it’s such a shame that the school are not engaged in helping LIvvy. When a school shows that it cares about all disabilities, the children then grow to be much more accepting of them. I am currently volunteering at the World Para Athletics and there are lots of school children attending. You can tell from their enthusiasm that they are just treating all the competitors as sports-persons and not looking at their disability