Have you ever had the experience that you’ve tried to say something, but no matter how hard you try, people just don’t seem to be listening? Maybe it’s been when you’ve been in a business meeting and that irritating colleague won’t stop talking over you. Maybe it’s been when you’ve had a difficult conversation with a partner and they’re just ignoring your point of view. Maybe it’s been with your parents, and as hard as you try they just don’t seem to understand you.
Or maybe it’s because you have a Special Educational Need.
This is one that doesn’t seem to spring to people’s mind. A recent statistic said that 1 in 8 people globally had some form of SEN, but when was the last time you spoke to someone with one? I suppose you never really know when you have or haven’t, as with many things, but I’m sure if you think about it, you may struggle. Those with SEN, unfortunately, seem to fade into the background beyond childhood, when they stop being in mainstream education and make their way into adulthood on a completely different path to your own. And yes alright, we all have those school friends we haven’t kept up with as they have done the same thing, but surely an entire community cannot go unnoticed by the general population?
So this is what I’m here to do. I am somebody whose family member has moderate special needs, and through the experience of living with them has come to learn how truly disenfranchised they are. Having shared their story with friends and colleagues over the years, I have realised how a lot of people don’t understand what has happened or what is happening in the world of Disability Rights in the UK because they don’t know about it. Not their fault, but still not right.
This is not to say that those with SEN are fundamentally voiceless. They aren’t at all; in fact, they have some of the most beautiful voices to be heard, and often the most shockingly honest. In writing this, and encouraging others to share their views, I hope to show how extraordinary these people are to more than those in their immediate social and family social. If just one person goes away knowing something new, or considering an opinion that they did not think they would, then that’s absolutely fine by me.
So, in light of this, sharing is truly caring, so if you ever stumble across this and have a story to share then please do so! If not, and you’ve never stopped to consider the view of someone with a SEN before, then please have a little read. You might surprise yourself in that you consider an opinion that you never thought you would. Treat yourself, it’s quite a fun thing to do.