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What do young people with SEND want to say?

Parents asked their children and young people to share their voices with us.

We asked:

  • If you could change one thing, what would it be?
  • If you could encourage people to understand one thing, what would it be?
  • Share what you want to say in your way - through a poem, artwork, images a project etc.

 

Sofia age 14 (ASD) (@goldylookfleece)

Sofia is a fantastic artist. She’s kind, loving and has lots of empathy. She’s very quiet and doesn’t speak unless necessary.

Sofia took this photo with her Dad.

 

“Sofia, if you could encourage people to understand one thing, what would it be?"

“People need to stop talking, addressing me like I am a four-year-old.” 

 

Alex, age 9 (@2tubies)

“Alex, if you could change one thing, what would it be?"

“I asked my old school a hundred times if I could be included in everything but they didn’t even try.”

“My new school knows I like to be included in stuff so they just do it. I did PE last week for the first time.”

"Just because I have a problem doesn’t mean I should miss doing science and P.E.” 

 

Louis, age 9 (@MsJoBillington)

Listen here to Louis talking about his ‘dream school’ for the BBC’s listening project.

 

Alexander, age 12 (ASD & ADHD)

"Alexander, what do you want to say about school?"

“It would help if they (my friends) didn’t call out and delay everything.

"(It helps) if the teacher tells me some words that they will use the next lesson so I can go home and look them up so I don’t have to try to figure them out and miss stuff."

"A school that understands me and doesn’t give me detentions when I didn’t know things” 

 

D, age 15 (autistic & non-verbal due to severe dyspraxia) (@everhopeful1000)

D communicates using Proloquo2Go, Makaton, writing, letter board, and stims. As a consequence, he’s easily underestimated.

This is a poem he wrote:

Haunting ideas go round my mind

I don’t understand what I might find

Lost in the brain my words hide

My remembering and language stay inside (D)

 "D, what do you want people to know?"

“That I understand everything that you say” 

 

James aged 13

“James, if you could encourage people to understand one thing, what would it be?"

“We're all just people but we sometimes need help. We're not naughty and we want to learn. Schools need training to understand what help we need. When we are upset give us time and space to calm down. Let us tell you when we want to talk.” 

 

Jade, age 11 (Dyslexia, Dyspraxia)

"Jade, if you could change one thing about school, what would it be?"

“That they tell me what I’m doing right, not what I'm doing wrong”

 

M age 9 has diagnoses of autism, ADHD & Dyslexia

“M, if you could encourage people to understand one thing, what would it be?"

"That people just let me be me without pointing out things like that I’m wearing my socks with dolly shoes, black leggings when it’s hot or dancing around like I want to be on a stage because that would just be terrible anyway!" (M)

 

Ben, aged 12

Ben wrote the following for a speech on equal rights:

 

L, aged 15

"L, if you could change one thing about school, what would it be?"

"For you to listen to what I say, not what you think the government will say"

 

You can download a PDF of the quotes in this post here

 

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