The Local Authority had decided that Lola didn’t need an assessment and the letter would explain more.
When the letter arrived it stated that:
Lola’s special educational needs are not severe enough to be able to grant her an assessment. And due to LACK of evidence provided by the school they wouldn’t be assessing but recommending that the school make an appointment with the Educational Psychologist.
So this LACK of evidence that the school had submitted as part of her evidence consisted of 15 lines of illegible scribble. That is not an exaggeration. I was so mad that I cried. All that hard work had been for nothing. Absolutely nothing. The school knew I was applying, I had kept them in the loop, and they promised to start logging evidence, yet they submitted 15 lines of writing and all her previous medical reports which I had already submitted as part of my evidence.
Well luckily, me being me, had already written up my appeal, and It was bigger than the last lot of evidence. I resubmitted everything I could find and made a contents page and referenced everything I could possibly reference in the reports against each other to prove why she did need an assessment and that her needs were severe enough.
I proved that Lola was socially, emotionally and mentally behind by at least a couple of years to her peers. I proved that in the short time she had been at preschool, and year R and all those many months she spent at a private nursery has had no effect on her learning at all. I made a representation that she was in danger of or in the early stages of regressing. I sent my appeal to the courts. It was actually quite terrifying knowing that I was putting myself up there in the courts to actually have to speak on her behalf and fight them to assess her needs myself with no support from anyone.
Inside I was scared.
It was very rare for me to admit that I was struggling, I pushed on, I tried my hardest to rise above the feelings of hatred from professionals that my daughter was in the care of. If I admitted how I felt, then I was failing wasn’t I? On the rare occasion I had opened up and spoken about my feelings to someone, they gave me the best advice that I have ever received, advice that to this day I still take on board, and its the one thing I love to share with others when they ask my advice. I was told that once I walk in that room, I should shed myself of all emotion and forget about being this little girls mum, I need to become her lawyer, Her advocate, her voice. Speak for her, stand up for her and tell them what she is unable to tell them.
Ever since then that is exactly what I have done! I’m hard-faced and cold and to the point. And this is certainly not because I hold no emotion for Lola. In fact, It’s the complete opposite, I have too much, If I was to go in those meetings full of emotion and sadness for my little girl, then I would quite possibly be a blubbering wreck, which would, in turn, leave me vulnerable to the opinion of being unstable and I’d have the task of trying to defend my emotions as not being out of control/ depressed/ neurotic.
They would not take me seriously.
This was just the beginning.
What else would I have to fight for?
Why do I need to fight for what’s right? Why can’t they see what I see? Is it because of money? Probably. But I didn’t care about that. I will fight for the rest of my life for that little girl and the rest of my family, because we deserve to have a decent quality of life, together making those memories, laughing as a family, sharing jokes and cuddles and being proud of each other. And we/they will have one.