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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:45 pm 
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Education Authority taxi trouble sends boy with autism 'into meltdown'

https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belf ... s-16861070

Officials have apologised

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Aodhan got very upset waiting for school transport that didn't arrive (Image: Belfast Live)

A mum has told how a transportation error sent her special needs son 'into meltdown' as he started back to school.

Joanna Speers, 24, got a letter from the Education Authority outlining taxi arrangements to take her five-year-old to his special needs school 11 miles away around three weeks ago.

But when September rolled in she found out Aodhan had been left off the collection list causing "chaos" for the family.

His heartbroken mum told Belfast Live: “Going back to school for a child with special needs is stressful enough with the change in routine - the Education Authority want to be ashamed of themselves.

“I got a letter about three weeks ago to say transport had been put in place and to ring [the number provided] to find out who his taxi [driver] would be.

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The letter sent to Aodhan's parents (Image: Belfast Live)

“Aodhan was due to start on Monday and Sunday night came and still no word.

“I text his old taxi driver and he said Aodhan was not on his list. So I text another old driver and he said to leave it with him and he would try and get it sorted.

“He rang me back to say Aodhan wasn’t on any list and the Education Authority didn’t have him down for transport at all.”

As a result Joanna said she had to drive Aodhan and another little boy to Knockevin Special School on Monday, but that a teacher told her “the Education Authority said it should be sorted” for Tuesday.

“But we weren’t given a time,” she added.

“I had to get him up and get him dressed and leave him sitting from 8 o’clock this morning waiting for someone to knock my door.

“No one came to pick him up so I put him in the car and brought him to school again this morning.

“The state my child has been left in while waiting for his taxi is nothing but heartbreaking.”

Joanna, who also has a nine-month-old baby said the situation created havoc at their Downpatrick home.

“Once you get Aodhan dressed you literally have to bring him out the door because he thinks he’s going and he doesn’t understand,” she explained.

“If he’s not going then he starts to go into a meltdown, will head butt the wall, slap at himself and pull his hair.

“It’s just so upsetting to watch your child like that.”

The young mum said she also relies on the time her little boy is at school to “catch up on sleep” with the baby as Aodhan doesn’t sleep much throughout the night.

“He has autism, severe learning difficulties and behavioural problems. He is five and completely non verbal, he can’t speak at all,” she added.

“I was so stressed.

“It would even be nice for the taxi driver to drop by the house,” she continued.

“Some of the parents had a taxi driver and expert call to their house and introduce themselves and say ‘this is who will be bringing your kid to school’.

“No one has come near me and a few other parents.

“They are just expecting us to wait for a stranger to knock on the door and take our kids to school.

“Aodhan can’t talk and can’t tell you how his day went or how his trip in the taxi was.”

The Education Authority “apologised unreservedly” to the Speers family and said the issue has been resolved for tomorrow morning.

“We transport 85,000 pupils to and from school each day and this year we have received 25,000 new applications for transport assistance,” a spoksperson added.

“While the vast majority of children’s journeys operate smoothly there are situations where we encounter difficulties.

“Having been made aware of this particular issue we responded promptly and have now resolved the matter. We offer our unreserved apology for any inconvenience.”

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A much happier Aodhan (Image: Belfast Live)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:57 pm 
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What a disgrace, a mother had to take her own child to school two days running, hang the lot of them!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:20 pm 
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x-ray wrote:
What a disgrace, a mother had to take her own child to school two days running, hang the lot of them!!!

I was just about to type something similar.

Clearly there has been an admin error, but I've just checked and the world hasn't ended.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:56 am 
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
Sussex wrote:
x-ray wrote:
What a disgrace, a mother had to take her own child to school two days running, hang the lot of them!!!

I was just about to type something similar.

Clearly there has been an admin error, but I've just checked and the world hasn't ended.



No Just the UK in meltdown

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:12 am 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
Posts: 4114
x-ray wrote:
What a disgrace, a mother had to take her own child to school two days running, hang the lot of them!!!


Don't want to sound harsh, and to be honest I know next-to-nothing about these things, but if the boy can't cope with his mother taking him to school instead of a taxi driver, I can't work out how he could deal with any kind of school environment at all.

Here's another one - incapable of paying a taxi fare or using a bus pass, apparently. I suppose setting up an account with a taxi office wouldn't work either :?


'They're penalising his education...' - Parents' anger after 'bullied' son misses 18 months of school (and now council pulls taxi to get him to lessons)

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/st ... er-3296389

Parents were offered a £10.25 daily allowance instead

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Image: Stoke Sentinel

More parents have hit out at the council after education bosses removed a school taxi service.

Dad David Moore is furious after Stoke-on-Trent City Council told him that it would no longer provide a taxi to take son Rhys Beckett to and from Merit Pupil Referral Unit, in Bucknall - just two weeks before the start of term.

Instead parents will be given a £10.25 daily allowance to arrange their own transport throughout September.

But David says this will cause too much disruption to 15-year-old Rhys' routine as he suffers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

It means Rhys - who also has social phobia and chronic depression and is due to take his GCSEs next summer - cannot pay for a taxi himself or use a bus to leave David on the school run.

That is already complicated because David is the full-time carer to wife, Dawn, who has regular hospital appointments.

David, aged 49, from Fenton, said: "My son moved to the school more than a year ago after missing 18 months of school because he was being bullied at St Peter's Academy. Merit is a small school and the children are there because they can't cope in mainstream schools.

"It was about two weeks before they were due to return to school that I had a letter from the council informing us that the taxis are cancelled and they will instead be offering us a personal budget of £10.25 per day.

"It says in the letter that if you have any problems to ring them but I've been ringing the number and sending emails to get the form so I can receive the money but there's no answer and they don't reply.

"These children can't walk to school themselves, or catch a bus and Rhys doesn't understand the concept of money so he wouldn't be able to pay a taxi driver himself because of his problems.

"They got a taxi there and back every day and Rhys didn't have to pay the driver.

"At the moment I'm using my own petrol and taking him in my car but that was even a struggle to get him to go because he has autism. He has his own little routine and is used to the taxi driver. When he knows there's going to be a change that's it he can't cope with it.

"It's also hard work because my wife is disabled and she has a lot of hospital appointments normally between 2.30pm and 4pm so I will have to pick Rhys up early from school to take her to the appointments.

"He's already missed out on 18 months of school and his attendance has gone from zero per cent to 100 per cent at Merit and now it's going to go back again and he's got his exams to take this year.

"They're penalising the children's education."

David says he contacted the school to ask about the new policy and has been told that after September the children will be provided with bus passes.

The dad-of-three added: "He has social phobia and wouldn't be able to get a bus, he doesn't know how to get a bus. It was hard enough for me to take him to school. Both the parents and the school should have been consulted on this decision before the six-week holidays.

"On the last day of school they said the taxi would be ready to pick them up on the first day of term at 11.30am, then four weeks later we're told they're stopping them. It's ridiculous."

StokeonTrentLive yesterday reported on the plight of 15-year-old Emmie Vaughan, from Chell, who had also been stripped of her council-funded taxi service.

A council spokesman said: "We carry out reviews of transport for all children on an annual basis and as part of this, we were looking to provide the parents with their own daily travel budgets.

"We apologise for writing to parents during the summer holidays on the matter but we believe the outcome we have been able to reach will be good news for everyone concerned.”

Image
Rhys Beckett when he was 11 years old


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:17 am 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
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Ooft - some of the comments on the Sentinel's website about this one :shock:

For example, the crutch in the photo above used as a 'prop' for 'effect' :shock:

Others include stuff about 'compo face', eating lots of pies, money grabbers, benefit scroungers blah, blah.

And that's some of the nicer stuff - there's worse than that 8-[

Usually plenty such 'unsympathetic' comments about stories like this, but there were more than two dozen when I looked, and literally none were supportive :-o


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