Our government have once again rocked its people by announcing further cuts in education, targeting our most vulnerable (our children and young people with special needs) who probably don’t understand and don’t have a voice to fight against these measures. They are dependent on family and friends to speak on their behalf to lobby for what is right, so that they can live in this country of ours as normal citizens and have access to all of the opportunities that a normal citizen would have access to. These people who speak on their behalf (parents / guardians / brothers / sisters) have given up their life to care for, mind and look after them for as long as they need looking after for, which could be their lifetime.

Depending on the child or pupil or student’s special need severity, there are numerous supports groups and organisations to help them and the people who care for them get through each day, each week and each year. For the parent / guardian / family member it is a vocation, a full-time job, something that lives with them always. Because of this commitment these people need every support they can get, every break they can get and every encouragement they can get.

With nothing but austerity and cutbacks it is difficult for these people to feel supported, cared for, indeed some might feel they are a thorn in the sides of our leaders / decision-makers in government. Do not feel this way, you have to protect what means the world to you, whatever it takes.

Each and every one of us have our own challenges, problems and difficulties in our lives today. We think that fields are greener far away; we wish for our neighbours / friends life-style, job and / or achievements. But like everyone, they too have their own challenges, problems and difficulties to deal with and we do not know what is going on in their life and behind their closed door.

Our children and young people with special needs are our life, we will do whatever it takes, so that they too can realize and achieve a lifestyle that they deserve, can handle and enjoy. They too can surprise us in how they handle their own challenges and get by, indeed get on in their life. We need to give them the space and the time to find their own interests, motivators, inspirations that will influence them to keep going and be self-sufficient. This is something that we sometimes forget to do.

For anybody who has to care for a special needs child or young person, it is not easy. They need all the support we can get, whether it be voluntary or financial, it all helps. Make it known what you expect and want from people who have been elected to and assigned time, budgets, responsibility to look after children / young people with special needs. Fight for your rights, fight for the support, fight for your loved one. No one cares as much as you do. The more noise you make, the louder you speak and the more people you speak to (the people who make decisions), you will be heard and action will result.

And don’t forget the Giver’s Gain mentality, I’m sure you know what that is – the more you help others, the more you will be helped too…