I had a call yesterday from the person running a specialist arm of a charity providing educational support to young learning disabled people/children. A care provider basically. I was put in touch with her through a mate, who met her in connection with her daughter’s transition to adulthood. My mate rang me to say that this woman was one to speak to about LB. The subtext in this exchange is that there are a lot of people it ain’t worth speaking to. Something I think most parents of disabled children learn sooner or later.
At the time of the call, I was at a local retreat where we go for concentrated writing days a couple of times a year. The woman’s matter of fact summation of our situation contrasted with the scenery and sunshine. She reflected on how odd it was that various things hadn’t happened all those weeks ago; before we were ‘driven to such an extreme measure as admitting LB to the unit’.
That is an extreme measure. I almost forget the brutality of it. And here we are 80 days later, nearly a quarter of LB’s 18th year spent in hospital. Kind of beyond extreme really. This so should not have happened.
Specialist woman zoomed into action over the phone and made a plan to plan a possible programme to support LB’s return to school. Depending on funding of course. Cough cough. She was definitely one to speak to. But then she would be if she was recommended by a mate. Someone with personal experience of the gig. That’s the way it works.
If we’re going to talk about hierarchies of knowledge, my money is on the mate/mother network every time. Efficient, effective and it don’t cost a penny.