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Caithness News Bulletins June 2006

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Thurso Woman Wants To Set Up Forum For Parents With Disabled Children
Recently in the press over her dispute with Highland Council regarding The Learning Support received for her five year old son with Cerebral Palsy, Allison Howie from Thurso is looking to connect with Caithness parents, carers and relatives of children with a disability to put together a Parents’ Forum.

“I have heard there is already a support group for Parents of children with Autism who have had some success as they can collectively share the situations occurring in their childrens’ education, how to access various services and what is actually out there for them.” Allison said.

As a result of the recently new Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 that came into action in November 2005, there is a new framework for providing support for children with additional support needs, and also a new tribunal system for Parents and Carers to settle disputes. The Scottish Executive are going to be evaluating its impact using a team of Inspectors (HMIE) in each local authority and are interested in gathering information from Parents’ Forums.

“Now is the ideal time to set up a Parents’ Forum,” Mrs. Howie continued, “Primarily I would like to gather together a contact list of those who are interested in the next couple of weeks and then arrange a meeting. All are welcome.”

Mrs. Howie then reflected, “From the day my son was born, many people told me that I had a long road of fighting for him ahead of me and it has been. But it shouldn’t be that way. Being a parent of a child with a disability can be very isolating and it’s not often you get to meet another parent in the same situation. A Parents’ Forum is an ideal place where we can discuss where we all have been and then begin to forge a stronger road ahead, together.

Allison can be contacted at ahowie@hotmail.co.uk  , and she requests that if possible you give some detail of your self/situation and a way to get in contact.