Debbie and Michael are still fighting the local authority for Ryan to be able to go to Woodlands Special School in Plymouth. They and Ryan have visited the school quite a few times now and it is certainly the best place for him.
The Local Education Authority (LEA) want Ryan to go to a school in Cornwall called Doubletrees. Ryan's present school agree that he is not suited to Doubletrees and would be much better off at Woodlands. However, Doubletrees is in Cornwall and Woodlands is just across the County border in Devon. It would be cheaper for the LEA if Ryan went to Doubletrees. They say that cost is not why they are refusing to fund his education in Woodlands ! ! ! ! Debbie and Michael are being helped by the Parent Partnership who are wonderful. They have been to Mediation (the Mediator did not seem very impressed by the LEA representative) the next step is a Tribunal.
Woodlands Special School have told us that they already have pupils from Cornwall (even one from our own town of Bodmin) so the LEA must have been mistaken when they said that Woodlands only took pupils from Devon. Ryan has a place there and will start in September. Debbie and Mike will be transporting him from Bodmin to Plymouth each day.
January, Ryan drawing with his cousins. They don't really take any notice of his disabilities but they do make allowances for him, even the littlest one helps Ryan to do things. None of them have ever known it any different.
In February everyone went to the beach. Living in Cornwall we do tend to go to the beach quite often, summer and winter. Dogs are allowed on some of the beaches in winter.
The beaches are empty so there is plenty of room for children and dogs to run and play without getting lost in the crowds.
Ryan's physical abilities are improving slowly all the time. Playing with the younger children is good for him, he can keep up with them when they run. His vocabulary is increasing too. He wants to have conversations with adults and we never use babytalk or anything like that with any of the children so he learns to use the words that we use. We want him to have as normal a life as possible. We do know that he will never be as capable of independent life as his sister and cousins but that should not stop anyone treating him as close as possible to the way the other children are treated. He has to 'try'.
The year is going fast - soon it's cousin Tristan's 5th birthday in June
He got the camera bug and now he wants to borrow the video all the time - here at a family B.B.Q
In July Debbie had a call from Ryan's School to say that he would be getting a special award at the end of term assembly. Of course we all went to the assembly and very proudly saw Ryan being presented with a cup for Special Achievement
In August Debbie and Michael took the children to London. Ryan found it very tiring but enjoying seeing the sites even if he did not really understand the significance of a lot of them. It is important that Rebecca does not miss out on things just because Ryan would not understand them.
The big event was Ryan starting at Woodlands Special School in September. More about that wil be added as soon as possible. Its great.