Please Listen To Mums

Miriam Gwynne by Miriam Gwynne Additional Needs

Miriam Gwynne

Miriam Gwynne

Full time mum and carer for two truly wonderful autistic twins. I love reading, writing, walking, swimming and encouraging others. Don’t struggle a...

People think they know my daughter but no-one knows her like me.

So when you say she is fine in school and doing well and I say she is struggling, please listen to me.

I’m not trying to dismiss what you say but I can see the bigger picture.

You see a child conforming, trying, listening, working.

I see a child unable to sleep for fear she got a sum wrong or crying because she didn’t understand when you explained what an adjective was.

When you see her getting another toy at the shops and you assume I am spoiling her please understand I am not.

I know when my child’s mental health needs a boost because life has been hard on her.

I know when she needs an incentive or when she just needs to feel loved and treasured.

When you see her in clinic once every six months for ten minutes maximum and tell me I must work on something we both know she struggles with and I say ‘not now’ please listen to me.

There is more going on in my family than the one child you see.

We have bigger battles to face and while I accept your professional opinion I have a right to say ‘not now’ when I know it isn’t the right timing for my child or my family.

Please respect that and don’t see me as ‘not engaging’.

When I take her to the GP because I feel she isn’t well please listen to me.

My child may be in mainstream school but she still struggles to communicate. I know her better than anyone and if I think she needs checked over please do so.

I am not wanting to waste your time and I am not neurotic. I know my child and my mum intuition is rarely wrong.

It isn’t that I think I am better than you, far from it, but I need reassurance and a little support.

Please don’t invalidate my opinion because you assume I just want attention or I am wasting your time. I respect you and I would like you to respect me too.

When I say things like ‘she will struggle with that’ or ‘is there a different way we could do this to accommodate her sensory needs’ I am not trying to be difficult.

I am trying to minimise the stress on my daughter and support her.

When I tell you she isn’t able to answer you please don’t ask her anyway as if I just lied.

When I say we need liquid medicine still because she can’t swallow tablets please don’t prescribe tablets anyway just because they are cheaper and easier.

When I ask if you could put her baked beans in a separate container please as she can’t cope with food touching please don’t agree then do the opposite.

I am not trying to be difficult, I am trying to facilitate my daughter to eat.

Just because your child doesn’t mind don’t assume mine doesn’t either. I asked for simple accommodations for a reason.

No-one knows my daughter like I do. That isn’t an arrogant statement it’s a fact.

I ask for referrals when I know she needs them. I ask for accommodations because without them she can’t manage.

I talk to you about her struggles because you need to know for your records not for me to be judged and criticised.

I come into school to talk to you about issues not to cause trouble but to try and support and help my daughter better.

I know my child. I advocate for her until she is able to fully do so for herself.

I am familiar with her ways and her sensory issues and developmental needs.

I am the one lying with her through the night and wiping her tears. I am the one working through her problems with her and reading to her every night.

She grew and developed for nine months in my womb and I have met her every need for ten years.

Please listen to mums when they tell you things. We know when our child is different and when they need support. We know how to help them more than anyone else.

Listening to us and working with us makes a huge difference.

To all those professionals, teachers, doctors and nurses who have listened to me over the years...thank you.


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