Special needs budgets: Your views

A girl with learning difficulties and her teacher (Science Photo Library)

Parents are to be given more financial control over support for children with special educational needs.

The government announced last year that parents should have a "personal budget" for their children.

In a major shake-up of the system in England, the government says it wants to push ahead with their proposals.

Parents of children with special educational needs have contacted the BBC News website with their experiences.

Alison Treeves, Bristol

Start Quote

Parents know exactly what their children's special needs are, the government doesn't know”

End Quote Alison Treeves, Bristol

I am a mum with a daughter who has ADHD and O.D.D and behaviour problems, and I have been through the system myself.

It takes years to get help for your child, not only from the education system but from doctors as well. It took my daughter two years to get statemented.

My daughter now has the help she needs and is at the right school but a lot more needs to be done to help parents like myself.

There needs to be more out-of-school help too.

The system needs to be made a lot easier and quicker so children who need help get it quicker.

I really do hope they get it right because, as a parent, I feel there should be a lot more support for us with children who have special needs. Not enough is being done.

Parents know exactly what their children's special needs are, the government doesn't know.

Martin Sanders, Slough

Photo of Martin Sanders with his son

My son is four years old. He has an autistic spectrum condition, and although it's not severe autism, he is statemented and has a dedicated support worker at school for most of the week. My son has been diagnosed for 18 months now.

In my area, and I'm not suggesting it's the same everywhere, we had absolutely no problem gaining the support that Kyle needed.

All the support services including the doctors who diagnosed him, the local council departments and the school made relatively swift decisions and in my opinion, the right ones!

In addition, I was invited to join a course specifically for parents to learn about the condition and how I could support my son.

I'm sure there are changes that could be made. There is a lot of paperwork. Nothing is perfect. But I don't think it is necessary to push through any reforms. Based on my experiences, this could quite easily be a cost cutting initiative.

Children's minister Sarah Teather said the current system was "outdated and not fit for purpose".

That's rather an insult to all those who try to implement it on a daily basis, and do a fantastic job for millions of children everyday in this country.

Lisa Franklin, Portsmouth

My 11-year-old son has dyslexia. He has been categorised in the 'at risk' category for children with learning difficulties.

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We need a system where parents have more control”

End Quote Lisa Franklin, Portsmouth

He is at senior school now and nothing has been put in place for him. There are 1000 pupils attending the school and he only gets support one day a week.

He's suffering emotionally. I'm blaming the Local Education Authority.

He's getting mental health issues as a result of all this stress and lack of support, and is due to go to an adolescent mental health service for an appointment in June.

We need a system where parents have more control.

We have been fighting the system since 2008, and I will continue fighting, but it won't change anything.

Jacey Rogers, South Yorkshire

My child has been bullied since the age of seven and is now 15. He has been out of education since 2009. He still gets bullied as the bullies live in our neighbourhood.

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We have had no assistance from the authorities”

End Quote Jacey Rogers, South Yorkshire

When he was at school he was beaten up by a number of children at the same time. He was bullied in three different schools.

My son was a 'Britain's kindest kid' finalist in 2011. He met David Cameron and told him he wanted more support from him.

My son nearly died, his weight went down to five and a half stone.

It is down to me to home-school him now, however we have no money to put him through GCSEs. The government will not pay for the exams.

I home-school him and he also has the help of the Red Balloon Learner Centre for the recovery for bullied children.

We have had no assistance from the authorities. They tell me these children who are out of mainstream schooling because of bullying are not classed as 'special needs' children. We ask ourselves why?

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