Single mother threatens to sue council over autistic son's education|
MOCHDRE, Wales: A single mum has threatened to sue council chiefs in a row over her autistic son's education.
Ben Robert, aged 10, from Oxwich Road, Mochdre, has been excluded from school for almost a year after he scaled a 25-foot wall at a special-education unit. And his mum, Donna, accepts he has a history of attacking and biting teaching staff.
Ben also has a development and behavioural condition - attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder - which mostly affects boys.
At the moment, he gets just four hours' home tuition a week, and Donna insists it should be five.
The 29-year-old says Conwy County Council is duty-bound to privide Ben with a full education, as she was forced to quit her job as a customer adviser at a Colwyn Bay store to look after him."
She said she was even prepared to see Ben educated a a special facility outside North Wales.
"Yes, he has ASD [autistic spectrum disorder], but he is a bright boy," said Donna. "Because of his condition, he doesn't understand or accept authority, but it isn't his fault. Whatever the circumstances are, he needs and deserves a full eductaion and the council has a duty to privide one for him.
"I have been made various promises by the eductaion authorities that Ben's position would be sorted out and that I would be kept informed on a regular basis. But that has not been the case."
That is why Donna wrote to the council demanding action. "I have given them just two weeks to get their act together. Otherwise, I have told them I will be getting legal advice with a view to claiming compensation for Ben. I think it is a disgraceful situation."
According to the Foundation for Learning Disabilities, children with ASD have difficulty understanding what other people are saying, need help to play with other children, enjoy routines and find unfamiliar situations difficult.
"Those with the disorder can be good at creative activities like art, music and poetry. They can concentrate on one thing for a long time, so they can also also become very good at something that they like doing," said a spokeswoman.
A Conwy council spokeswoman said a meeting had been arranged to discuss Ben's needs."
(Source: North Wales Weekly News, November 30, 2006)