When I first had Kim he was my son.
A year later he was epileptic and developmentally delayed. At eighteen months he had special needs and he was a special child. He had a mild to moderate learning difficulty. He was mentally handicapped.
I was told not to think about his future.
I struggled with all this.
By the time he was four he had special educational needs. He was a statemented child. He was dyspraxic, epileptic, developmentally delayed and had complex communication problems.
Two years later, aged six, he was severely epileptic (EP), cerebral palsied (CP) and had complex learning difficulties.
At eight he had severe intractable epilepsy with associated communication problems. He was showing a marked developmental regression.
He had severe learning difficulties.
At nine he came out of segregated schooling and he slowly became my son again. Never again will he be anything else but Kim—a son, a brother, a friend, a pupil, a teacher, a person.
(Kim by Pippa Murray, in Murray and Penman, 1996)
The great majority of children with special educational needs (SEN) will, as adults, contribute economically; all will contribute as members of society. Schools have to prepare all children for these roles. That is a strong reason for educating children with SEN, as far as possible, with their peers. Where all children are included as equal partners in the school community, the benefits are felt by all. That is why we are committed to comprehensive and enforceable civil rights for disabled people. Our aspirations as a nation must be for all our people.
So wrote David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, in his foreword to the government Green Paper Excellence for All Children: