Moving on from Domestic Violence with my children By Ellie Kitty


I left my Ex husband with help from my Social Worker and my Women's aid worker. I was moved to a new area into a new home with my children to begin a new life.

I have 5 children, one boy of 10 years old with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (A.S.D) He suffers from learning disabilities too and was given a EHC plan, also known as a 'statement'. Because my boy had managed to get on a little better in school and had stopped pushing over benches and tables and was actually sitting through some of his lessons the school decided to stop his statement. Unfortunately by doing this he was not learning much nor was he benefiting from the decision.

It got to a point where I had to attend his P.E lessons with him while doing the whole lesson away from other children in the class. Another of the conditions was that he had to be taken home at dinner times, the school said this was because of health and safety.
As you can imagine I felt mad and sad at the same time because of this. My son was being excluded and one would have thought at the very least the school could have handled all of it a little better.

These rules and exclusions also applied to school trips. My eldest son had to go swimming with him every week because he got so distressed at school that he nearly pulled the teacher into the pool on one occasion. I would get countless phone calls while I was in the centre of town tending to shopping to get to the school and fetch my son.

As time went on I felt more and more that this was all very unfair on my boy, this was a special needs school only 15 minutes away from where we lived. I fought through many meetings and stacks of paperwork, and finally after all that and many phone calls, I managed to get my sons statement reinstated.

I had a meeting with the head teacher and we agreed my son was allowed visits to the school. At this point my son was going through a period where he had sleeping problems and so he had been put on a drug called 'Melitom' to stop him being awake all night. This drug worked wonders but in the mornings he would be wobbling to school and once there he was so wiped out that he was allocated a small room and pillow where he could get his head down for half an hour.

As any mother would do, I marched down to the school with a sleeping bag as I would not have my boy sleeping on the floor. Many more meetings later the school agreed to allow him to come to school at a later time.

My son recently started at Foxwood School and there is no looking back. They have been fantastic and my thanks go out to all the staff there. He now walks to and from school on his own and last year even went round getting sponsors from the school. He raised
£150 from his efforts and donated it all to Dogs Trust.

He has now had his long fringe cut which had grown way passed his chin. I was so very proud of him, it was a huge step in life for him.

The school do normal lessons and provide a safe place for the kids, they have small groups for their students and take children from ages 5 – 18 years old with all disabilities (most kids have a statement) This school really changed my son in the way that he had previously hated going out of the house to love going outdoors. His attitude changed to really beginning to care and love people.

My teenage daughter of 13 years also has a statement and also went to a main stream school. She also suffers from Autistic Spectrum Disorder and found it so difficult to socialise with teachers and students to the point where she would swear at them and lash out. She found the school too big, the amount of students, the smells, the noises distressed her. She was put on a part time timetable which did not work and made her feel more isolated and 'different' than before. She ran away from the school twice and luckily was found within a few hours. She was very distraught the day before she was due to start at the school that it had taken me four months to get her into. She ran out of the house and went missing. I called the police. She had a phone but refused to switch it on so I could not get hold of her.

She was brought home early that night by the police. She told the police that she did not want to go home because her dad was there and was terrified to go to school the next day. The police checked inside and outside the house to make sure my ex partner wasn't there.
It got to a point where I had to fork out £100 to have window locks installed because each time my daughter would run off and brought back by the police she would hang out of the window threatening to jump. I spent endless hours too outside of A&E. The police had taken her there when they found her and she would not want to talk to me or see me. After endless hours and a lot of heartache she would come around and agree to talk to me.

My daughter always blamed me for leaving her dad asking why we had to leave him and how it was my fault. She would say such cutting things to me which were very hard to take at first and would cry a lot and feel awful to the point where I would question myself and the decisions I had made to leave.

As time went on I knew and understood she didn't mean any of the nasty things she said and it was a part of her condition. That was simply how she coped and dealt with things.

After endless meetings with the school and getting nowhere I approached 'Mencap' and managed to get her a 'friender' who would take her out once or twice a month. She would be picked up by Nottingham Mencap every fortnight on Saturdays and taken to the centre where they would go on little trips. This helped her a great deal.

The manager knew I was having problems with my daughter at school and wanted to move her to a new school. The manager attended a meeting with me where she was an enormous help. Soon after the meeting my daughter began at Foxwood school like my son.

She passed all her exams there and went on to college where she even went on a 4 day trip. She now has her own family and her own home. I am so very proud of her.

My other younger daughter who has no disabilities has done very well in sports where she always comes first but as you can imagine has sometimes found it difficult living with her brother and sister but somehow always has a smile and makes the right choices.

My last daughter has recently been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder too and it took me a whole year to get the diagnosis on paper so I could yet again get a statement on my own because she is in a main stream school and having the same problems as her brother and sister did.

The statement was refused and I now have to launch an appeal even though the school got extra money for my daughter to attend. I am fighting for her statement so I can get her placed in the right school where like her brother and sister she can settle into a better surrounding with a more positive future.

I wanted to get this story out to all the people who have fled Domestic violence with their kids. Through all these problems and all the help I have had, I have now got a better life and so do my kids.

You are not on your own and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Useful info:

Nottingham mencap
Harpenden house
203 edwards lane
Ng5 3jn
0115 9209524
Help with clubs and can help with a befriender.

Team business support
Nottingham county council
County hall
West bridgeford
Ng2 7qp
Call or write for a statement
Education health care assessment
Any one can apply for their children who have special needs/children that are struggling in a main stream school. Will be sent out to you through the post.

Education support service
0115 8041740
Help line will call you back if you leave a message. Also you give you a worker to work with you .also will help you with statement if you need help. Also help you appeal to .


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