- How old am I:
Brandon Durning had accidentally set his bed sheets alight after he fell asleep smoking a cigarette when he flew into a rage with his grandparents.
Mum and dad say their three-year-old son, who has the same condition as Harvey Price, is being denied the special care education he needs.
Gideon Lowe suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome, the same condition as Harvey Price, leaving him with a catalogue of behaviour and learning problems which hinders his development. A happy little boy, the Whitley Bay ladwho has two big brothers, has to be watched closely as he will attempt to eat most things because he never feels full.
But Gideon has been denied a place at Woodlawn School specialist school in North Tyneside and Rae and Peter are now worried they may be left with no option but to place him in a regular school - something they are opposed to as their son still wears nappies and is unable to communicate.
The youngster is entitled to 15 hours each week of specific nursery education. Knowing he would become eligible for this if she were unemployed and no longer employing a nanny, Rae left her job as a business manager so that he could access it and so she could also dedicate as much of her time to her young family too, which includes eight-year-old Henry and five-year-old Zachary.
This was supported by his specialist support worker who worked at the school we had chosen.
We were refused again. Within six weeks we were supposed to get told whether or not Gideon would be assessed. With the local authority again turning Gideon down, the only option left to Rae is to seek a tribunal to further argue the case — a long, stressful and complex procedure.
However, as a council, we are committed to ensuring that all children receive the very best education in North Tyneside. We support the child, and their family, throughout their development to suit their changing needs. Gideon is currently non-verbal — in a mainstream school, the adults would struggle support his emergent language.
At a far more basic level, they will be able to communicate with him. Being the child in nappies will immediately single him out from his peers in a mainstream school. Rae said it was important Gideon was not defined by his condition but accepted that realistically, she has to be aware of his limitations in order to get him the best support. We want far more for him — we want for him to reach his own full potential.
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