Specialist SEN Solicitor
26th April 2021
Don't draw attention to a mistake…
That's another thing I like to say to people regularly. It's so normal for people to want to tell someone something that they have done wrong when they do not actually need to. Or they may feel it necessary to highlight when they have not got something quite right, or at least to their liking, but which the other person would not have noticed otherwise.
Heaven forbid, if you interpret this as me suggesting that you should not tell the truth. That couldn't be farther from the truth itself of what I am saying (and be careful, as this probably says more about you then me)! But a lot of information does not need to be shared a lot of the time. In fact, it can actually be distracting and irrelevant most of the time. This principle applies to so many things, from what happens in the playground to what happens in the boardroom!
Let me give you a very basic (and you may feel a bit of a trivial) example. You are speaking with someone face-to-face (either in person or over videoconference) one afternoon, after having lunch where you spilt a little something on your top. Don't then start the conversation by apologising for the stain, as the other person will then notice it, even though they may not have noticed it before; and they will keep noticing it when you are speaking with them. It is as though they will be unconsciously and magnetically drawn to it, even though they may not have noticed it before, if you had not brought it to their attention, and will just then serve as a distraction to what you are saying.
Of course, if you do notice a small stain on somebody's top, they also would become distracted by it if you bring their attention to it, as they may have not noticed it before, but will then become distracted by it if you point it out to them. And the paradox to this is that, if somebody is compromised by having something on their face, for example (let's stay with the lunch theme analogy and say it is a bit of sauce or topping), then you should probably quietly point it out to them (not in earshot of others, so as not to embarrass them), otherwise they will feel mortified later to discover it for themselves looking in the mirror and realise that lots of people may have seen it and, like you, did not tell them about it.
A hard one, isn't it?
I guess that it will always depend on the specific circumstances and your relationship to the other person, as if you do point it out with the best of intentions, they may then think that you are belittling them. So, my best advice is to just always try and put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, if it was you in their place, what would you want another person to do?
Not a perfect answer, I know, but something to think about!
In this week's SEN Update, you will find sections entitled:
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THE BIG ASK
Do you remember at around the time last year, when the first Covid-19 'lockdown' was still within its first few weeks? I recall that you couldn't move then for being bombarded with so much information on the internet, from Government guidance/new legislation, to many news stories in the media (both bad and good), to many educational and other resources being made available for free.
Well, here we are a year on and, although it is clear that things have yet got back to 'normal' (whatever that is) and we may actually never do, there does not seem to be as much on the web that I consider important or interesting enough to share with you in these (now weekly) SEN Updates.
One thing that did catch my eye though this week is the launch of 'The Big Ask' survey by the new Children's Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza.
If you go to the Children's Commissioner website, you are greeted by a welcome from her that reads:
"Hi, my name is Rachel de Souza and I’m the Children’s Commissioner for England. My job is to speak up for children in England, stand up for their rights, and make sure that the people in power listen to what children need and want.
It’s time to give something big back to young people like you after COVID — and we need your help to do it.
This is the largest ever survey of children and young people in England. We’ll use what you tell us to show the government what you think, and what children need to live happier lives.
This survey will only take you 5-10 minutes."
The webpage then provides options for the following age groups:
There are also 'Easy read versions' of the survey available for the following age groups:
There is also a survey for 'Adults' (where the webpage says: "If you are aged 18+ and are a care leaver, parent, or you work with children please complete our adult survey to share your views.")
Then, under a section entitled: 'Why you should take part', it says:
"This is your chance to have your say on the things that matter to you. You can tell us what your life is like, what you want in the future, and anything you think is holding you back."
Finally, there is a free 'Resources' section for teachers, youth groups and parents to help children complete the survey and a section on 'FAQs' as well.
Important I think for as many children/young people to complete.
SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN WITH SEND
This week there was also a Westminster Hall debate on support for children with SEND led by Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP.
You can watch it here
LATEST NEWS ONLINE
And here are the news articles that I found of interest this week:
Big Ask: Children in England asked their hopes for post-Covid future
Children ‘left behind’ in Covid-19 vaccination programme – JCVI expert
Blended learning: How to make your resources accessible
Again, aside from clicking on the relevant links for more information, I would also remind you of the very useful resources and information provided on the following websites:
- Council for Disabled Children
- Special Needs Jungle
I would also highlight again the fact that you can now get a digital copy of the magazine: Autism Eye which is very helpful to any parents or professionals involved with children/young people with Autism.
Keep safe until next week.
With best wishes