School life was always difficult for my daughter, she struggled with separating from me from reception age but it was manageable and understood better in the earlier years.

As school years developed it became much harder, with staff not understanding the impact the anxiety was having on both my daughter and us as a family. By year 6 it became unmanageable.

My daughter’s teacher had no understanding of her anxiety, how it looked, the distress both she and i went through. One day he said ‘I’m sure she’s putting it on for you’.

I had a teaching assistant say to her ‘stop m being so selfish, mum has to go to work’ as she sat trembling in the car.

Eventually she moved to a part time timetable in the hope it would be more manageable which did have some benefits.

Unfortunately transitioning to secondary school was not at all successful. The support in place was not effective, the communication poor and the senco’s relationship with myself wasn’t positive. I felt there was again such poor understanding of SEMH and I could see things breaking down to the point I had to take 6 months off work, my daughter was an emotional wreck who couldn’t cope with leaving my side even at the weekend.

Our house was full of anger/frustration and we were broken as a family. I applied for an ehcp needs assessment that was refused and school said they couldn’t apply as there was insufficient evidence.

Since she stopped attending school (she is still on role) she has very slowly recovered to the point (after a year) she is able to attend Rama, she is horse riding and is able to be independent. She will stay home alone and go out with friends, all of which were unachievable whilst she was being forced into school to‘build her resilience’, a term I really dislike.

My daughter has built her own resilience in areas she finds manageable and this was impossible in the mainstream education system. Rama has shown that she is able to separate from me confidently, she can learn and she can progress. I just wish that this was understood and provided by our LA.