I have had a break from blogging for almost a year now. But I wanted to re-publish this page to continue the work I started on spreading awareness and acceptance for girls on the Autistic Spectrum.

I’ve written for the charity ‘Family Fund’ several times over the past 3 years, since finding out about the wonderful support they offer families who have children with additional needs. 

I just wanted to share my friend’s story about her daughter Ruby-Rose who is 16 months old.

On Saturday 13th October 2018, my friend contacted me to say that she’d received a letter stating that Ruby-Rose does not meet the criteria for a Family Fund Grant. In the summer of 2018, after seeing Ruby-Rose several times I encouraged her family to apply for a grant after receiving 3 years of grants that had significantly made a difference for my eldest daughter, Amber (now 6.)

Since the age of 3 months, Ruby’s mother, Claire has been asking my advice as she noticed something regarding Ruby’s development, some may say that this is very young, but I can completely relate as parents, we are the experts on our own children.

Ruby has been seen by a great deal of professionals at her young age, she also received hospital care for Meningitis at 5 months old, this was an extremely worrying time for the whole family. Ruby has been seen by Health Visitors, GPs, Paediatrician, Physioterapist, Specialist Play, and staff at a local SEND school who are offering support as Ruby will need to attend this school when she teaches Nursery/Reception age.

Ruby has been assessed as having a cognitive age of 3 month old, she does not interact with her 2 sisters, to this I’ve witnessed on several occasions. She doesn’t respond to her name and has a great deal of sensory processing difficulties. On the whole, Ruby is a ‘Sensory Avoider’ she is startled by sudden movement, loud and unexpected sounds, has difficulty eating foods that aren’t soft/puréed and therefore has a very restricted diet. She is very tactile defendant, she doesn’t like physical contact and gets distressed, especially when being examined by professionals, such as a Physiotherapist, making it difficult to work with her.

Ruby is currently screams for hours on end and demands and needs around the clock care, she is also having sleep difficulties, finding it hard to settle at night.

Ruby is calmed via sensory equipment such as lights, we known this from when the family attend the ‘stay-and-play’ sessions at the local SEND school and they’ve also taken her to an ‘Autism and Additional Needs’ stay and play session locally. The huge barrier for Ruby’s family, is that the specialist equipment and toys she so desperately needs are very expensive, as you are well aware.

Ruby does not play with regular toys, as ‘Neurotypical’ children her age would, as they are not age appropriate due to her Global Developmental Delay (GDD.)

Ruby requires a calming space she can relax in when she becomes overwhelmed and goes into sensory meltdown. A place where her parents know she will be safe with toys she can not put in her mouth and hurt herself with.

As Ruby hates physical contact, her parents can not hold her to calm her, she doesn’t give eye contact and becomes distressed when doing day to day tasks with her such as feeding and changing her. As she does not sleep through the night, she will sleep for 15-30 minutes and wake up distressed, screaming headbanging to the point she is sick.

Claire, Ruby’s mum, can not work due to Rubys complex needs, and this why the family are struggling financially. All they want is to provide their daughter with the specialist toys and equipment that she desperately needs.

I’ve always been a huge advocate for the work that Family Fund have done for families, I’ve shared this via the parents support group I coordinate locally, to which Ruby’s mother is a member. My own family have had our photographs taken to use for Family Fund promotional materials.

Mum heart is literally breaking for this little girl and her family, I urge you to please re-consider your decision.

Thank you,

Nicki Perrins,

Mum to Amber and Maisie,

Blogger At

and coordinator of the Pershore Additional Needs Support group (PANS.) 




Avonreach Academy Trust proposed change of age range ~ my response 

Last week I was given a copy of the following consultation:

This is my response to the proposals to add year groups into a few local schools and the implications it will have on my family and others who attend the same school as my children.

Avonreach Academy proposed consultation – Age Range.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have recently been made aware of the proposals to change the structure of the Avonreach Academy schools. In particularly the 2 schools of Pershore High and Cherry Orchard First, in Pershore will have implications for my children. Both of my children, age 2 and 5, are based at the Abbey Park campus in Pershore, with one in the Pre-School and the other in the year 1 class in the first school. We moved to the Cherry Orchard area of Pershore in September 2017 to a more appropriate house for my children’s needs, my eldest child is being assessed for Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and my youngest has sensory processing difficulties and Hypermobility. We were turned away from Cherry Orchard first school as there was not a place for my eldest child at the school, it has actually been a blessing that Abbey Park schools could accommodate both my children as my youngest child has started at the Pre-School on site and will remain on the same campus until she reaches the end of year 7 at Abbey Park Middle school. As a family we like the idea of the Abbey Park family of schools, both of our girls thrive on consistency and familiarity and I want them to remain on the Abbey Park campus of school as long as they can.

Children in the Cherry Orchard area of the town have traditionally attended Cherry Orchard First school and then go on to attend at Abbey Park Middle school. This 3-tier system worked for myself as I was one of 4 children that came from a small village first school (Upton Snodsbury First,) and by attending Pinvin Middle school for 3 years this helped me a great deal, I simply wouldn’t have coped moving from a primary school straight onto a high school.
As you may already be aware of the volume of new houses that are going onto the new housing developments just off Station Road and Wyre Road in Pershore, it should not be the later years (years 5 and 6,) that need to be concentrated on when these children are already catered for at Abbey Park Middle, it is clearly the younger years, like at schools such as Cherry Orchard First that need to be extended, as it is the catchment school for the new families moving into the new developments, surely a priority should be extended the earlier years from Reception to Year 4, and ensuring that new families moving in can get a place at their catchment school, rather than adding on an extra 2 classes in the later years?
There is a small section in the consultation’s ‘frequently asked questions’ regarding the extra volume of parents and children to the school. As we live in the Cherry Orchard area of Pershore, we cannot even walk the same side of the school at drop off and pick up times as cars cover the street and parents waiting for the school gates at Cherry Orchard First completely cover the path and it is impossible to get my child’s buggy down through the crowds. With adding any more children to the school this situation needs to be carefully considered as it is a real safety issue.
In summary, rather than changing what we already have, why is there not a new first school being built to accommodate all of the new families moving into the area? I am under the impression that this will also affect schools such as St Nicholas Middle in Pinvin, and St. Barnabas Middle in Drakes Broughton? Our 3-tier system works well so why bring around change that will cause so much disruption? Yes, we will be like Worcester area schools with the 2-tier system, but shouldn’t we be proud of our unique system that has worked for so many children previously?
Thank you for your time,

Miss Nicola Perrins BA (hons) EYTS. 

If anyone local to the Pershore area (Worcestershire) wishes to also share their views you can also email our local councillors: 

Harriett Baldwin:

Liz Tucker: ltucker@worcestershire
Thanks for reading 🙂 

Why I won’t be voting Blue on 8/6/17

I don’t have a very political brain, but I sure do have a very passionate one. I’m trying to learn more about politics and I’ve recently joined a local online Facebook politics group. 

My problem is that my views are very ‘tunnel visioned’ and I struggle to understand the opposing views as I feel uncomfortable and frustrated when someone hasn’t got the same view as mine! I even struggle to debate on politics with my own Father! I will back down if views become conflicting, in the past I’ve changed my views to match those of the opposing person in order to avoid confrontations at all costs! 

However, I want to explain why I won’t be voting for the ‘Blue Team’ (as Lou would describe it!) this Thursday 8th June in the 2017 General Election. The following post I wrote last year:

Explains why I stood up at the local Council Scrutiny meeting and shared my family’s story of the vital service of ‘Family Support’ delivered via Family Support workers from the Children’s Centres in Worcestershire. To recap the local Conservative government cut vital services to children’s centres in the Worcestershire area and as a result we no longer qualified for a family support worker. The local Conservative government promised that “No Children’s Centres will close,” but we found this to be untrue for cases such as the ‘Orchard Vale’ centre in Evesham, where I visited 2 weeks ago, the sign covered over with a mass of leaves, and when peeping into the window where there was once an office with smiling faces there is now no one there, the room where I took my youngest child to see her Health Visitor is no longer in use, and the room where I once took her for the baby ‘stay and play,’ which used to be full of mothers and their babies is now an empty room. 

I wrote to Cllr Bayliss and he passed me onto his ‘officer’ who looked into my family’s case file without my consent and proceeded to tell me that “you’ve received your full package of support.” In the end I had to block Cllr Bayliss on Twitter as I couldn’t stand to hear any more excuses for the cuts to vital services, and his ‘but I’m ok’ general persona. When they told me that we “no longer qualified for support” my eldest child wasn’t under the Umbrella Pathway for Autism assessment, her behaviour at home wasn’t as extreme as it is now. I wasn’t under assessment for adult Autism, my youngest child, now 2 didn’t have a diagnosis or additional needs and now does and we hadn’t received the paperwork back clarifying that my partner of 7 years has moderate learning difficulties and requires literacy support. We now have triple the difficulties functioning as a family today than we did when we received family support back in 2015. But still no support. Parenting is hard in general but parenting 1 or more children with Special or Additonal Needs is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, I truly believe that all families that identify as have a child or children with Additonal needs and wants support at home completely needs and deserves this support without any doubt. 

I’ve recently tried to re-refer back to the family support service but still do not hold out much hope, my eldest daughter’s school are also doing all they can to help and they are also aware how vital this support is for our family. 

But it’s not just us, I wanted to share our story as I know we are not the only ones in the same situation. And it’s not just the children and families service that has been cut, I recently rang adult social care and they cannot offer us any support either because my partners care needs are “not severe enough,” even though I’m supporting 2 children and an adult in the household I’m still just left to “work it out.” I’m firing on all cylinders and close to a complete shut down, yet we still don’t qualify for any help. 

I really do hope that something positive comes from the general election. 

All political parties have different campaign promises, but my vote will go towards one of the parties that supported the Worcestershire ‘Save Our Children’s Centres,’ campaign to the bitter end. 

Thanks for reading 🙂 

Feeling lost…

Picture_20161205_133526128 (1).jpg

I like happy posts – however this is my therapy – my way of expelling thoughts going around in my head all day…

…It’s the countdown to Christmas my mood should be happy – full of the joys of the season,

But, sadly, my current mood:

Frustrated, disappointed and most of all angry.

I have always been so calm, too calm, sometimes.

I feel so frustrated and angry I feel like giving up the fight for Lou and I hate feeling like this. It’s almost 3 years now since I first started noticing her ‘Sensory Sensitivities,’ we had started to get somewhere with a referral to Occupational Therapy and we were receiving support in the home via a Family Support worker, anyone who knows us will know that Lou complies on the whole at school, holds in her sensory overloads all day (which is bloody hard to do – I know as I’ve done it myself for a very long time,) and offload as soon as she gets home, it’s taken me years to be believed that this is the case after our parenting skills have been knocked several times, which doesn’t do much for self-confidence and constantly makes you question; “am I doing this right?”

But in just 1 week Lou was discharged from both Occupational Therapy and Family Support, OT because she is ‘fine’ at school which I am happy about, however we have received little help in the home – I have been left to pay for a £180 weighted blanket, we were not given any opportunities to rent or borrow sensory equipment to help us at home, even though she has been provided with items at school. Family Support has been cut due to there now being focus on ‘targeted families,’ to which I still do not fully understand the qualification for this. This has left us at the same point as this time last year really, which is beyond frustrating. I can clearly see huge traits of ASD, in particular PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) but I am again left to feel like I’m making all of this up and that I’m not believed as these traits are currently only being shown at home. When working in childcare and education I wasn’t sure about labelling children, but I now truly believe that, in order to help and support children in the best way possible, the earlier a diagnosis comes, the better. I’m not sure that I can withstand another year of this fight, I’m exhausted, and so is Lou’s daddy. I would sometimes like to shout at the top of my voice “I’M NOT IN THIS FOR THE MONEY!” As we don’t qualify for DLA, what I am continually fighting for is the recognition that children can be very good at hiding and masking their difficulties, what I am most desperate to avoid is problems in the teenage years. To receive support early to avoid this.Sometimes I have been asked: “How do you know that she feels this way?” Especially if a particular behaviour hasn’t been observed during an appointment, and my answer is always; “because I felt the same, I masked and I suffered a LOT for not telling people how I really felt,” this is where a lot of my frustrations lie.

As people may be aware, that I’ve been helping with the campaign to Save Our Worcestershire Children’s Centres, due to the vital support my family is now missing out on, but also other families out there that are going through the same.


Here is an Email I sent this morning to Cllr Marc Bayliss from Worcestershire County Council:


Dear Mr Bayliss,

I still have questions regarding the recent funding cuts for Children’s Centres in the Worcestershire area.

I am currently very confused about the current system that was previously referred to as ‘Early help.’ In the past week professionals such as our Health Visitor, Occupational Therapist and School Nurse have all informed me to contact ‘Early Help’ to refer my family back to the Family Support service due to the impact that my daughter’s behaviour has on our whole family in our home environment. It was left to me to explain to these professionals, that my family no longer ‘qualifies’ for Family Support, why haven’t these vital professionals been informed of the new system now that there have been funding cuts? How many more families are being referred to ‘Early Help’ to then be told that they are not a ‘targeted family?’

As you are aware, as I shared my story at the scrutiny meeting held at County Hall, my daughter has additional needs and we now have no support at home for a child that displays extreme behaviours. Her school cannot support me in the home as there is only so much they can do, due to the fact that my daughter complies on the whole at school, she will hold in her ‘sensory overloads’ all day and then ‘offload’ as soon as she gets home. What support do you suggest that my family will now get? Or do we just get left to struggle through, and let every day at home become a struggle, with myself and my partner near desperation? What quality of life will this leave both myself, partner and 2 young children? If I am left stressed and depressed what effect does this leave on my children? It is heart-breaking. I only wish the people making these sorts of decisions could have a window into our lives just for one day to see how difficult things really are.

 I would like clarification to what the label of a ‘targeted family’ actually means please? I am just concerned of how many other families are missing out on support at home, especially those parents with children that have additional needs. 


Nicki Perrins.



It is so upsetting that for someone who finds life a little hard anyway (for various reasons,) that the ‘system’ is making it even harder 😦



Thanks for reading 🙂


Today I spoke out in public for the first time.


This will be my 3rd Blog post in relation to the Worcestershire Children’s Centre’s funding cuts.

On Friday 21st October a scrutiny meeting was held in a cramped Lakeview room at Worcestershire County Council. I forced myself to speak in this meeting to share our story once again, to make my presence known and to share how the funding cuts are already having an effect on the support my family receives.

Here is a copy of the passage I wrote and read out during the ‘Public Gallery’ section of the meeting.

I wanted to bring my daughter to this meeting today, but I’ve had to leave her with her Grandparents, she wouldn’t have coped with the unfamiliar room, the lights, the noise, etc. How do I know this, you may ask? Because I felt very much the same as a child. There were no Family Support Workers when I was a child, my parents received no support, and the result is today, that I’m a 33-year-old that has been mis-diagnosed.

You may or may not already be aware of my family’s story. I have written 2 Blog Posts around the funding cuts for Worcestershire Children’s Centres, and our story was featured in the Worcester News. I Blog under the name of ‘Sensory Sensitive Mummy.’

My daughter, who is 4 and a half, has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD,) With traits of ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) she also has Hypermobility in her joints and her school are now questioning Dyspraxia. We are currently waiting to find out the extent of a genetic anomaly that has been picked up via blood tests. My daughter is neither ‘naughty’ or ‘spoilt’ she has a neurological disorder, I have dedicated the past 12 months to researching Sensory Processing Disorder.

My daughter experiences sensory overloads and holds them all in during the school day, as soon as she reaches home she experiences violent outbursts, (or meltdowns,) she hits, kicks, spits, and is very rough with her 19-month-old sister. She requires constant supervision. If my daughter thrashes herself back and hits herself, will I get the blame is she’s hurt and will social services come knocking on my door? I have asked several times for support in Restraining Training to keep my daughter safe at home, I was told that this training is no longer available. From August 2015 until January 2016, we received 1 visit per week from a ‘Family Support worker’ from a Worcestershire Children’s Centre, this support turned our family life around and provided continual support as other problems came up in terms of my daughter. The Family Support worker, arranged ‘Multi-agency’ meetings for all the professionals involved in my daughter’s care, they would also chase reports, now I’m left to do all this all on my own, and with caring for 2 young children I am physically and mentally drained. As of September 2016, we have received 1 visit from the Family Support worker, where do I go to for support now?

Who do I talk to about issues that continually arise from having a child with Additional Needs? Schools are already pushed to their limit, they cannot provide me with the same emotional and practical support that a Family Support worker can, but my family have been discharged from this service because we don’t live in a disadvantaged area?

Please advise as to where I should go to for support and advice from now on?


I wondered if the councillors involved in making the decisions regarding the funding cuts, realise how difficult it was for people like me, who shared such personal information about our family life. At times I felt like the walls were closing in on me in that room and that everyone’s eyes were on me as my youngest child wanted to get up and explore the room, to be told that we couldn’t let the children explore due to “wires” which I could only see one, which could have easily been moved! I started to feel extremely short of breath and my daughter was restless so I had to leave the room for a time. I wonder if any of the counsellors involved in the decision making could ever understand how difficult it is for people like me to share such personal information in a room full of influential people. I do not understand politics, I don’t know if what I said was the right or wrong thing, after Cll Bayliss shot me down on stating that “we have been discharged from the Family support service because we don’t live in a disadvantaged area,” this is what I’ve been told – and that we are seen as a family that is “no longer in need of this service,” and not a “family at greatest need.” If we haven’t been discharged due this factor, then why have we been discharged? Sadly, I didn’t get my answer! Cll Bayliss proceeded to say that I could stay behind and he would talk to me about this, sounding rather like I was back at school and had to remain behind in class! My daughter was tired, my brain was frazzled and I just wanted to go home, sadly no matter how much you pour out your heart to this man, the response is always the same, “No Children’s Centres will close,” that may be true, however the 3 different weekly stay-and-play groups that I attended with my child, only this time last year, no longer exist. Yes, the buildings are still there but there is hardly anything going on in them anymore! The only conclusion that I can come to is that this individual actually has a heart of stone L

It’s also very worrying that cuts are being made to the health visiting service, my Health Visitor was the first practitioner to recognise my daughter’s difficulties in our own home, until this point my parenting was being blamed and I came to believe that I was a terrible mum. This Health Visitor also arranged for my daughter to be referred to Occupational Therapy, as there had been a mix up. She sped up the process after a 12-month wait and this support has been vital for my child. This same health practitioner supported me through having 2 children with allergies to all dairy products and egg, without her I wouldn’t have known where to turn for help.

I have spent the past 12 years of my life dedicated to teaching children in the Early Years from 4 months to 11 years, I am so very passionate about the early years, as this is the foundation of every child’s journey in life. I am so passionate about helping and supporting other families, and worried that families that are in the same place as we were a year ago won’t get the support that they most desperately need and deserve.

One thing is for sure, I definitely know who I won’t be voting for in the next local elections!


Thanks for reading 🙂

My two precious children, the very reason why I gained the courage to speak out today, their futures matter, and so do those of other children. 






Save Our Children’s Centres Campaign poster 

As one of the admins for the ‘Save Our Children’s Centres’ (Worcestershire) campaign, I have designed this campaign poster 🙂 including a photo of Lou’s trademark hands! 

Anyone who has read my 2 Blog posts, and/or read the newspaper article with our story, you will know how the local children’s centres have supported us as a family since August 2015. Without this support we’d be completely lost – however we have already seen the effects of these cuts, as opposed to weekly visits last year, we’ve only had 1 home visit due to the funding cuts and staff redundancies. The family support workers are being told to target and support families in ‘areas of high deprivation’ but what about families like ours who just needed support at home that have a child with additional needs, our worry is so many families and children are going to slip through the net 😦 it doesn’t matter how much money you have, or what your social status is – every child and their family has the right to support. 
If anyone would like to support us please visit Twitter @SOCCWORCS
Anyone is welcome to join and you don’t have to live in Worcestershire 🙂 
Thanks for reading 🙂