A Bad Morning

A Bad Morning

In episode 2 Eliza looks at the tensions around school attendance, how traumatising this can be, and how children are masking their true self to survive. 

Currently almost two million children are regularly absent from school. Many of these will have special needs - making going to school a stressful and distressing experience. But in a system that prizes attendance over wellbeing, autistic children are forced into an environment that makes them unwell.

Attendance becomes the first obstacle of many to overcome - school want children to attend regardless of their mental state, but parents know school is creating distress. Teachers want to help, but are under resourced and under pressure to maintain standards. Parents are sent on parenting courses, and get lost in a labyrinth of bureaucratic “support”. To cope at school, children learn to mask their real feelings, leading to exhaustion and burnout. Until eventually the family is at breaking point.

“I saw my child closing down. She was using every element of herself to cope with getting through each day. Then eventually came a complete shutdown, the body and the mind can't do it anymore. And they are too unwell to do anything.” 


Eliza Fricker (@_MissingTheMark)

Tom Vodden (@TVodden), teacher and trainer

Liz Soper (@ASeatAtTheTabl4), A Seat At The Table

Kieran Rose (@KieranRose7), The Autistic Advocate

Dr Chris Bagley (@hiddendepths), Director of Research at States of Mind



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