A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

2-Minute Read


It is all very easy to take what seem like small things for granted.

Early on after Bev died Tam had lots of issues and some of them started to occur on his way to school. Tam travels to school on a bus or taxi and requires an escort. This is all organised by SEN Transport at the Newcastle council.

After one particularly bad situation on his way to school I asked to take over as his escort. This continued up until this week. Now he has an escort. I deliver Tam to the taxi and it is out of my hands. I pick him from the taxi after school. I was very worried about doing this but his new escort Claire has made it fuss free and Tam has just accepted the change.

Now going from being his escort to just being his Dad has freed up nearly 2 hours for me. I am being responsible with that time and trying to make it work for both of us. I think I am having more separation anxiety than Tam is. All I will say is my separation anxiety keeps me company.

The point of this is that I have been given tons of support from the people at SEN transport and without their understanding, support, empathy and a little dose of righteous telling off to be good to myself, life would have been so much harder.

It is all too easy to disregard the things that appear to be simple and getting your child to school when they are showing really complex behaviour would be easy to just say to yourself, “well it just getting them to school” or “its there job, easy”. Well over my time talking to the people in SEN transport I learned a lot of things. One simple thing that still blows my mind is that every morning and night SEN transport are responsible for getting 1000+ kids to and from school. Each kid is different and has their very own complicated set of needs. Now to me that feels like an act of magic. Just think about it, 1000+ kids on the move with drivers, routes, escorts, kids off sick, parents not being there to meet their kids. Just think about that for one minute. I have.

Thank you SEN transport Newcastle, you are rare people, you all have huge heart and are much understood and undervalued. Angels one and all.

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