The Right Support Gets Results

Clare's son was written off as lazy by teachers as a child. Severely Dyslexic and Dyspraxic, he faced an uphill battle in learning to read and write, let alone trying to succeed at French lessons alongside his peers in mainstream state school.

At school he was bullied by other pupils, segregated in food technology lessons because of allergies and given detentions because working memory problems meant he could not remember to bring everything he needed to class.

Clare said: "I was told by a Teacher at my Son's School when he was six years old and she didn't believe he was dyslexic , she said, he will never be an Einstein” I looked at her straight in the eyes and said “Do you realise Einstein was Dyslexic?” the look on her face was a picture, as though she wanted the floor to swallow her up"

Clare was determined that her son should get the support he needed that was not available at his school near Camberley. She fought Hampshire County Council for more than two years until they were forced by a Special Needs Tribunal to fund Michael at a specialist school that could help him achieve his potential.

This month, after much hard work, Clare's son was ecstatic to learn he had scored an A in GCSE English that he sat before Christmas. Clare believes it's a direct result of him getting the support he needed to overcome his problems:

"How amazing! It  just shows if a Dyslexic person is taught properly they can be amazing at English. I'm so proud of him."

Even though the process of getting the support in place made Clare ill, she now helps other parents who are struggling with the Special Educational Needs System to get their children the help they need so they have the opportunity to do as well as her own son.

Tania Tirraoro


  1. Clare Hopkins

    Thank you Tania so much, a lovely written article:))

    Hello Superlittlemen,(sorry I do not know your name) I have contacted you through my e mail address, please feel free to contact me when you are ready :))

    Beth, thank you again :))

  2. K. S

    Well done! It was worth all your hard work. I found your story very encouraging. I too had to fight the LEA for many years to get my son a place at More House School. The stress of dealing with the fallout at home (from his inability to cope in his old mainstream school) and two tribunal applications, nearly broke us all. It is a crazy system. We have finally ‘got our son back’, as he is so happy at his new school and making good friends.

  3. David Hillidge BSc

    Well done to Clare and Michael, always fight for your rights and if Michael is like his mum, which l’m sure he his, the boy is going to be the best lawyer ever.
    all the best for the future,God Bless, David

  4. yanah

    dear claire im in need of help my son has been offered a place at more house sept2010 i cannot fund it so am starting the statement route current mainstream school say he is not bad enough for statement both myself and more house dissagree so have asked for assesment i really need some help my son loved his day at more house as he said im just like all the boys im not stupid like i am at other school it broke my heart i want him to be able to start in sept any help please

  5. David Hillidge

    Dear Yanah, Just don,t take no for a answer also get onto your MP ask him to write a letter. The problem now is its all above saving money. But I,m sure Claire should give you some good advice. Just keep writing letter and contact the papers etc.
    Best of luck.
    David Hillidge BSc Hons

  6. Zaras Mum

    Hi Clare
    I am in same position as Yanah, my daughter has been offered a place in a dyslexia school (she has severe dyslexia and is making little progress in her state school). I cannot manage the fees and I am about to embark on statementing process, any advice you could give me would be very gratefully recieved
    Thank you for giving me hope special needs mum !
    Zaras Mum x

  7. Peter

    Contrary to popular opinion, the fact is that Einstein did not suffer from dyslexic. He was late in developing his speaking ability probably owing to being withdrawn in early life.

  8. Karen Pithers

    Clare what a great story! Your son is a credit to himself, all those young people that are ‘labelled’ and most definitely your hard work.
    I am currently helping a very close friend fight a decision to for place in a special needs college (out of county) and so I have every admiration for anyone who has got through this bureaucratic system with their sanity let alone with a result. We have so many examples of how the LA, etc have failed her yet the system continues to churn out the same responses.

    At times, we have got to the point of despair but reading stories like yours make me realise that persistance does pay.
    If you or anyone else on here has any advice at all then please feel free to contact me.
    (Could you please forward this mail to Clare?)


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