My name is Michelle Caddy and I am the Chair of the parent carer forum in Redcar & Cleveland, recently renamed as ‘SEND Family Voice, Redcar & Cleveland’.
My own experience of living this challenging, but rewarding life, started with a diagnosis of autism for my eldest son in 2014. At the time I was a full time English teacher in a busy and demanding secondary school, but fast forward to 2016, a new baby in 2015, and it was clear that my path was changing direction and I became a full-time carer. That was a really hard time and I have worked hard on the practice of radical acceptance. It isn’t always easy but ultimately I have changed my whole outlook on who my children were born to be, and I wouldn’t change them for the world.
My youngest is also autistic so as the mother of two autistic children, I have a fair amount of experience on things that work, things that don’t, and I am still learning. My children are my greatest teachers on autism, and on life really!
I am optimistic that SEND Family Voice, Redcar & Cleveland can re-invigorate and represent the collective voice of the SEND community, so together we can drive change and improvements for our wonderful children and young people.