• 1marthasmith

The 'Nexicon', or the Lexicon of things not to say

Updated: Apr 18, 2019



OH GOOD GRIEF, once I started I couldn’t stop. Inspired by the finest post I’ve ever read, SEND Bingo by the effervescent Annie at mykidlovesbroccoli, (https://mykidlovesbroccoli.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/sendbingo/) I felt it might be time to share some of the delightful comments that I’ve been lucky enough to hear from other people. Folks wonder why those in a similar position only keep a few trusted allies and can’t really be bothered with the rest… We seek out the kind of people that we can share these comments with and then laugh ourselves stupid. These are the people who ask a question because they want the answer in order to be helpful, supportive or make something easier for our kids. These are the people we keep.


Early after diagnosis this stuff used to really hurt me. Now, I would recommend that anyone brave enough to spout such ignorant crap wear an effective pair of ear defenders and a sturdy pair of running shoes.


Ladies and gentlemen , I give you the NEXICON.


  • At least he’s a good-looking child

  • Isn’t it great they let him come to school with everyone else

  • God never gives us anything we can’t handle

  • We are not worried, he’ll grow out of it.

  • Life’s not like that, they are just going to have to learn to get on with it.

  • Special Parents get Special Children

  • I liked that school but when I found out how many kids had special needs there, there was no WAY I was going to send children there.

  • Is your other child normal?

  • Do you think you might have been really judgemental before and that’s why this happened to you?

  • Are there any others in your family?

  • Are you worried that your other child might have it?

  • Twenty years ago your children would have been locked up.

  • They take up so much of the teacher’s time

  • They are so lucky to get extra help

  • Wouldn’t he prefer to be in the corridor?

  • He looks alright

  • Really? Are you sure? She seems OK.

  • I’d be MUCH tougher on them

  • I didn’t invite her because I knew she wouldn’t like it

  • It’s just an excuse for bad behaviour.

  • SEND children are ...

  • SEND parents are ...

  • So what can’t you do?

  • What can’t they do?

  • Who has it come from?

  • We’ve been talking about you over a coffee

  • I had a friend who had one.

  • Wouldn’t they be happier in a different school?

  • You can’t blame the teachers for not knowing what to do

  • Do they have any friends?

  • She should be grateful

  • Maybe you should try tougher boundaries.

  • You know that most people’s marriages fail after that diagnosis

  • Bless them

  • Of course, I don’t really know the details…(eyes wide and voice inflected to give me the opportunity to chime in with all the juicy stuff)

  • Will they ever…

  • He wasn’t as far down the spectrum as yours…

  • Didn’t you know?

  • I suppose they’re happy enough

  • Well you CHOSE to extend your family

  • You are grieving.

Phew! Catharsis in action. Join in the fun folks… I’d love to hear yours in the comments below. Get them out of that painful section of your brain and out onto the screen. Then we can all laugh our socks off together.


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MS Parent Advocate is a supportive blog focusing on the challenges and wins of parenting children with additional needs. Based in Hampshire Martha runs workshops for schools and other education providers in Surrey, London & Hampshire on how to improve empathy between teachers and parents.

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