New Book Empowers Parents Navigating the Complexities of Children with Special Education Needs in England’s Educational System

New Book Empowers Parents Navigating the Complexities of Children with Special Education Needs in England’s Educational System

Parents of children with special needs are constantly up against tall odds, despite changes to England’s framework back in September of 2014 that were designed to simplify the system and provide parents and children a greater say in the support they receive. 

However, many families still feel that there’s still room for improvement.

After all, there are more than 1.3 million children across England who have special needs and most of them (1.1 million) are in mainstream schools. But when The Key conducted a recent survey of English schools, 82% reported not having sufficient funding or budgets to provide for them.

As both an acclaimed speech and language therapist with a practice in East Anglia and the mother of a child with special needs herself, author Janet O’Keefe was looking for a better way to empower other parents just like herself. And that’s how her book, The Ordinariness of Impairment, came to be. 

Providing Hope for Those Who Worry Their Child Might Not Reach Their Potential
Janet’s career path was first established as a young woman of only 13, based upon experiences shared with a deaf uncle and later solidified when volunteering at a Christmas event where many children there struggled with serious communication issues. “I was shocked how the other children acted and treated them. On the whole, they were horrible and mean. I couldn’t bear it,” Janet recalls.

And she has stayed the course ever since.

In her quest to make a difference, Janet discovered that parents had a wealth of information about what they couldn’t do or shouldn’t expect and very little that opened their eyes to new empowering steps that they could take or what it looked like when parents, educators and specialists got it right. 

“Parents of children and pupils with SEN are enormously aware of the problems that they are up against. Ultimately, what they are looking for are solutions to those problems and strategies for overcoming the fears, frustrations and ongoing struggles they face.” So, Janet teamed up with New York Times Bestselling author Raymond Aaron to provide them with just what the doctor ordered. 

Tools, Resources & Support
The Ordinariness of Impairment is a book designed to equip parents, teachers, therapists, charities, practitioners, legal solicitors and barristers about what can be done for special needs children – despite the politics and legal and resource constraints. Beyond that, though, the book aims to help those most affected both understand and influence the decisions that are being made by local authorities. 

Janet also launched the SEN Revolution Summit, where subscribers regularly hear from other parents of young people with special needs and the professionals that advocate for them who share the what, where and why of what they are doing and – most importantly – can share practical tips and advice for making a difference. This includes a look at the current educational system in the United Kingdom from a legal perspective, providing strategies for developing emotional well-being and offering specialist examples of excellence from across the UK, US and Canada. 

No matter what stage a child may be in, there is something in this book and the SEN Revolution Summit network that can help them grow and reach their potential. Copies of The Ordinariness of Impairment can be purchased from her website at or from as either a printed or Kindle edition.

Janet O’Keefe will be presenting a live London event on June the 15th sponsored by Field Fisher, Equazen and a Barrister’s Chambers.  Tickets are available via, with three pricing options that will secure a place at the information-packed event. - just pay for a buffet lunch, VIP lunch with speakers and sponsors or buy a copy of the book to collect on the day to secure your place.


For more information (Press Only): 
Janet O’Keefe
+ 44 (0) 7545768024
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