My boy, 7, has NEVER spent a full day at school – he can't read or write but it's not our fault

A DESPERATE mum claims she has been begging authorities to help her son who she says has never spent a full day at school – and can’t read or write. 

Little Louie Lee, 7, has been waiting for a diagnosis of his special educational and behavioural needs for years.

She claims he can only count as far as 20 and has never been able to spend a whole day at school.

Mum Michelle Cassemis claims she has been trying to get help since he started nursery in Cardiff, Wales.

Michelle says her son has been “let down by the system”, and only received his statement of special educational needs last year despite teachers noting that something was wrong. 

Mum-of-three Michelle said that his former school, St John Lloyd Primary,  helped get the statement and she had nothing but praise for them. 

But she claims that they couldn't cope with his issues, forcing Louie to stay home and stopping her from returning to work as a hairdresser. 


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She told WalesLive: “When Louie started in reception he stayed at school for 90 minutes a day, then it went down to 60 and then 30.

“He has been sent a private tutor at home but that didn’t work either.

"I have been told so many things he might have, but he has had no diagnosis. I have been told he seems to have autism or ADHD. 

“We have been back and forth to the doctors for three years. The headteacher of his school was amazing. 

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“I can’t say a bad word about her, but she was in a position where it was not possible to keep Louie in school. It became pointless sending him in. 

“He didn’t want to leave the house and has attachment issues. I was struggling to get him in to school. 

“Then after all that he was only in for half an hour. It wasn’t worth the chaos and battle.

 “I am heartbroken that all his life we have not got more for him. I have done parenting programmes and done everything that was suggested.

"I feel Louie has been let down by the system and no one has any answers.

"I can’t work because Louie needs looking after. He gets angry, he struggles to share and suffers from anxiety and attachment issues and doesn’t sleep well.

"I just want some help and someone to listen I am beginning to get so worked up and hurt and there is so much emotion.”

He was only in for half an hour. It wasn’t worth the chaos and battle.

Michelle claims that without a diagnosis a suitable school can’t be found, and is heartbroken that Louie has no friends. 

She claims he has been denied the help that he needs, and his older siblings, Hollie, 17, and Michael, 19, never had any of the same issues. 

Michelle said the school got Louie one to one help but he couldn’t build a relationship and that failed too.

She added: “I have been told so many things but Louie has lost so much.

"He can’t read or write and has never had any school life at all. He’s not played in the school yard or joined in with PE.

“Louie has a good relationship with his brother and sister. My older children are brilliant with him but it’s hard for them to deal with too.

"Dealing with this was all new to me. We just need some help. It’s been so long.

“I still feel that he’s been neglected by both the education board and NHS. It’s wrong how they’ve just left him.”

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has apologised for the delay in getting a referral for Louie. 

A spokesman said: “We apologise to Louie and his family for the delays experienced in exploring a diagnosis.


"The diagnostic process for neurodevelopment is complex and waiting times for access into services is not where we would wish.

“We are working hard to improve this. This includes making changes to the way services are organised based on consultation with a variety of health professionals with expertise in this area and continuing to explore opportunities to increase capacity.

"Our teams are also working closely with parents and colleagues in the education sector to support the referral process and the collection of the information required by professionals to support diagnostics.”

Cardiff Council denied that a child’s needs depend on a diagnosis, saying they always try to respond to their needs without a diagnosis. 

A spokesman added: “Cardiff Council’s education services will always endeavour to respond to a child’s needs and this is not dependent on a diagnostic process.

“Schools are supported to provide a series of provision to pupils and their families depending on their circumstances and individual needs.

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"This includes providing specialist teaching advice and support, facilitating educational psychology assessment and advice, providing a bespoke wellbeing and nurturing approach to learning and where appropriate, the provision of tuition at home whilst a suitable placement is found.

“Ensuring that the individual needs of each child is met is our priority and work is undertaken with a multi-agency approach to find suitable and sustainable provision which allows the child to thrive and which works for both pupil and family.”

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