Parents in the north have been left shocked and angry over plans to slash support for their disabled children.
Swingeing cuts at Argyll and Bute Council could see the number of additional support needs assistants halved in the region’s classrooms.
A group of parents from Oban has held talks with local MSP Mike Russell amid alarm at the plans to axe 72 posts to save £1.4million.
It is the biggest saving measure earmarked by the local authority as part of a controversial £18million squeeze over the next two years.
Sandra Bruce’s five-year-old son Finlay has severe cerebal palsy, uses a wheelchair and cannot sit up.
He is also deaf, unable to speak and is fed through a peg in his stomach, and his teachers at Rockfield Campus Learning Centre believe he should have two support assistants instead of one.
Mrs Bruce said: “If the staff numbers are reduced staff will be under stress and are not going to be able to spend the quality time that he requires.
“He is a quiet child and I feel he will be left in his chair while the stressed staff are trying to deal with other children who can be a bit more disruptive.”
Tina MacGillivray, whose five-year-old son Innes Gemmell has a rare chromosome disorder named 48XXYY syndrome, said: “I was shocked when I heard about this.
“What annoys me most is that it is such a struggle for our children to get through the day and they want to pull their services away and make it even harder.
“If these children don’t get the support early on in their lives they are not going to grow up to be as independent as possible and lead independent and fulfilling lives.”
The mothers are members of the parent carers support group based at North Argyll Carers Centre in Oban.
Mr Russell, the SNP MSP for Argyll and Bute, said: “The council has known about the difficult financial situation it is facing for three years and was told by Audit Scotland to prepare for it.
“There are ways to approach this which are far more positive.”
Council leader Dick Walsh insisted that no decisions had been taken.
“Our grant from the Scottish Government has been reduced by over £30million in recent years while funding for other public agencies has increased.
“It is important to point out that the council is looking at options for making savings and no decisions have been made yet about particular options.
“The council is due to meet on October 22 and will be asked to agree that all options go out to full public consultation.”