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So..... apparently parents with ADHD children are "unscrupulous". Still if it paves the way for cutting DLA then that's okay - after all we're just milking the system

(103 Posts)
DillyDaydreaming Sun 06-Feb-11 13:26:58


What a pile of shite.

My son received his ADHD diagnosis alongside one of ASD. I didn't SEEK the diagnosis and never even considered it until the paediatrician brought it up. The paediatrician based that opinion on extensive observations and reports of my DS - it certainly was not "just a tick box" affair. Even then it was not conformed for several months for further observations and assessments.

And if the head teacher quoted is SO sure it's just a parent milking the system why is she aiding a positive diagnosis by ticking her "tick boxes" in a positive way>

Stupid bloody woman - just hope she never gets withing 100 feet of MY son because with teachers like that he needs NO enemies. In fact she might wish to meet my son - he is NOT disruptive/bouncing off the walls. Instead he is much quieter and struggles to maintain focus and attention enough to understand the curriculum without visual aids and support. Nor is he on any medication.

What a shite report and what a shite head teacher. We are not all milking the system - as a mother and as a health professional I can tell you there are many more of us who don't seek a diagnosis because we don't suspect ADHD until it is suggested.

Still if it makes people feel more friendly to the idea of cutting DLA I assume that's okay with Shiney Dave and his pals in power.


And fwiw - all assessments of my DS suggest he will do well in life - he will work (just as I do), pay taxes (just as I do) but hey - lets stuff ALL parents doing their best - shuffle them all into the "shit parents" pile and cut off all support - that'll learn em!

PrincessScrumpy Sun 06-Feb-11 13:35:26

Unfortunately there are some parents who do this - I work in a secondary school and have seen it. Parents refusing to meet with school to discuss problems with child but suddenly, when it is suggested it may leed to increased benifits, they suddenly turn up.

I don't think anyone thinks this is true of everyone, but it does happen and makes it harder for the genuine ones. Don't be angry at comments, be angry at those who abuse the system.

She is not attacking you personally so if it doesn't apply to you then she isn't talking about you and your circumstances. You may well not be milking the system but you would be niaive to think others aren't I'm afraid!

MmeLindt Sun 06-Feb-11 13:42:46

I think the problem is not that there are a few who do this, but the way in which it is reported makes it seem as if they are successful.

There are always going to be benefit cheats, unscrupulous folk who take advantage of the system.

The DLA is the benefit that has the lowest fraud quota because the application is so complicated and stringent.

I am disappointed that the BBC are giving room for this to be aired.

onimolap Sun 06-Feb-11 13:46:02

According to the link, the head teacher in question is quoted as pointing out that the one child's diagnostic process with which she had issues was flawed because the child had not been in school for 12 weeks and the parents' statement on his in-school behaviour was inaccurate.

I agree that one incident does not make a good case, and it's not clear if her views are widely shared.

This article is publicising a BBC radio programme that has not yet aired (it's to be broadcast this evening).

MissQue Sun 06-Feb-11 13:50:21

It's making me angry because it gives credence to those who blether that kind of shite every day. Yes, there are chancers and shit parents who will blame anything but themselves for their children being out of control, but just because they exist doesn't give anyone the right to say that we're all fakers angry

for every one of them, there are 100 more parents working their arses off trying to get the right help for their child, in whatever form that may come, not just money.

Chil1234 Sun 06-Feb-11 14:06:49

So the problem being described about fraudulent behaviour just shouldn't be discussed at all? Brush it under the carpet? Pretend it never happens? No-one in that article said everyone was a 'faker'. In fact it went out of its way to say these cases were worrying exceptions and that it was no reflection on families with genuine problems.

MmeLindt Sun 06-Feb-11 14:13:43

It would have been a more balanced article, had the writer written that DLA is extremely hard to get.

cat64 Sun 06-Feb-11 14:15:07

Message withdrawn

DillyDaydreaming Sun 06-Feb-11 14:18:21

But chil it paves the way to suggesting in peoples minds that there enough of them out there to tar all with the same brush. I am glad it's not an open comments section on the BBC site because the bile and vitriol which would spew forth would be scary.

It's chipping away at peoples minds in order to get them thinking "well restrict DLA" and there are more of us genuine cases out there who RELY on this money to make a difference to our children.

Mine allows me to work less hours and be WITH my son to help him with homework and reading which he struggles with. Hard when I was working full time and harder because of his difficulties compared with a neuro typical child. Plus the help he needs with daily activities which all adds up in time. Thing is I won't need this DLA forever - as my son gets older he will gain much more independence. I would hate to think it could be deprived for other parents in my position though. I am so grateful DLA exists - it makes a difference to my son's life - we can afford to attend the SN groups which help him, we can afford the extra petrol costs to get him there etc etc etc.

This report will feed into other and eventually people will become used to the idea of yet another cut.

DillyDaydreaming Sun 06-Feb-11 14:20:26

Believe me cat I do feel anger towards these people but do you know how hard DLA is to get? I do - not just from personal experience but as a health professional who has a hand in completing these forms for people. The forms are HUGE and a high number are rejected initially.

penelopestitsdropped Sun 06-Feb-11 14:21:08

My DS has had a diagnosis of ASD since he was 23 months old.

Aged 8 he got a further diagnosis of ADHD.

A relative has just had their 9 year old diagnosed with it because she knew what to say to the Pead because she had been through it all with me and my DS.

Her son has fuck all wrong with him but a shitty parent.

It irritates the fuck out of me that i am tarred with the same brish as her, but sadly there are people who will seek a diagnosis to cover for their innadequacies.

catinthehat2 Sun 06-Feb-11 14:25:49

"Head teacher Susan recalls being accidentally sent an e-mail by a paediatrician who had prescribed drugs to one of the pupils at her school.

The e-mail featured a list of bogus claims the parents had raised about their child's behaviour in school.

"The doctor had not bothered to ring our school to find out if any of this was true. So we wrote to explain that the child had not actually been in school for 12 weeks."

So this is all a barefaced lie by the headteacher? She made the whole thing up?

Why would she do that do you think?

thunderchild Sun 06-Feb-11 14:43:17

its all bollocks and so typical of the current political chlimate--

heres the tactic (whether it be DLA, JSA, housing benefit etc)

1, identify and name target

2, stigmatise and scapegoat target by implying that some may be "undeserving" (y'ko
now-like the poor-damn them)of their benefit

3, thus ensuring that the majority (daily mail and sun readers) will not care when those benefits are cut

where did this article appear?

like many things , we should not punish and cut benefits just because they are occasionaly abused, what happened to "there but for the grace of god"?sad

catinthehat2 Sun 06-Feb-11 17:49:13

"where did this article appear?"

erm if you had read it, you would know

your opinion is now invalid

Triggles Sun 06-Feb-11 18:01:01

oh please. "your opinion is now invalid" have a biscuit

Unfortunately it's a common tactic. Demonise the potential victim of upcoming cuts, make the public think that the cuts are necessary (even if they are not) to deter fraud and such, and people protest less. This government figured out early on that keeping people busy infighting is to their advantage.

BialystockandBloom Sun 06-Feb-11 19:02:47

The main thing that articles like this do is fuel DailyMail-esq prejudice and ignorance about 'benefit scroungers' and 'made-up' conditions.

Ok so maybe this one teacher knew of one family who she suspected of exaggerating symptoms. Even if so, as others here have said, any benefits like DLA are not easy to come by. Even if you do have a diagnosis it isn't an automatic given that you'll receive extra money, and you have to go through a hugely taxing process to claim it.

And then it's massively irresponsible journalism to create headlines like "head teacher*s* claim..." - as if it's a load or all of headteachers claiming this, when it's in fact one, anonymous person.

It also serves to perpetuate the attitude that conditions like ADHD, ADD or ASD are 'made-up'. There have been at least two big threads on MN even in the past month or so specifically about this, with so many people re-peddling the ignorance that 'in their day' these conditions didn't exist, children were just naughty etc etc.

Triggles Sun 06-Feb-11 19:06:17

I often wonder why people can't see the correlation of:

"in my day these conditions didn't exist, children were just naughty"


"they DID exist but hadn't been recognised yet, so instead of getting help that may have allowed them to cope better, people dismissed them as being naughty."

a bit disheartening, really...

BialystockandBloom Sun 06-Feb-11 19:58:36

Absolutely - disheartening, and also prolonging ignorance, exclusion and isolation.

Instead of the focus on a tiny minority of people who might exploit the system (which, as you say, serves a political purpose), why not focus on the large numbers of families who are struggling daily with dc with all sorts of sn with very little or no help at all. Doesn't really get coverage does it.

Panzee Sun 06-Feb-11 20:01:22

Can I ask how DLA helps a child with ADHD? I have taught a child who has been diagnosed ADHD but apart from that I don't have much experience.
Sorry if it's in the wrong place, it's something I've wondered for a while.

Mists Sun 06-Feb-11 20:36:19

Hello Panzee, I can't answer for ADHD I'm afraid but my son is autistic and gets DLA.

In one instance we discovered that at a certain time he was absolutely primed to begin signing and subsequently talking. Obviously the entire family had been desperately trying to encourage this but because his social skills were impaired he wasn't at that time ready to engage with us.

He was, however, starting to take notice of Mr Tumble / Justin Fletcher on television. We bought every available DVD from the Makaton website along with the Makaton handbook with the DLA one month.

My son has terrible problems walking around outside due to anxieties and phobias or cars, noise, crowds, dogs, you name it. We don't actually receive the mobility aspect of DLA but we used what we get for his care needs to buy a pushchair that I had never expected to have to buy for a child as old as he is.

But it is a godsend. The hood comes all the way down to shut out the distressing outside things, he can't drag his feet and ruin his shoes (another expense) and prevent me moving him anywhere.

My son has sensory issues and at one point I used DLA for a swimming-only membership at a health club. No overwhelming chlorine smells, a quiet, small, safe environment, walk-in pool and most importantly a playpen in the changing rooms so I didn't have to worry about him running back to the pool and falling in.

Luckily DS is not that violent or uncontrollable but I should imagine some parents of children with ADHD have to replace common-place things very often. Not just their own things, but those of their parents and siblings.

We go through bedsheets, duvets, covers and mattresses like you wouldn't believe due to incontinence issues.

Mainly I would say that DLA helps a child with ADHD in that it enables them to have a parent at home especially in the early years, who is available to sort all these things out and more importantly to fight for the provision that the child needs. I'm an ex-teacher and well-used to filling in complicated forms but I do get overwhelmed at the amount of paperwork I am asked to complete.

In addition, my calendar is full of meetings with various professionals. I can't see how I could get back to work at this stage even if specific childcare were available.

If the parent of a child with ASD / ADHD is on their own and has no respite at all, no sleep, then it's preferable that the family has a little bit of extra money to the child going into care with all the well-known outcomes that entails.

Mists Sun 06-Feb-11 20:39:45

Sorry that was a right-old waffle grin

For ADHD I would imagine that the money isn't spent on LaserQuest, Ben 10 or anything that the child might enjoy directly but more on supporting the family to cope in incredibly difficult circumstances.

Panzee Sun 06-Feb-11 20:42:30

Thank you Mists.

Mists Sun 06-Feb-11 21:04:26

You are welcome, hope it sheds a bit of light even though I don't have direct experience.

Twinklebum Sun 06-Feb-11 21:10:00

panzee my ds has adhd and hes been diagnosed since he was 3.5 ish he is now 7, i applied and recieved dla for him for 2 years which has paid for may things including new doors (he'd made holes in them by throwing things in temper) a complete overhall in diet (this had made the most dramatic improvement and has been very costly), swimming lessons to release extra energy and give him something to be proud of achieving as well as various other little bits along the way ie shoes, in reception year at school he went through 6 pairs!

however on filling out the renewal i have been declined dla as he had made some inprovement but without the addition monies i am finding it very hard to continue with his strict diet and swimming lessons and thats without any thing extra i have to replace.

He is not on medication i have changed my whole life to accomodate his condition and get family life to as close to 'normal' as i can without it.

Mists Sun 06-Feb-11 21:18:13

Twinklebum sad I'm so sorry about the DLA, have you asked for advice on the SN forum here? The people there are very very knowledgeable and are used to having to appeal.

The special diet is another big expense, one I had forgotten to mention. It is very expensive but so beneficial as to be absolutely necessary for a chance at a normal life for an affected child in the same way that antibiotics are in order to combat a serious infection.

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