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Feeling like a bit of a fraud...(long, sorry)(4 Posts)
DS2 has just turned 5 (last week!) & is in FT MS school. He receives 32.5 hours 1:1 support from a couple of TAs (one for the morning & another for lunchtime & afternoon). He has hypermobility, social communication delay/difficulties & poor concentration skills as his main issues, it has been suggested that he may have autism but he is currently not being assessed for this (please excuse me if I am using any wrong terminology, I'm not entirely familiar with everything yet).
He is doing quite well at school - his handwriting is weak because of poor fine motor skills, but he is starting to write his name plus a few numbers independently. He can read about 30 words & sounds (from flashcards) but has no idea about phonics. His main issue in the classroom is concentration & following instructions - he cannot follow instructions in groups larger than 3 DC & requires constant prompting to complete a task, unless it's one of his favourites He also does not play with other DC at school, although he is starting to (last week or so) outside of school. He parallel plays & loves to be around other DC but doesn't seem to know how to interact with them, despite a large family & lots of contact with other DC at home, too.
He is no real trouble to us - he eats & sleeps very well, does as he is told mostly & does not really have meltdowns or sensory issues as I have seen described of other DC. He does need extra help eg getting dressed & needs supervision when we're walking not to run away, but even then he knows to stop at roads etc. I'd say he needs a bit (but not much) less care than my just-turned 2 year old DS3.
Anyway, DS2 receives DLA at middle rate care (used it for an all-class birthday party, swimming lessons, extra snacks that school has recommended) & has done since January. I do not work, so receive Carer's Allowance for looking after him. We are also in the process of applying for a council tax discount & I understand there are other things you can get eg reduced entry to places etc. But there is a part of me that feels quite uncomfortable with this - he is my DC & I will always care for him, as I will for my other 2 DC, that's just what I do as a parent. We are, however, in a position where DH has not had work for a long time (self-employed contractor) & we are struggling hugely financially, so any help we can get is very useful indeed.
Does anybody else feel like this? I can't really talk to anybody about this IRL as nobody I know is in a similar situation & it feels less personal on here
Despite what you might see in some newspapers and on Channel 5, it's not uncommon for people to feel uncomfortable, even a bit guilty, about claiming disability benefits either for themselves or other family members.
I'm glad your ds is doing well and of course you love him and will support him no matter what. But look at the evidence. If at 5 he needs more help than your 2 year old and requires 1:1 at school both morning and afternoon then clearly you are entitled to the DLA and other benefits. It costs more to raise a child with additional needs and you will be able to make good use of the money now and in the future.
Thanks Running, I guess you're right. I think I'm just so used to DS being DS & us automatically parenting him accordingly that it doesn't feel like work or a hardship to us, iyswim. That said, I definitely feel that the money will come in useful - both for things for him such as extra snacks & 1:1 swimming lessons, but also for me (the Carers' Allowance) as it would be difficult to get a job that would allow me to go to all his appointments, both medical & at the school.
Exactly. It's not "hardship" money for having to cope with your ds. It is a recognition that in parenting him you'll have to do things differently and he'll have needs that have to be addressed and all this costs more.
Sadly the carer's allowance, although useful, is nowhere near enough to compensate for not having a job.
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