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I'm terrified of claiming DLA for DD? SS and MH issues?(17 Posts)
Decided to post this here as I may get more advice. I don't want to drip feed nor give too many personal details as I'll defiantly out myself but I'll try. It's long but detail is needed.
I'm from Northern Ireland. I am a single parent to my 2.5 year old DD who is in the process of being diagnosed for autism. She has little to no eye contact and no desire for affection or to socialise and is currently a non verbal child who communicates by screaming as she can't point (I consider verbal speaking). It's a guessing game from there which could lead to a melt down if I don't find out what she needs fast enough. She is a very routine orientated child. Anything that disrupts her normal routine causes chaos and could take up to a week to get her back to happy and 'normal' so going to a new place of even out is a trial. I've had to ask relative's or friends to either mind her or do my shopping for me. She has sensory issues as well which mostly consist of her horribly sensitive gag reflex which makes getting her to eat even the smallest bit of food a challenge and her biting in order to 'feel' which means she will attempt to take chunks out of herself or other people to the point of making them or herself bleed though this doesn't bother her. Her sleep is very limited and I need to stay by her until she sleeps and stay put for an hour to make sure she is defiantly sleep as she chews her crib, head bangs and launches herself at the wooden bars of her crib, all to avoid injury. Once asleep she will sleep for 4-5 hours max before the cycle continuzes.
My sister has suggested claiming DLA for her. I'm terrified of this prospect as I have some mental health issues which I receive middle rate care and low rate mobility dla for. My fear stems from A friend telling me if I apply for DD they will question how I could care for her if it receive the allowance myself and get SS involved. Am I right to feel this way? Does this really happen? I know I'm being irrational but I've had SS involved from the start because of my MH issues. It was through no fault of my own, they claimed it was normal and routine for them to be in involved for support but it still terrified me. And after a bad experience with a therapist who decided to call them because of a perfectly normal occaurance in my diagnosis I've been so wary. I grew up with my own mother telling me how SS took children away and that fear has always stuck especially since I have MH issues. I cried every night that they were involved because of the fear.
I considered it the other way round and decided against it. No official reason, just felt they may question my ability to care.
No help really, sorry.
They've already decided you are capable if they have been involved. Why would they find you less capable because you claim the benefits she's entitled to?
The way my friend explained it is they would question it as I get DLA for care. I know it doesn't seem to make much sense but it worries me.
That doesn't make sense. The care component of your DLA is to pay for expenses surrounding care, (eg cleaners, aides, a mobile home, iPad, pencil grips etc etc ). It is not because you need to be "cared for".
It certainly doesn't mean you can't be a great Mum. Loads of disabled people are parents or carers.
I know a part of me is irrational but there is so much stigma surrounding mental health. I really do fear about how I'm looked at in terms of care for my DD.
I do understand but I don't think a DLA application for an autistic child is going to trigger anything.
I agree. You receive dla for the support you need - it does not mean you can't provide the support your DD needs - and you are entitled to the dla to help you provide her that service.
SS clearly deem you fit as a parent - why would claiming dla change that? Dla is attached to level of need - your DD isn't going to be a different child because you get dla for her. SS have deemed you able to provide and care for your DD.
I understand your worry, but honestly it will be fine, SS were satisfied with your parenting, that isn't in question, I would say apply on behalf of your DD.
Get help from CAB, to fill the forms in. If she goes to nursery get them to support your claim.
If your DD gets it then you can get carers allowance, if you earn under £90?
A week, that figure may have gone up.
If you get tax credits they add extra for a child with a disability.
I get DLA due to chronic health, as do my children who have ASD, we have a care package for all four of us, three different disability social workers are involved, my parenting has never been questioned. Try not to worry.
There are a lot of very wise posters on here who will support you.
I think it's my upbringing and experience with a therapist that is colouring my view of SS but after being treated so badly I can't seem to shake the fear. I want to apply for DD as it would help in many ways, particularly with sensory equipment for her but she has no diagnosis yet and with her being so young I'm afraid that there will be no chance.
Diagnosis is only evidence, it certainly isn't needed. Her age MAY make it more of a struggle as she has to have more needs than a child the same age. At 2 constant supervision is the norm as are nighttime wakings so the needs must be demonstrably more. Why not just give it a punt and see?
I suppose it's my fear of something happening once I apply especially if we're refused. I know her age would defiantly make it an issue though.
HavenforHaggis I get DLA for my severe MH issues (HRC/LRM) and I get DLA for my DS with autism (HRC/LRM as well). I would definitely urge you to claim it, and not to worry about SS intervention. As it happens, I have had some bad/unwanted attention from SS but tbh I don't think it was the benefits that triggered it (it was more to do with trying to get DS's statement in place but that's another story!). SS intervention can be stressful but the trick is to use it as leverage to get more support in place, whether that's direct payments, or being rehoused or school transport. Basically I found that they were keen to throw funding at me to make it possible for DS to stay in our home, simply because it costs far more to place a child in care. So use that to your advantage if you can.
The benefits will really make a difference to you and your DD though. It sounds like she has high needs and you'd be likely to get HRC if she is having sleep issues, and that would trigger higher tax credits, housing benefit and also carer's allowance for you. I don't bother claiming ESA any more as carer's allowance allows me to get income support which is the same amount but without the hassle of assessments. It made a massive difference to us financially, as well as allowing us to access other things which needed DLA as a 'passport' like short breaks, charity funding etc.
Rose, do you mind me asking if the experiences you've had with SS affected you? I'm fairly young and both SW that I dealt never heard of my diagnosis and I had to explain both times what it was and what it entailed for them to say they wanted to create a safety plan for my DD. I told them that I wasn't dangerous to my child, that what happened with my condition only happened under certain rare circumstances and that is was as normal as breathing. That didn't matter. I felt so low.
I want to say it's not about the money but it is. It will be a year before DD can get help with her speech or even a funded ABA place. On top of that she has started head banging when being told 'no' and she has an abnormally strong gag reflex which is making feeding her an even bigger fight. She's throwing up and gagging and I'm constantly worried about her food intake.
Yes it was extremely stressful at the time and I was genuinely fearful at one point that they would take DS into care (the SW actually mentioned getting the police in to take him away if I didn't comply with their demands). But I have a good friend who has experience with the SS system, and she has been really helpful in explaining the legal position. Now I have a bit more experience I'm not worried at all - I just treat it as a hoop to jump through in order to gain more resources for me and DS.
Don't ever be ashamed about needing the money for your DD. ASD interventions are bloody expensive and the more you can get for her at an earlier stage, the better, and it's much better getting DLA/direct payments for you to sort it out yourself than hoping the LA's miserable underfunded services will ever help. Don't forget that there are charities which can help too.
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