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Hi. My LO (aged 3 1/2 years) has global developmental delay. I have just submitted a DLA claim. However, I am now very worried that I have not completed the form very well. I do not think I have made it clear enough how my LO's care needs are greater than those of a child a similar age. I was wondering if it might be a good idea to send off a letter to go with the claim? Also I would really appreciate some idea/some examples of how I am supposed to fill the form in. I have looked at the DLA booklet and the Cerebra and Contact the Family Guides. However, I think I should have been much cleared about my answers - e.g. I wrote about him waking at 4am in the morning and how I then have to get up with him to supervise him as he will put small objects in his mouth, play with electrical leads and climb unsafely. And how it can take at least an hour to get him settled again. I am worried they will just see this as normal for a 3 year old. But with my eldest - I didn't have to do this. If he woke, I might need to reassure him. Also, once resettled I didn't have to sit with him as he did not do things that made me fear for his safety.
I am wondering now, if I should have expanded my answer more e.g. written how we don't get up until 6am so 4am is at night. Also, how I cannot leave him until he is actually asleep. How he is in my room to ensure I wake when he does because of my concerns about his safety. Plus, how I have woken to find he has climbed up onto the windowsill ... and is stood up there. As he has poor co-ordination/spatial awareness, I am especially concerned about him falling.
Any advice at all would be so much appreciated. I keep reading about how people have been turned down for DLA even though their child's needs seem extremely high.
I am very anxious that I have not filled in form well. Would really appreciate some thoughts/ advice about filling in DLA form.
The Cerebra guide is recommended by lots of people as excellent, so you should be okay if you followed their guidelines.
If you think you could have done better, and you are still within the time limit for submitting the form, then send a covering letter with extra information. If not, ring the DWP and ask for advice on how to proceed.
I used the Cerebra guide to help me fill in the form when my DS was 3. I'm pretty sure that the assessors will recognise 4am as being nighttime. If they refuse DLA or you feel you should have got a higher award, you can always appeal and submit more evidence. It is definitely worth appealing if they turn you down, but I can't see why they would as the examples you highlight do demonstrate that your DC has no awareness of danger.
If your child's difficulties mean he or she does not have the understanding of of a typically developing child of the same age, then you have to give them more supervision as you can't explain risks etc to them. You have given good examples of how you have to do more for your DC than one would normally expect.
My local Mencap charity has support workers that come out and help you fill in the form in a way that expresses most clearly the extent of your child's difficulties. Maybe you could give Mencap a call and ask if they have similar support workers in your area?