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Any advice on moving to Australia with a disabled child

(24 Posts)
Mitchell81 Wed 22-Aug-07 10:31:36

I have a 6 year disabled daughter(Kate) who uses a wheelchair, physically disabled, developmentally delayed, doesn't communicate. She attends the Special needs base at our local school, but could go to a special needs school. We are looking into moving to Perth and would like some advice on schooling, medical etc and for the future would she be eligible for disability benefits etc( only asking coz she will never be able to look after herself and I need to know what the future would hold for her in Australia). She gets the highest rate of DLA in the UK.
Thank you for any help or advice you can offer. We need to know as much as possible before we make such a life changing decison. What are the schools and therapists like?

FioFio Wed 22-Aug-07 10:32:00

Message withdrawn

Mitchell81 Wed 22-Aug-07 10:34:52

Thanks, yes waiting for her

Mitchell81 Thu 23-Aug-07 15:25:36


FioFio Thu 23-Aug-07 16:10:21

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Davros Fri 24-Aug-07 19:14:11

I have a good friend who moved to Perth a few years ago with her 2 DDs, one with ASD and the other NT. I can ask her for more info if you like.

Mitchell81 Sun 26-Aug-07 21:49:34

Thanks, even just websites or names of schools etc.

Mitchell81 Mon 27-Aug-07 09:53:02


Davros Mon 27-Aug-07 11:34:15

Oh dear. I spoke to my friend on Saturday quite unexpectedly. She is planning on coming back to the UK, partly because her DH has never been happy there and because she believes she will get better support and provision for her DD with ASD. It may be different for other disabilities. I will email her though to find out more detailed info as we couldn't talk for too long. Their return may be much more related to her DH's unhappiness than the provision, I really don't know. She did say that things are quite expensive there and prices have gone up a lot, also that she has to pay to see Drs etc. I will get more info though, don't take this as gospel!

Mitchell81 Mon 27-Aug-07 14:51:29

Thank you Davros, it is good to know. It wouldn't put us off, because we realise things are different in other countries.

Mitchell81 Thu 27-Sep-07 09:25:22


needmorecoffee Thu 27-Sep-07 09:39:23

Its hard to know if you'll be happy in another country. We lived in the US for 3 years and I was terribly homesick and insisted we came home. Thank goodness, as DD was born 3 months later with her severe disabilities and infantile spasms and while we had insurance, they wouldn't have covered her ACTH treatment at $28,000 per vial (she needed 10 vials all together) of DH having to give up work to care for her (and thus losing the insurance as its supplied by employers)
My brother lives in Sydney and says its ok (he's lived in Canada and Dubai as well) but there are water shortages cos of the Australian drought. I'll ask him about medical treatment next time he calls.
Have you been on holiday out there so you know you like it?

Mitchell81 Thu 27-Sep-07 10:09:40

I am orginally from South Africa, so I know I would be used to the lifestyle. My parents and sister would also go, if we went. So as for being homesick- all my family would be with us.
I been in contact with a Ed Physchologist in Perth and he explained that the system was similar to the Uk, for inclusion etc.
Things that I need to know is will we have to provide wheelchairs, standers, equipment, hoists or do they have a similar system like the UK?

Mitchell81 Thu 27-Sep-07 10:13:27

I know the cost of medical in other countries can't compare to the NHS.

eidsvold Thu 27-Sep-07 13:23:48

sorry just seen this thread

IN terms of DLA - you would be eligible for either a carer allowance or a carer payment. I get the allowance - bog standard so much a week and not means tested as dd1 has a disability but it is not severe. You would probably be eligible for the other one which is means tested but is more for those who have to care almost full time for their children iyswim.

My dd1 has down syndrome.

Just curious as to what sort of visa you are intending on applying for. I do know of a friend whose stepson had some disability ( can't remember what it was) and they had all sorts of hassles with it.

When your daughter turns 16 then she would be eligible for a disability pension and I think you may still get payment for caring for her.

info re carer payment here

there are other services attached so if you search around that centrelink site you should find out more.

It depends from state to state as to who provides the services etc.

WA disability services

Our health system


dd1 does not need a lot of equip - but some that she has utilised has been provided by disability services.

WW education department

Our dd1 had dual citizenship - born in the UK but she had australian citizenship by descent. My english dh came in on a spousal visa. No need to apply for dd1 then.

schools and therapists can vary from city to city and within cities. I am far away from WA and so can't comment BUT i imagine it to be like anywhere - good and bad.

eidsvold Thu 27-Sep-07 13:25:55

there have been cases where people who are seriously/ terminally ill or have special needs - have been refused entry - reason being that their future needs would be a 'burden' on the australian government. Terrible I know - however the stories I am aware of are old stories and the policy could have changed. Am trying to find you some relevant info with regards to that but it is late and I need to get to bed. Will try over the next couple of days.

Mitchell81 Thu 27-Sep-07 14:55:40

Thank you so much, all this information is perfect, just what we need. We might get in on a skilled visa or a sponsored work visa. I have worried about the medical side of things for my daughter, I spoke to a doctor who deals with the medical for australian visas and he couldn't see a problem if I am her carer and when I spoke to the australia consulate they said they don't have a set rule refusing visas on the grounds of children's disability- but when we apply we will need to look into it then.

So who knows?

TeeJaye Thu 27-Sep-07 18:04:19

Oooo, interesting thread. Me and hubby have always dreamed about emigrating but assumed that with our two*, we'd be turned down as they'd be a drain on the economy.

14 year old with a rare chromosome abnormality, on lifetime medication since kidney transplant and mentally handicapped so requiring special ed and making use of respite


10 year old with congenital heart defect, operated on at birth so no current treatment but requiring regular check-ups and further surgery possibly required in the future

geekgirl Thu 27-Sep-07 18:12:20

I have looked into this in some detail before - I have a dd with Down's syndrome and we would have gone for the skilled visa. However, it appears that whilst they say they don't have a blanket rule of refusing entry, the reality is very different indeed, and it appears nigh on impossible to get in .

There was a high profile case a couple of years ago of a family being kicked out after their temp visa running out - mum a midwife, dad an IT specialist (both shortage professions), all because one of their 3 children had DS (but was doing perfectly fine at mainstream school).

There have also been cases of Australian citizens living abroad adopting a child with SN and then not being able to get them into the country when they decide to go home...

It's all pretty grim and off-putting. I am sorry to potentially throw a spanner into the works, but unfortunately the medical (which is were the SN will be picked up) is the very last part of the visa process, so you will have shelled out £££ by the time they tell you you're not welcome.

There is a back route into Oz - NZ does not discriminate against families with a child with SN, and once you have been in NZ for a certain number of years (3?) you can just move to Oz.

Mitchell81 Thu 27-Sep-07 19:01:01

That is wrong that they won't allow you in on the grounds of a disability.

Mitchell81 Fri 28-Sep-07 09:09:52

How would you find out for sure before spending all the money on visas, if they definetley will refuse you?

geekgirl Fri 28-Sep-07 20:10:53

you can't - it's a huge gamble really with very, very bad odds and with the medical being the final thing. You need to look into it in a lot of detail, talk to immigration agents, ask Australian learning disability charities for info and then make your own mind up.

I got a lot of info from the Australian Down's syndrome organisations and also read through appeals case law online (there's a database somewhere..) and came to the conclusion that there's no chance. I've 'met' people online who were denied a visa simply because their child is deaf (without any learning disability) or because they themselves had cancer over a decade ago, even if they have been fully cured since.

It's incredibly tough. The easier entry into NZ was due for an overhaul this year so I'm not even sure that they're still as lenient as I thought.

It was such a big dream to give up for me. Don't take my word for it though, do your own research - maybe there's an Australian equivalent of Mencap?

this is the Australian Immigration service's official statement on the health requirement. They say very clearly that they don't want anyone who will cost them any money in social security provisions and pensions. I take that as ruling out anyone who is eligible for DLA in this country.

geekgirl Fri 28-Sep-07 20:14:49

I do sympathise with your surprise and feeling of outrage btw - it had never crossed my mind that dd2's DS would be an issue at all and I'd got as far as looking at property porn in Perth and filling in all the via application forms blush before I even realised that it would be an issue

nanamia40 Thu 11-Dec-14 14:36:06

hi ladies ,bit of advice would be great,5 years ago we should of gone to oz me and my fella but i couldnt without my alfie,hes my grandson, 9 yrs old with down syndrome,he has had a lot of medical issues and over the first 5 yrs of his life its been a long busy emotional journey but all is well and all has been done,he goes to speacial school,he is very clever ,only problem would be that he wears nappies as he has no control over his bowls or bladder,he goesto see doctors at alder hey to see them about this but if it wasnt for the potty bit heis happy healthy clever littleboy,now im 44 n my partner is now 47,he did get offfered a very good and well payed job as he is a porfessional in his line of work,he works in construction and he is working at mo for land and marine,he never has a problem getting work with his C/V and list of certificates of dipolmas,etc,me and just a dog boarder,i know alfies mum would let me take him as she knows he is very close to me and me close to him,he lives with me at the mo,tillshe gets suitable accomadation,but ive been regreting not going,and she knows i would go if i could take him,if paul my partner was to get another offer is it to late with his age,

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