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DLA Reconsideration(20 Posts)
Hi I'd be interested to hear how many people have been successful after a DLA reconsideration. My dd doesn't have a dx but has various difficulties, I had someone from our local Carers centre help me fill the form out. I included the OT report which states dd scored on the 1st percentile and has definite motor difficulties, also a report from the previous depute head at school written in June this year which states the difficulties dd has at school, waited 11 weeks and got turned down.
The information I gave them explained in detail how dd needs someone there all the time indoors and out, how we have had to call the police when she's went missing after getting lost while out playing more than once. We don't satisfy conditions for personal care or help getting about, even though one of the conditions for help getting about is "you can walk but need guidance or supervision to get around in places you don't know well" Ffs dd needs help getting around areas she does know well, like the area we live
Any ideas on what info I can give them, poured my heart and sould into the form based on worst days. We are waiting on an appt with cahms after getting a letter confirming our referral in June. Can I get other people who know her (nobody professional) to write statements? People who know her well.
Also can I ask DLA for a copy of the report they requested from the headmaster at dds school? He has no first hand knowledge of dd, the depute headteacher had lots of input but has unfortunately left to work in another school. I wonder if his report has affected the decision. At school she uses visual aids in class, has trouble processing a sequence of instructions and needs things broken down into small steps. There is more but my brain is mangled!
This wasn't meant to be so long
We asked for reconsideration and we went from "Not being eligible" to "Middle Rate Care" - so they do actually reconsider - although I did do a fair bit of foot stamping.
DS is only 2.5 - so our circumstances are different to yours. But our initial application was done under stress and was, in retrospect, rubbish. We didn't actually re-complete the form, we simply sent through copies of every report we could find with every relevant bit highlighted - this was what we were told to do by a wonderful person at Carers Resource - get in touch with them and ask for someone to visit now - they'll sit down and help you with the form/reconsideration.
We also gave them permission to speak to our Portage person, Disability SW, Paed, SaLT, etc. etc.
It worked for us - but first - get in touch with Carers Resource and hang in there! Oh and stamp your feet occasionally.
Thanks for your reply I'm in Scotland and think the Carers Centre here must be the equivalent of Carers Resource. They were great at helping initially but only gave advice over the phone about the reconsideration
I'm just struggling to think what other info I can give them/include as I exhausted everything I could think of in that bloody form!
I didnt get reconsideration with ds1 but did win the appeal
good luck with it
hiya, yes i believe you can get non prfessional people to do statements, we had one from our homestart worker so should imagine anyone can as its not like a homestart volunteer is partiularly professional if you get what i mean.
also you can get a copy of report that was sent in, we got copy of a paed report and then lodged formal complaints after what the paed had put (long story!!!)
also yes keep asking for reconsiderations you will get there in the end.
Thanks for your kind words
Red37, can I ask what the appeal entailed? I do all this on my own and find it nervewracking attending dds school reviews alone, never mind appeals!
There's some really useful information on the NAS website about what to write on the DLA application. I'm sure lots of it would be relevant to many disabilities, not just autism.
My DS (8) gets middle rate care, and lower rate mobility. He can walk, but has very little awareness of danger so must be very well supervised. He also has a tendancy to "wander off" and can disappear in seconds. He then gets very upset and distressed when he realises that he's lost. You need to put information like this on the form.
Did you send copies of the speech therapist's report? Does your DD have a statement? I found that by sending in lots of reports and information from all the professionals involved (O/T, speech therapy, educational psychologist etc) they didn't need to write to anyone for information, so the process was quicker.
we went from nothing to mid care, high mobility on reconsideration.
I wrote asking them to reconsider & included a diary of a couple of days in ds2's life drawing dirct comparisons to an NT child of the same age.
You really do have to spell it out for them, good luck
Just reading what you have written the little bit that stands out to me as someone who once worked for the benefit office is that you write that dd needs constant supervision indoors and outdoors but then you inform them that the police were called after dd went missing when playing out. By implication that suggests dd was unsupervised outdoors as she wouldn't have gone missing if supervised and so I imagine they would assume that dd isn't constantly supervised indoors either as that would be a safer environment.
Not being at all critical just pointing out how I think DWP may have interpreted your forms and where you might need to rephrase what has been written.
tipsycat we were due to attend speech therapy today but appt cancelled due to sickness. All the reports I had at the time were sent with DLA form. However, they asked school for an up to date report (even though report i sent from school was only 6 weeks old)
Last week I attended 1st review meeting at school, ed psychologist, learning support and class teacher, ed pych advised school are coping well with dds extra needs (maths/time to complete/etc) and that the next step is to be referred to camhs which was done back in April.
anonandlikeit thanks, a diary is a good idea
asdx2 I understand what you are saying, thanks Dd actually went missing whilst playing out when the gasman called, 1 min she was there, next min she was gone! She has also managed to get lost between finishing school and being picked up (finishes school at 3.15pm, I am usually there at 3.10pm after finishing my work as a nanny) however, there are odd times where I may be a few mins late (never more than a couple and she has been told to just wait but wandered off. I gave up my last job as couldn't be there in time to pick her up, but this time I am soo trying to make everything work as I love my job and couldn't be at home all day while dd is at school
Yanny, going on my experience with the appeal was not daunting even though I thought it would be.
There was a panel of 3, a chairlady, SW and a Doctor(these ppl are all independant from the DLA)
They asked me to describe a typical day with ds1 who has severe ADHD
DS has a tendancy to self harm so I had to elaborate on things like razors, sharps, compasses had to be kept out of reach
medication let them know everything as to changes side effects etc
also mention things like social interaction and self esteem issues, lack of
also windows, doors being locked as my ds got out of the bedroom window once, man across the street asked what he was doing and he replied "I am looking for my PUSSY"
I emphasised on the fact that I had to be one step ahead of ds1 to eleminate any potential danger whether in or out doors
The constant prompting and guidance you have to give them on a daily basis needs to be emphasised on
Unforetunately you have to do all the legwork and present your case
GP, consultant, school letters keep them
the diary is a must at an appeal
so you can jog your memory on particular incidents
Bathing etc, I have to be at arms length while with ds1 whilst bathing as he tends to flood the bathroom
behaviour wise I had to tell them of his violent outbursts temper, smashing things, swearing inattentaviness, fidgeting etc
jumping on tables furnture etc
ds is 14 now, the appeal was when he was 10, medication has increased but makes him depressed.
The thing is you need to tell them not about the condition itself but how the condition affects your dd and elaborate on her safety and the care and guidance she needs
hope this has helped and good luck!!
Hi there. Applied for dla for my son who is 6. Has chronic sleep difficulties severe adhd and struggles everyday. He has no awareness of danger road saftey impulsive tendencies. Got refused dla few weeks back have asked for a reconsideration and sent school report in medical report which states his medication ect. Whats the chances i get refused again. Its very stressfull. Xx
Chloe, better to start your own thread than resurrecting old ones.
I guess it was in the news a while ago that they have targets to uphold 80% of decisions when it come to the mandatory reconsideration. so chances are that it is a no again. I know lots of people who had issues recently. I would just appeal if they do not change their decision and not let go. lot I'd decisions get overturned on appeal.
who filled in the form? there is an art to it. did you use the Cerebra guide!
Didnt know how to but do now. The school helped me and family worker. The head teacher also wrote me a report about my son how he is at school and needs to be with an adult at all times ect.. dla have had the reconsideration for 4 weeks now and still havent made a descion. Just a waiting game now to see if hes going to get it or not now
Don't assume that the people, who answer the phone on the DLA's telephone numbers at the DWP, understand the law!
Oh, to answer your question, DD was awarded DLA middle rate care and mobility lower rate. After reconsideration with help from LA welfare advisor, she got higher rate for both! (We are up all night to her!)
There probably are time limits for mandatory reconsideration, but the DWP told me last week, that once a decision goes to a decision maker (and it took them 4 months just to refer DD's case of a change of circumstance to a decision maker), the cases are put in date order and decisions are made in that order! When I exclaimed last week:
So, if DD's decision has not been made in 5 months, you have people who have been waiting even longer?"
They said "Yes!" and they could not tell me when the decision would be made! Although after several more conversations, they made a decision that day!
I can't remember. I will try to find the relevant file on DD on Wednesday.
SIL works for the CAB. She had a conversation with the DWP last week on behalf of a client, and they said (gleefully) there is no time limit on MR.
Hi i heard back. Got awareded low mobility that was it
Hi guys, my 10 year son has been referred suspected aspergers/HFA.
DLA was refused so I have asked for a MR over the telephone and have wrote a supporting statement and my reasons for disputing the decision. Just wanted some advice on whether it sounds ok or if it’s too lengthy before posting it.
Re: Alfie James Samuel Donnan
I am writing to you to explain my reason for asking for a mandatory reconsideration for my Son Alfie Donnan.
I am appealing the decision as I believe that Alfie is entitled to both the care and mobility rates of DLA.
Although Alfie has no confirmed diagnosis, he has been referred for specialist help for suspected Asperger’s Syndrome/High Functioning Autism and coordination and communication difficulties and I believe that his needs are in excess of another child of his age.
In your decision, you stated that Alfie is able to walk up to 200 metres unaided and that there is no evidence of a cognitive impairment that would prevent him from attending age appropriate road safety awareness. I disagree with this statement for the following reason:
Alfie becomes very distressed about going places that involve walking, going to school for example. Although it is only a few minutes walk from the car, it is a huge battle every day. In order to get him to go and keep moving without difficulty, I have to soothe and calm Alfie constantly. I hold his hand because this helps keep him calm and means that I can restrain him if he starts to get distressed or panic. When he panics, he has been known to act impulsively and run into the road. By contrast, most of his peers now walk to and from school on their own or are left outside of the school gates alone. This is something I can not imagine being able to do with Alfie for a very long time. Therefore I do believe that the guidance Alfie requires is outside of what is considered age appropriate.
Alfie is intelligent and articulate but his social skills are extremely limited and his reaction when the world gets too much is uncontrollable distress, in a typical fight or flight action. In those situations, he will either run onto the road, as mentioned earlier or sit on the floor with his head in his knees and refuse to move in which case I have no other choice but to lift him from the floor. In this situation, Alfie will resist and kick, scream and try to wriggle free.
Case no C/DLA/3215/2001 tells us that “children who have normal or above average intelligence can also be considered to have a severe impairment of intelligence if it can be demonstrated that they display a total lack of any sense of danger and inability to calculate risk”. I believe that the examples of Alfie’s behaviours such as running out in front of moving vehicles demonstrate this. Despite yearly age appropriate road safety awareness sessions at school, Alfie continues to run into the road. We talk about road safety daily when crossing a road and have used various strategies to try to help Alfie process this information including songs, pictures and poems to no avail.
The decision also stated that Alfie has good behaviour at school and there is no precautionary supervision in place for Alfie. I agree that Alfie is well behaved in school in terms of not being physically challenging or rude to his teachers, however, his behaviours present themselves in other forms. There have been numerous occasions where Alfie has not fully understood the task asked of him and rather than ask for help he has sat and done nothing at all, meaning he has not completed any of the work asked from him. Alfie expresses his frustration and anxiety at school through emotional distress and avoidance. For example, on the run up to a recent class assembly which was being performed in front of the school and parents, Alfie demonstrated distress and anxiety and as a result remained seated at the back of his peers and refused to engage with the singing and dancing taking place. Although there is no formal precautionary supervision in place at school, the staff are aware of Alfie’s difficulties and as a result Alfie can access the reading corner during times of distress if need be and there have been exceptions made for Alfie so that he can go straight into the classroom in the morning or during break if he needs to be away from the playground and seek reassurance from staff members. Staff are also extra vigilant and are beginning to recognise the signs of Alfie becoming anxious about something. Alfie has learned passivity and tries so hard to cope and hold his emotions at school and then fully releases them when he gets home
The reasons behind the decision also stated that although you appreciate Alfie requires prompt and encouragement at home and has a safe space to go to at school if required and support during exams, there is no evidence of a close and personal nature in relation to his bodily functions frequently throughout the day or that help with personal care is not needed for an hour or more. I dispute this statement for the following reasons:
Following on from above where I have demonstrated that there are allowances in place for Alfie at school, I have enclosed a copy of an email from Alfie’s school teacher who states that Alfie struggles to ask for help and that encouragement is needed here and prompt is needed on occasions as he appears to have other things on his mind. He is also encouraged to slow down whilst talking so that he can have time to think about what he is trying to say, this is a classic symptom of Alfie’s anxiety levels being high. He is also currently receiving extra support and intervention groups at the minute. His teacher has also stated that there are times in the classroom when Alfie requires one to one time with a teacher to go through a task if he does not understand it. Alfie also has to have constant reassurance during tasks and his teacher has verbalised to me that she has to remind him that everything is going to be ok, lets him know how long is left before the task finishes and has to mark his work first and let him know how he has done which appears to calm him down. He can also become distressed if he feels he cannot communicate how he’s feeling. This is care and treatment that, if withdrawn, would cause considerable distress for Alfie and if were taken away from him, may make him unable to tolerate mainstream school.
At home, Alfie requires a substantial level of care that I believe exceeds the level of care another child of the same age would require. Alfie often feels overwhelmed and needs encouragement and soothing to get up, get dressed, eat his breakfast and get washed and ready for school. As upsetting for me as it is, I have taken videos of Alfie having a “meltdown” in the mornings because of how stressful he finds the whole process. Alfie is hypersensitive to touch which makes it difficult and upsetting to brush his teeth, brush his hair and wash his face He will often refuse to brush his teeth and has to be supervised when completing his care routine so that he does it properly and without supervision he would never wash his face, brush his hair or brush his teeth. Alfie also needs attention and supervision when eating his breakfast as he gets very easily distracted and would eat nothing at all if not supervised. Alfie also needs instructing in which order to get dressed for school and to ensure his clothes are on correctly. He has incredible difficulty doing up buttons on his shirt and when he has managed to do so in the past, they have been done up in completely the wrong order, he also often would put his clothes on inside out or back to front, most ten year olds would be able to do the above independently. He often comes home from school after a PE session with his clothes on the wrong way round etc. Alfie has anxieties around using the toilet for a poo anywhere but home and needs encouragement to go to the toilet at home in the morning if he feels able to avoid any discomfort during the school day. There has been an occasion at school in the past where I have had to collect Alfie from school so he can come home and use the toilet. Also, due to Alfie’s coordination difficulties, he finds it difficult to wipe himself properly and in the past has become quite sore. I now have to wipe Alfie’s bottom for him after he has attempted to do it himself every time he uses the bathroom and encouragement and prompt is required to get him to wash his hands.
In the evening Alfie needs extra support at dinner times, such as me cutting up his food (he cannot use a knife and fork) and encouraging him to eat. Alfie is scared of baths and showers and will avoid them at all costs. I think his fear stems from him attending swimming lessons at a young age with a group of other children and he didn’t like the crowded environment and a one-to-one session with a swimming instructor in the water would have been more beneficial for Alfie and something he is keen to do to overcome his fear and to be able to swim like his peers. However, he also avoids them due to his sensory issues with water. He has a bath daily and we have to go through a whole rigmarole of encouraging and calming him to make this happen. Even then he becomes very upset and becomes verbally aggressive and tries to physically prevent bath time from happening. Due to his fear and lack of awareness of personal hygiene, Alfie is supervised continuously. This is not something I ever had to do with my other two children when they were his age. He then needs help with drying himself and getting into his pyjamas. Alfie needs a significant amount of support when completing homework out of school and doing his daily reading task. He cries almost hysterically daily when having to do this and cant process why he has to do school related tasks when he is at home, this results in the same conversation every single day that it is a requirement of the school. He is stuck between the emotional distress of completing these tasks and the fear of being in trouble at school if he doesn’t complete them, which exacerbates his anxiety further. During this period Alfie has become physically violent and destructive, throwing things across the room, ripping his homework up and physically attacking his 13 year old sister on two occasions when she was trying to help him which has resulted in me physically having to lift him off her because he was kicking and punching her. I feel that this evidence demonstrates that Alfie does indeed require attention of a personal nature in relation to his bodily functions and is in excess of a child of his age.
The report from the DWP said Alfie didn’t need help at night but one of the most challenging times for Alfie is bedtime. He needs up to three to four hours more help to stay calm and In bed, and supervision to help him stay safe, than another child of his age every night when I would otherwise be in bed. It appears to be the time where his anxiety levels are higher than any other time of the day. He becomes obsessive over certain things and will talk about whatever his current obsession is at that particular time for hours on end when its time for bed. It also appears to be the time when Alfie analyses and overthinks things and will discuss his anxieties whether it be about how bad he did in his spellings that day, his worries about his upcoming residential trip in April, worry about sex education classes how awkward this is going to make him feel, his SATS, his lack of friendship groups etc. These are just a few examples of the type of things that play on his mind and he cannot sleep as a result of them. He also cries himself to sleep regularly because of these concerns and again I have videos of Alfie discussing his concerns and getting upset at not being able to sleep, amongst other things, most of the videos being taken at well gone midnight. Although Alfie complains almost all of the day about feeling nauseous, this presents itself more at night and he will say over and over again that he feels sick and cannot sleep. As a result of this Alfie requires a lot of reassurance to help settle him to sleep and I am still often doing this at between 1 and 2am. He also wakes on at least three occasions throughout the night, whether it be because he’s lost his dummy, having a nightmare or for me to accompany him to the toilet, this has resulted in me sleeping in the same room as Alfie as he panics when he wakes and each time it takes me up to 30 minutes at a time to resettle him. Last night in particular was an extremely challenging night as one of Alfie’s teddies that he sleeps with had been spoiled by a drink earlier on in the evening and needed to be washed as a result. Alfie was incredibly upset by this and woke numerous times in the night crying for it. I appreciate that Alfie, given the waiting times for his referrals for specialist support, has no clinical intervention to help with his sleep and anxiety issues. However, we have tried to implement strategies such as watching age appropriate meditation videos or listening to calming music designed for children with anxiety and sleep problems which appear to calm him slightly but does not reduce the amount of time it takes to settle him to sleep. We also have a doctor’s appointment on Monday 19th March to discuss these issues again and see if there is anything he can do whilst Alfie is waiting to be seen by the community paediatrician. This is why I believe Alfie meets the criteria for requiring prolonged supervision at night.
Alfie needs reminding and encouraging to do almost anything and constant reassurance and attention throughout the day. I strongly feel that the attention and supervision he requires is above and beyond that of a typical ten year old child. The emails enclosed from Alfie’s school confirms his difficulties from school.
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