Be Careful What You Wish For.  

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Now, Deion is of an age where he might want some independence from me. As much as I hate to admit it, he is growing up. There are various clubs and activities for special needs children and children in wheelchairs within the borough. There are also some services that would make his life a little easier.

I decided to find out about this and spoke to the relevant department within Lewisham council. I had to write in and actually refer Deion as a disabled child within the borough; I then had to fill in several lengthy forms. I guess I just presumed that Deion was on the system…but it’s a different system.

Then, yesterday, I had to have a family support worker from disabled services come out to the house to meet Deion and interrogate...sorry...interview me (for two hours)to make sure I wasn’t telling fibs…I kid you not.

The guy was perfectly helpful; he was actually quite apologetic because it is very obvious that everything I said on the forms was correct. I did say that I felt that the system was slightly over the top, it all seemed a bit much just to find out about a few services that Deion should probably have been getting for years anyway.

I had also already provided a list of all the professionals involved in Deion’s care, from neurologists, to physios, to the GP…any one of them could have confirmed the facts.

He did explain though, that in cases like ours, it seems over the top, but there are so many people that abuse the system, it is necessary. I guess this is the problem. There are thousands of people out there claiming all sorts of services and benefits for children who are not actually disabled. He even quoted a few cases some statistics…it was quite scary.

This is where the problem lies; it is the people that abuse the system who make it hard for the families that really need the services. It is incredible to think that a parent would say their child is disabled when they are not, there are some that do it for attention, some that do it for significance, some do it for money, or to get something for free. Perhaps they feel that as the system is flawed in other areas, they make up for it this way. But it’s simply wrong.

So because of those people, there are kids missing out, and at the very least there are parents having to jump through hoops just to get the relevant information.

A certain saying springs to mind “be careful what you wish for.”

Now, if Deion’s lucky, within six weeks, they should write back to me and tell me if Deion qualifies for any disabled services…I won’t be holding my breath though!

Take care, have a great day

Sal xxx

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