Monday, 27 December 2010

Autism & Xmas

Xmas was ruined by our 26-year old autistic daughter's outbursts. We did all we could to minimise changes to her routine but they kicked off on Xmas Eve & reached a peak late Saturday afternoon with one lasting nearly an hour. Total 8 in 24 hours. We still don't know what drives them & triggers are unclear & inconsistent despite exhaustive psychological approaches being used. She's spent a year in hospital now & I feel as though we're no closer to stabilising her. If only she could tell us what she's feeling/thinking :(

Monday, 20 December 2010

Legal services for people with disabilities

On 8 October I blogged about the DLA takeway. The charity, Contact-a-Family were calling for rules stopping the mobility component of disability living allowance after 84 days in hospital to be scrapped. We found ourselves in this situation & appealed against the decision to stop our disabled daughter's DLA because she still needs help with getting around outside the hospital. She is there for psychiatric assesment & treatment, & attends medical appointments outside the hospital, & comes home most weekends - explained in my previous blog:

We sought the Disability Law Service's advice over this & their solicitor advised us how to proceed witih an appeal, & said that he would take it up from there. Today, I received a reply from the DLA asking us to attend a Tribunal to discuss their decision. As advised, I returned to the Disability Law Service for their continued support but they say now that they can't help any further because the Legal Services Commission will not allow them to take on any more cases. They advised me to find a 'local solicitor.' I understand why legal aid should not be granted willy-nilly, but surely people with disabilities, particularly those with autism and complex needs, need specialist representation that is hard to find outside the Disability Law Service. Will we have to pay for our adult daughter's legal representation ourselves or will I have to be my daughter's legal representative? Scary :(