Wednesday, 2 April 2008

World Autism Awareness Day and 'postcode lottery' for early years setting

It is still shocking that early years provision, especially for children with special educational needs is still largely determined by the vagaries of whichever authority your postcode falls under. This is without doubt a most arbitary and cruel way to determine how we, as a society, provide for the most vulnerable in our society. There is no doubt in my mind that early years provision and support for children with special needs, particularly autism, ASD and Aspergers has huge benefits for not only the children, in helping to give them a solid foundation from which to cope with the challenges their lives will bring but also in helping parents and carers cope, understand and support the demands of their children. Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Let's hope that the Medway authorities are taking note.


Leila Ferguson said...

I would be very surprised if Medway Unitary Authority had the foresight to understand the importance of preventative work to this degree. They are too busy wrenching my 42year old sister who has severe autism, extremely challenging behaviour and arthritis. (as an aside, she could walk until 4 years ago when she had a fit, entered hospital for what should have been an extremely brief visit, and ended up staying for over 3 months while Social Services (MEDWAY) and Health argued over who should pay any extra care costs, the result is she didnt receive physio as apparently Health think people with autism cant have physio, and she has NEVER walked again). Hmm not exactly a good example of preventative really! Currently Medway are trying to pull my sister out of the home she has had for 12 years and find somewhere else for her within Medway. Somewhere that will meet all her needs. It took over 4 years to find her current home and it will take an awful lot longer to find anywhere else. Which they wont. Not that I think is acceptable although I will look at all potential placements with an open mind I am not willing for my sister to be subjected to the whims of a council bent on saving a bob or two. And I will bet that any potential savings will be wiped out by the legal procedures they will have to go through which they still wont win. Person centred planning??? Harrumph

Trisha xx said...

I was very sorry to hear of your sister's story.

Inspiration Alley said...

I'd like to say that I believed it was all down to post code lottery, because it would mean that there was some hope of improvement. But having been a member on various autism forums and listened time and time again to the same sad stories about lack of provision regardless of locality, I'm beginning to think it's more a case of lack of will to provide anything, hiding behind the same old excuse of lack of money. I hope I'm proved wrong.