Tuesday, 02 June 2020
Sir, — I would like to ask your readers to be mindful of the challenges facing families with disabled children at this difficult time.
I don’t just mean young disabled children but grown-up disabled children as well, like my son Alexander, 24, who normally comes home once a month but I am unable to see for the foreseeable future due to the lockdown.
Many of the disabled adult children live in supported care, so we can’t visit them or have them home because of the restrictions on movement.
They are often non-verbal with severe learning disabilities, so they can’t Skype, text or speak on the telephone.
It is a very painful time and we don’t know when we will be able to see them again.
Disabled children with learning disabilities have no understanding of social distancing. If you take them for a walk they want to pat every dog and kiss every baby. If you have other children in the family their needs are often put after those of their disabled sibling.
Resentment can build up, especially when no one is leaving the house for school or other activities.
There are many underlying medical needs, such as epilepsy, which put these children into the vulnerable group, so it is a very worrying time.
Much-needed support from grandparents and family friends has had to stop.
Respite care centres are closed and carers coming into the home expose the whole family to increased risk of infection.
The strain is incredible with no end in sight. Please be as supportive as you can during these very challenging times. — Yours faithfully,
Deanfield Avenue, Henley
20 April 2020
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