Getting support from social services

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Getting support from social services

Postby parnassus » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:42 am

I am trying to organise some help with independent living for when I go away to university in September. The National Autistic Society has a really good service in Manchester, and they can provide everything I need. I had a long talk with an NAS worker about the two options available (supported housing or outreach) and she decided that the outreach service would be best for me, with a support worker to visit two or three times a week.

Problem. I need a referral from social services before the NAS can take me on.

A social worker conducted a short preliminary assessment over the phone with me. He said that he would ask someone from the physical disabilities team and someone from the learning disabilities team to come out and assess me jointly. Today I got a phone call from the LD social worker. It went something like this:

LD social worker: Could you tell me what you need us to help you with?
Me: Well, I'm going to university in September, and I -
Social worker: University?!
Me (knowing what's coming): Yes, and I will need help to live independently there.
Social worker: Well, what do you need help with?
Me: I struggle with domestic tasks, such as cooking and cleaning and -
Social worker: Who does them for you now?
Me: My parents and friends.
Social worker: Have you thought about getting them to back off a bit and let you do more for yourself, so you're ready for uni?
Me: I can do quite a lot, but I need supervision. It says in my occupational therapy report that I'm not supposed to be alone in the kitchen for safety reasons. I also have problems with my memory and I need a lot of help with that.
Social worker: Have you tried making a list? That sort of thing?

I felt like I wanted to strangle her with the telephone cord. Anyway, the result is that she is not coming out to assess me. She has to speak with her manager over whether their team can help me, as 'we are a learning disability service'. In the meantime she is going to ring up the mental health social workers and see if they can take me on.

But while autism and dyspraxia aren't learning disabilities, they aren't mental health conditions either. I am going to get mental health support from the university counselling service if I need it. I don't need a mental health social worker. I need a referral to the NAS so that I can have help with practical things. I told the LD social worker this, politely, and she got quite angry. This gusty sigh came billowing down the telephone, and she said, "Well, you might not get funding for that. Let me see. You want someone to come and teach you life skills before you go to uni, right?"

I have been taught life skills till they are coming out of my ears. This is what the occupational therapist did with me, and she did a very good job too, but I've learnt all I can and there are still things I can't do. No amount of tin-opener demonstrations are going to help me now. I need a support worker to ensure that I can get into my tuna fish and reach lectures without getting hit by a tram. If there are any DTers who are experienced in extracting good dyspraxia-related help from social workers, please let me know. I am a novice to this battle.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby curtis871 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:52 am

though I can't help with this i thought I'd wish you luck and remember all those times you slipped with the knife or pans were "practical first aid training" :)
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:35 pm

How annoying.

Mental health services might be more helpful because you were ill recently.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:45 pm

Also, you might want to contact NAS and say you're having touble getting referrals.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby C » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:23 pm

Hi Vicky,

I've seen a few things about this on your facebook and, while I don't really have any advice per sae I just wanted to wish you luck. I know things like this can be frustrating particularly when people assume we're not trying etc. I'm starting to think about life out of uni in the 'real world' and experiencing mild anxiety about finding a job etc. I really hope things go better with these people soon - I think what people have said from what I've read on facebook (I haven't been nosing - much! - it just comes up automatically on my home page) is right - keep pushing it!
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Creative » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:34 pm

Hi Vicky, this sounds very frustrating. I hope that you can get something sorted out.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby parnassus » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:53 pm

The lady rang back today (in a much friendlier frame of mind) and told me that her manager has approved the referral to the learning disabilities team. She is going to visit me on Monday to do an assessment. I am going to make a list of all the things I think I will need. So far I have got this:

1.) Somebody to help with laundry (ensuring that everything is washed, dried, ironed, and put away) at least once a week. I can use the washing machine and tumble dryer by myself, but I can't use an iron or fold, and I often forget to do my washing until it's too late and I have nothing clean to wear.

2.) Help with tidying my room and sorting through paperwork (once a week).

3.) Somebody to accompany me around the city when I have to go out (medical appointments, supermarket trips, etc.) until I learn where everything is.

4.) Support in developing personal safety skills useful for a large city.

5.) Help with budgeting (once a week).

The university will take care of all the academic support. If I can get this arranged I will feel so relieved. Everything will be covered.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Creative » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:57 pm

That sounds much more hopeful. I hope it goes well for you on Monday.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Remus » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:12 pm

I'm glad she is coming to visit and do the assessment. It is good you are preparing a list for her. I hope it goes well.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby parnassus » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:06 pm

The assessment went well, I think. It was very long and detailed. The social worker was lovely in person. I think I must have misinterpreted her on the telephone, as she had a very good understanding of dyspraxia and ASD. (Either that or she was a different social worker - I'm not good at recognising people.) She gave me a rough estimate of how much funding I am eligible to receive, which they will pay directly to the service provider of my choice (the National Autistic Society) on my behalf. By my own calculation I will get about twenty-five hours of support each week - assuming the social worker's recommendation gets past the funding panel. I should hear whether I've been successful or not in the next two weeks.

Fingers crossed.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Creative » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:39 pm

Fingers Crossed, Vicky.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby wm1995 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:53 pm

I wish you luck. :)
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Steph » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:53 pm

I hope you are successful, Vicky.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Remus » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:29 am

Good luck, Vicky. I hope you are successful.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby 07williamsdj » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:47 pm

Good luck!
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