Thursday, May 10, 2007

A new era?

So Tony Blair has finally announced the date he will stand down as Prime Minister. In the likelihood of Gordon Brown becoming the next Prime Minister, I wonder if we might dare to hope for more investment in services for special needs?

Both Gordon Brown and David Cameron, the Leader of the Opposition, have children with special needs. The second son of the Browns has cystic fibrosis and of course they tragically lost their first born, a daughter, shortly after her premature birth. The first child of the Camerons is profoundly disabled.

Services for children - and adults - with chronic illness or disability have been cut drastically year on year. Access to therapy is limited by budgets, most families have little or no respite care and help from social services is generally only available in crisis situations. Special needs education is a mess.

Maybe, just maybe, these two politicians will be able to identify with, and do something to help, families who need a little extra support. But don't hold your breath.

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