Friday, February 19, 2010


In the midst of all my editing and lots of other things going on, it almost escaped me that Son 2's birthday was rapidly approaching. In a couple of weeks he will be 16.

That will bring all kinds of changes. For a start the Department of Work and Pensions wants to know whether he can in future manage his own disability benefits. Well doh. He doesn't speak, read or write his own name. The answer is no. So next week they want to visit to check this out for themselves ( because obviously we are not to be trusted to act in his interests) and he has to be here. On what should have been his first day back at school.

This seems like last minute stuff, but to be fair to the DWP a meeting was originally arranged before Christmas but I had to cancel, as it turned out to be on the same day I needed to be at the hospital to find out if I had breast cancer (for new readers, I don't).

Later next week we have the annual review meeting at Son 2's school where no doubt his future will also be discussed. In September he will move up to the post-16 unit on a different site where he can stay until he is 19. With all the economic and political uncertainty in this country, it currently seems impossible to think much beyond that, but we will have to start.

Then yesterday I realised that he will most probably lose his regular holiday respite at a special needs playscheme, as he will be too old. That will be a huge gap to fill and I'm not at all sure there is anything suitable to replace it. We currently don't have a social worker but I think we might just need one now, though how much use one would be is debatable.

There are probably going to be a lot of changes for Son 2 this year and I just don't know how he will cope. Like many people with autism, he just doesn't do change. We may be in for a rocky ride.


Queenie said...

This week I have been tying my head up in knots of stress about things like a chipped tooth, a minor family disagreement about a forthcoming party, and a small DIY job we need to get done. Reading your post put all my silly little stressors into perspective. It's not just Son 2 who's going to have a difficult time with his transition to adulthood, is it? I do hope you can all get the support and funding that you need.

Cathy said...

Queenie, your comment just made me cry because it is so true. I've been putting my head in the sand for a long time but reality is about to hit and I think we will all find it hard. x

Jenny Beattie said...

Aw, Cathy... big big hugs to you honey.

Andrea said...

Hi Cathy,
I'm right in the midst of it all here with Boy Genius turning 18 (wasn't it just yesterday we 'met', toddlers in tow? Where have the years gone, where?).
I can't lie, it's been a struggle. I hope things don't get too dark before its settled for you. In the mean time, if you need to get it off your chest in terms unfit for public consumption, you know where to find me.
Lots of love

Cathy said...

JJ- thank you honey.

Andrea - I'm not sure if I have your current email address? Can you email me it on my old hotmail address or via the email link in my Blogger profile ( a different account). Thanks sweetie :)


Jen said...

Blimey Cathy, I don't know how you cope with everything life chucks at you. Forget fiction, you should write your autobiography - it would be a massive inspiration to so many people.

Wish I could wave a magic wand for you X

Cathy said...

Funny you should mention autobiography...significant parts of my novel are semi-autobiographical while the rest is definitely fiction!

Livvy U. said...

Hello Cathy
Just a quick visit to check your blog address - I'm finally sorting out my links (shameful I haven't done it before, I know) now that I've updated the design a little, and want to include you.
Do hope that these life changes are smooth for you - so admire your tenacity - also huge good luck with the book. Exciting!
Livvy x

Cathy said...

Hello Livvy,
Lovely to 'see' you again. I still have your blog in my blog roll and do read whenever you post. Thank you so much for the kind wishes and I hope that life is getting back onto a more even keel for you now. You should try writing a book too, you write so beautifully.

Anonymous said...

It's bloody disgusting you know, there is nothing for older children in this country to fall back and this is just another typical blunder by our incompetent government. Your son deserves support. And to have the DWP checking up to make sure you're telling the truth is absolutely appalling. I know I've got it all to come but by heck, I'll be on the war path!!!!

CJ xx

Cathy said...

CJ- there may be holiday support out there, to be honest I just haven't asked the questions yet. He loves going to be his playscheme, but many of the kids are very small and he isn't, so they have to think of safety. As for the benefits, I know it is a routine visit everyone gets if their child can't manage their own affairs at 16, it's not just aimed at us. But there is a lot of bureaucracy. We've had it easy for a few years but I need to get back into fighting mode. ;)