Today has been very thought-provoking, we got up early so that we could attend a little meet up I had been asked to come to at a local children’s centre. It gives parents of children who need extra help the chance to meet some of the staff that work in the various different departments we have been referred to.
Two of which are Early Years support and Portage, if you’ve never heard of them (I hadn’t) let me explain. The Early Years support service assigns a keyworker to you to help you coordinate with all the various different departments, specialists, education. Basically someone like myself, I’m the one who chases and contacts all the different letters from different departments and checks to make sure things are progressing. It’s very openly admitted by each NHS department that their communication between each other is not the best and often things get missed, I’ve definitely had to chase up appointments, referrals, scans and collaborate everything so that everyone knows what is happening.
Portage offer home visits to help work with the children’s strengths to encourage learning and integration. I’m not that familiar with how this is done and how this varies from an Occupational therapists role. Which reminds me that I need to book in with the doctor to get a referral for Occupational therapy.
It was lovely to meet both of them, sadly we are on a long waiting list. In fact we are still waiting for the initial assessment for portage to then go onto the waiting list, so technically we are in a waiting list for a waiting list.
One of the things that the teams wanted to speak to me about was starting the process of for applying for Disability living allowance (DLA), I really hadn’t considered this much beyond the initial suggestion on the phone prior being asked to attend. This is something that I will have to take some time over as a quick browse online tells me that the questions are quite complex and I’ll need to gather my thoughts and information to fill it out. The other suggestion was to consider applying for a few days of nursery for Ariella in one of the nurseries that have special education needs trained staff. Once we apply for DLA we would have access to apply for some extra funding to cover nursery. I’m unsure on whether or not I would want to do this at the moment, we already attend classes so the social aspect is covered. I don’t really feel like I need any time for myself, so the only real benefit I can see is that Ariella would have some time with a trained SEN member of staff. My main concern is that nurseries are quite busy and noisy environments, when we have left her in a crèche she has had one to one interaction whereas a busy environment tends to overwhelm. However perhaps it would be good to trial this and see how it goes.
It could be quite a long process before we get our key worker assigned, the wait list is approximately nine months long at the moment, which is quite a long time in the world of a toddler! So for now I’m looking at other options, private services and self-education. Until then we can attend the casual sessions given out for those waiting, I wish we had more time to stick around today but I had an opticians appointment to make so could only commit forty-five minutes to the cause.
This afternoon we are heading into town to pickup some summer dresses, not an easy feat I should add – buying summer wear in winter that is! I’ll have to take a couple of photos of them once we have them, luckily one lovely retail store owner ordered them in specially for us.
Oh and this booked arrived, I hope it’s as good as the previous one which so far is excellent!