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These tips have all been sent in by other parents, carers and professionals in the learning disability community. We hope they will give you plenty of ideas to try, but please remember Netbuddy is not responsible for the information provided or any of the activities suggested.
Show a photo
We often go to meetings about our childrens' welfare with people who have never met them. I think that showing these professionals a picture of your loved one helps to make them realise that you are talking about a real person.
If you need help from Social Services or similar, start the process earlier rather than later. The whole thing is very time consuming, takes ages. From my personal experience it took 18 months from being told that I needed support to actually getting it.
Some statutory services prefer to use the telephone or snail mail. Always try to use email so that there is “evidence” of your endeavours to contact them. When I fail to get a timely response (which is all too frequent) it is far easier to re-send an email (including the email trail) than hang on the phone for ages.
If you are seeking assistance from social services or any other agency no matter how desperate you are (and I have been really on the very edge of reason!) be specific.
Whatever it is that you need, you must summon the energy to state clearly exactly what help you want, why you want it, and what will happen if you don’t get it. Do not be ashamed of your desperation or depression – and for those of you who have never reached this point – lucky you
Labels do help
Get a diagnosis for the learning disability you or your family member has. Labels help access funds.
Feel good about yourself!
Going to a meeting with professionals? Wear lipstick ….always! In good colours – preferable expensive! Toe nail painting is also very encouraging.
Ask for more.....
Always ask for more than you need from any statutory agency, because they always hope you will accept less.
Make notes before meeting
Make notes before attending a meeting with officials to ensure that you don’t forget things.
Two people are better than one
Take someone with you to the meeting so you can concentrate on the meeting and they can take notes. You won’t be able to do both properly.
You take the paperwork
When you go to any meetings always take your copy of the paperwork with you. Never rely on other people having the correct paperwork with them.
Sometimes 'team around your child' meetings can help so you are all working towards the same goals. You also want to make sure you that you are connected to all the relevant professionals and services available to you .
Check your position
If you are battling with Local Authority over anything and have got to the end of your tether with no-one else to ask just summarise the situation in writing and send it to the Head of Legal Dept for the Council who will be able to clearly state the law and how the Local Authority stands legally - you will then know whether you are just battling against someone's personal view or whether the law is or isn't there to back you/them.
Be assertive when accessing grants or benefits.
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