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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Financials - By Mums

So, I guess I've never really thought about the financial aspects of having a child with autism in too much detail before, but maybe it's time I did! 

When I think about our personal circumstances a few years ago when William started school, we had to adapt our lifestyle to suit our boys needs. Ultimately this included going from a 2-working parent household to just myself working, with Dad becoming Williams full time carer, 'househusband' and stay at home Dad. Of course this had financial implications but I cannot tell you how much better our lives became after this decision. The family time we have now is irreplaceable, and the boys were much more settled and happier with this routine, which we all know is essential for ASC!

There is financial help available for looking after disabled children in the form of Disability Living Allowance, and Carers Allowance which are certainly worth looking into. DLA is a godsend in terms of paying for essentials like clothing (if your kiddo is as fussy as mine and prefers Formula 1 sports tops), food, specialist toys, activities, even towards household bills. It really does soften the blow....It is also worth mentioning that nappies can be supplied on the NHS through the local continence service, this is particularly useful as large nappies can be a huge expense when you have an incontinent child.

The expense of living with autism I think is very much dependent on the child though. What support do they need? Specialist toys and equipment can sometimes be loaned or funded through occupational therapy as far as I'm aware.

Don't forget there is other help available too. Family fund can give grants for household items, holidays, clothing etc. We went to Legoland Winddor last year and have just turfed William out into a new bedroom with a mid sleeper, kindly funded by Family Fund. Also, place to visit will often give discounts for carers or those with disabilities. We love the National Trust! Our local swimming pool offers sessions to disabled families for just 2 quid! There are plenty of local charities who can offer guidance and advice.

I guess my personal advice to anyone is to really check out what you're entitled to. It does make a difference. Talk to other families and see what help is out there. We have no shame in claiming DLA and Carers, it gives us the best chance of providing for our boys, giving them the best and happiest lives they can have :)

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