UPDATE – reply received from Margaret Curran Labour MP
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Dear Mr Ed Millband (and to each and everyone copied in above)
The 10 million disabled people in this country plus their carers, relatives and friends are watching what your party do in relation to disability issues and wondering why you seem disinterested in trying to get their votes by opposing the savage attacks against disabled people being made by the Coalition government. During conference season we wish to remind you, the architects of Employment and Support Allowance to ‘never fall ill, never grow old, never become disabled, never become a carer’, for if you do, as we have found, not even Labour will speak up for you.
Not only am I a carer of my autistic son, who has been treated very badly by our local authourity (Bracknell Forest) in what he is entitled to receive, (education up until the age of 25) that I have had to engage a specialist solictor on legal aid. Legal aid which has also been cut very savagely. But because of his severe condition (he cannot interact with people face to face) so he had been taught behind his bedroom door for 6 1/2 years (very successfully passing many GCSE’s, receiving a distinction and a merit grade in 2 of them) at home by 2 home and hospital tutors. He had his SEN statement ended at 19 last summer, and I have been struggling a whole year to try to reistate his education, so far without success.
My son although autistic deserves and has a right to continue with his education in the best and only way he can cope with at the moment (behind his bedroom door).
I am also a carer to my elderly mother of 86 too who lives alone. I am 60 myself (an older carer) and my own health is deteriorating very fast, with very little regard from anyone for that, I am also disabled with arthritis, epilepsy, severe depression, high blood pressure and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. No help or support for my son’s own mental health, despite me attending countless meetings in the past, where ‘professionals’ had considered it ‘OK’ to lie to me, to my face but in writing too. Offical complaints I made were literally completely ignored.
Desipte reassurances that assessments undertaken by ‘medical personnel’ at ATOS medicals or Job Centre Plus assessment interviews would understand Autism in all its different presentations, time and again it has been shown not to be the case. So I cannot bear for my son to be put under so much pressure and stress to attend a ESA assessment, so he can’t apply for the ESA benefit he/we so need.
There are so many carers up and down the country in similiar situations watching your conference, and please may I suggest you listen and read the words stated in this link below.
Ms Rosalind Brewer