It's that time again.
The dreaded Disability Living Allowance Renewal. To say that I hate filling out these forms would be an understatement, but unfortunately they are a necessary evil to ensure that Ana gets what she is entitled to.
Somehow there is always a small part of myself that feels like I am trying to get something that we're not entitled to. What can I say, I guess I am just one of those people that feel permanently guilty, even when it's not my fault.
Anyway enough about my regular guilt trips, something that seems to go hand in hand when parenting a child with special needs, back to the DLA forms.
How I wish there was a simple tick box that states 'Yes, my child still has Autism and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future.'
Every time I worry that I will write something down incorrectly or omit to add something extremely important. You see, Ana is my first child, so I have little to compare her against when it comes to 'normal' children of the same age. Also a lot of Ana's behaviours are, to me, completely normal. After 12 years of parenting these little 'quirks' are part of your day to day life and so becomes normality. It is very probable that there are things I don't include on those forms, which I should, but to me are just the normal day to day running of our family.
It would be immensely helpful if they would also do away with those awful questions, 'How many minutes does your child need help with this?' I don't know! I get on with it, I don't carry a stop watch hung around my neck so I can time myself. What if I put down too much time, or too little?
This occasion I was lucky enough to have a copy of Ana's Occupational Therapy Report to hand, which I can send along with the DLA forms as further evidence of Ana's difficulties and needs. But, seeing them written down in back and white has made me realise just how much more work Ana is to care for and supervise then her four year old sister.
Tomorrow I shall post off Ana's DLA forms and hope that that is the last I see of them for some time.