Letters: Benefits for disabled children, November 13, 2015

NHS hearing aid drop in centre Des Cussell having his hearing aid mended by Debi McKee (hearing support advisor for West Norfolk Deaf Association) ENGANL00120130426150706

NHS hearing aid drop in centre Des Cussell having his hearing aid mended by Debi McKee (hearing support advisor for West Norfolk Deaf Association) ENGANL00120130426150706

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I am writing in response to the article I have just read (Lynn News, September 25) featuring Mrs Raworth’s fight with the local authorities regarding getting extra assistance for her child.

I felt the need to write as having a deaf child myself, I can sympathise with her, but on the other hand it annoys me, as the local council is very good in the benefits and funding they pay out to persons with disabilities.

As stated by the council, Mrs Raworth’s child receives the appropriate nationally agreed funding for their age, the same as other hearing children do, which is 15 hours per week. When my child attended pre-school they received help for the 15 hours that they were there.

If I had made the decision to put them into pre-school for extra hours over and above the funded 15 hours, I knew that this would not be funded by the authorities, and I don’t believe it should as it would be through personal choice to send them in for additional hours. With the more than generous benefits I and my child received, and still receive, I would’ve used this to fund the extra help myself, as I’m sure most parents would if they want the best for their child. Mrs Raworth will be in receipt of these benefits and as she has made the choice, for whatever reason, to send her child into pre-school for additional hours over what is funded then I believe she should be expected to pay for the extra assistance.

When my child was of pre-school age I chose not to send them in for additional hours as I believed it more beneficial to spend quality time with them at home and to teach them signing etc, which I found to be good practice for myself as well. As an aside, the council also funded any sign language courses I wished to take.

I believe people would be shocked and probably a little dismayed if they knew the amount of money we as a family receive in benefits because my child has a disability.

With the local councils having to save money and having to constantly cut essential services, I do feel we need to be sensible in our expectations of them.

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