“Stories Make a Difference” – Anna’s experience of Self-directed Support
Anna is a single parent with two children who have neurological medical conditions and additional support needs, one of the children also has behavioural challenges. Anna made enquiries about Self-directed Support and was awarded 3 hours each week for her child and was able to employ a family member with considerable experience in supporting young people with additional support needs, to be their Personal Assistant.
What helped make the difference?
- Employing someone who was familiar with the child’s complex medical condition and has the knowledge and experience to manage behavioural challenges
- The person having an existing relationship with the child, based on trust
- Support is provided at a pace that is manageable for the child, and is very flexible
- Activities are dependent upon the child’s mood and range from going to the cinema or shopping, to reading a book or watching a movie.
Anna describes the support she receives as being like a ‘juggling act’ that allows her to spend time with her other child.
There have been some challenges along the way:
- It takes time to set up the bank account in the child’s name
- Initially, the financial requirements and monitoring of the budget were new and challenging, but Anna is now managing well
Anna describes their SDS journey as being “really good “ … her child has grown in confidence and can now hold a conversation and communicate their needs effectively with the Personal Assistant. Anna can see that her child enjoys a break from mum!
Anna says that without the support of Dundee Carers Centre she may have given up … The support of DCC has been “invaluable.”
(Individual names have been changed to maintain confidentiality)