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Hello found this site a few months ago while browsing around and have found it a good source of information. Thought I would join up as I use other forums mostly for my hobbies but obviously this ones a little different from them. I have two children at the momment (both boys) and my wife is due in three weeks with the next (also a boy), so our hands are going to be really busy soon. Anyway my second son is a little behind with his speech and language and will be two and half in a few days time. Originally I convinced myself his was on the autistic spectrum (he still may be) but now I think it's his speech which may be holding him back in other areas. We have been to our local Child Development centre last month and his speech and language was estimated to be around the 6 month mark while other areas such as play and mobility are at 12-15 months. He is a very happy, cheeky chappy but obviously his lack of communication skills causes alot of difficulties for us in understanding his needs and requests. For example when he wants juice he'll throw a paddy and bang his head on the wall or scratch me or himself, which must be due to his frustration. At night he wakes anything between 3-12 times and myself or my wife has to virtually sleep in with him at night or he'll bang his head on door or put on hands on fire (winter) which even when boiling hot he'll just hold it there. Anyhow sorry to babble on, but he's just been awarded disability living allowance at the highest rate of care, which don't get me wrong, i'm delighted, but what am I suppose to do with it? I know its for him, but our local nursery which his elder brother goes to have said they don't have the staff to deal with him and the special need nursery will not take him on until March next year so I can't at the minute even use it to go towards nursery. My wife said there is only so many highchairs and nappies that we can buy with it. I know we also have to go to alot of appoinments etc and make alot of phonecalls and I have to take time off work but surely as it's his award for care these things wouldn't be for that?
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this question had me searching for an "official" answer and after 15yrs of dla i should have known the answer but i have found this,

The money is not intended to be saved for the child for use in later years as this could result in them being penalised. For example if there is more than £3000 in an account when the child returns home this could affect any benefits claimed by the parents. For a child reaching 16 a sum of more than £3000 could affect their claim for income support and housing benefits.

The child’s social worker must be involved in discussion on how the DLA can be used to improve the child’s life and is responsible for monitoring the way the money is spent. Carers should retain receipts and record how it is being used for the benefit of the child.

Scrutiny of the money process to ensure that the DLA is being spent appropriately is the responsibility of the child’s social worker, supported by the family placement social worker. If there is evidence that the DLA is not being spent on the child it would be appropriate to make another adult the appointee. This would need to be considered by the appropriate Area Manager.

2. Examples of how the Money can be Spent
•Activities that are costly e.g. horse riding, after school clubs etc.
•Provision of an escort to enable social events to be attended
•Extra helper for an outing or holiday
•Taxi fares for trips out
•Special holiday for the child, which could include covering the family’s expenses
•Caravan expenses so that the child can have regular breaks in a familiar place
•Extra support such as child sitting service, using individuals who are CRB checked
•Individual equipment such as computer, communication aids
•Laundry service and & appliances
•Replacement clothing where there is excessive wear and tear on clothing
•Additional heating costs
•Additional help with personal care
•Anything that will improve the child’s life

i must say that the many social workers matt has had have never questioned how his dla was being spent, in fact his new one even pushed to get him direct payments as he said we put matt first and all our money is spent on keeping him happy anyway hehe.
it can be used for the travel expenses to the appointments and the phone calls. mainly a lot of the time dla means an opening to other benefits like carers allowance if you are earning less than £100 a week and under 20 hours. i dont know how nurserys work as they have changed over the years but i dont think they have to have a child until they are 3 but i could be wrong
regarding the lack of speech have you looked at pecs?? his moods might improve if he can make himself understood a bit more (i know easier said than done Smile) we had matt in our room till he was about 4 and in the end we moved out and he kept our bed it was only way we got our own room again hehe. if you are up at night more then that is using more electricity but i would look into a guard to help keep him away from the fire you are only human and until we can have eyes in back of head transplants we cant watch them permanently we do blink,
There comes a point in your life when you realize:Who matters,Who never did,Who won't anymore...And who always will..
So, don't worry about people from your past,there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
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Hello and welcome Smile I can honestly say I've never seen that before corinne lol where did you find it? No body has ever asked us how we spend euans money, ever, and I've certainly never had to show any receipts, I didn't even know I was supposed to keep any! I would perhaps spend it replacing anything damaged by him, new clothes etc (we get thru lots of towels and bed sheets as euan is sick A LOT) or perhaps as it says, save maybe 2/3 months worth and book a little break, day trips? If you can't put him into nursery, have you thought of looking for a child minder who specialises in special needs? - might give you some respite especially with another on the way Smile

I was also going to recommend PECs or makaton for help with communication, might help with avoiding some of the tantrums if he can explain what he wants xx
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Hi, thankyou both the quick replies. I've been searching all through the government sites looking for information like that and had no luck. We don't have a social worker currently though we will be getting a local service coordinator soon as one of the referrals from the child development centre. We bought him a sofa bed a few months ago and that is all that is in his room and we take it in turns most nights staying with him but my back is bent into some serious bad shapes, so I think putting some of this money to a small double bed could be justified and keeping receipts? Though I must admit the sofa bed is a little more comfortable than the sofa downstairs which was the norm for over a year three months previous, instead of a bad back, I had a bent neck. Cheers once again for the answers.
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I was also going to recommend PECs or makaton for help with communication, might help with avoiding some of the tantrums if he can explain what he wants xx

I've never been asked either how we spend Ben's. I would recommened the makaton ben uses it and it's a great way to talk with him.

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