Posted on 29 Comments

What is wrong with a label?

What is in  a label?

If I had a £ for everyone who said that they didn’t want their child labelled, I’d be doing quite nicely by now thank you.   I have to wonder why we have such an aversion to labels, or names, or public affirmation of issues.   Many do accept the labels their children are tagged under, but for every one who does, there are many who don’t.

– Is it a Scottish thing?

– Is it a larger than life British thing?

– Is it one of those stiff upper lip Britishisms that has us refusing to admit that our children may “have” something.

– Might it be that we might be blamed for it if they do?

– Could it be that we are in denial and don’t want to admit there is something wrong with our children?

– Should it be that we ignore what is right in front of our eyes?

Isn’t a label a reason for people to call our children stupid, or thick, or spazzer, or idiot, or dumbo, or something else as equally offensive?

Perhaps denying that there is anything specifically wrong means that we don’t have to face the problems that are staring us straight in the face.  Keeping the denial going means that we can pretend we have the illusion of a perfect family can’t we?

– What if we use the label?

– What if other people learn about the condition that a child has been labelled with?

– What if the label teaches others patience.

– What if the label means that academics and medial staff have to take notice and provide some help.

What is so wrong with having a label?  I have endometriosis, I was infertile and I am a food addict.   I am not ashamed of any of those so why do I hide them in real life?

My children now have labels.  In my stupidity when they were younger, I remember hearing the most ridiculous words coming out of my mouth.   I would start by saying ” I know he has issues, but I don’t want him to go through life with a label.”

Nobody will fight our choices if we choose not to have, or to use the labels, but at what cost to our children?   Are the labels beneficial to them and are we really just digging our heads in the sand and hoping it will all work out alright in the end?

Why is it so wrong for so many to have their child come under a  label?





Posted on 2 Comments

Disability Injustice and Cuts to Services

I was absolutely astounded to read the case of  Riven Vincent, but not surprised.

In case you have not yet heard of her, or read the news over the last couple of days, she has asked social services for residential care for her daughter, as she can no longer cope at home.    She asked for additional respite to help her, and it was refused. 

For one, I am not surprised that this has happened, and I do believe that it is going to happen more and more often as the cuts that the Government send down to local councils bite.  In my own local council, there are several cuts to disability and ASN childrens services which have been given the green light for swathing cuts.

People who have never lived with severe disability, or mental illness, have actually no idea of what stresses they and their carers are often under.   The long term effects of people who do not access help are far reaching.

1.  On average, it can take years for requested services to come into effect.  Thats if they are offered at all.  Contrary to popular belief, it is quite difficult to be allocated a social worker for a disabled child, even if you ask for one.

2.  DLA to which disabled people are entitled, make applicants jump through hoops, and expect people with disabilities to manage to complete a novel sized application form intelligently.   Many give up trying to get it. 

3.  Parents with disabled children are often not in a position to fight for their children, as they are exhausted by the day to day caring.  They are an easy target.

4.  If services, respite and additional care is not offered when it is needed, suicide rates and passing off to care services will increase as people cannot cope in their homes.

The fact that Riven Vincent has asked for her daughter to go into care is not surprising.  She has other children to look after, a huge workload with Riven, and being denied enough support for her to be able to nurture her family properly.  

I do not pretend to understand how hard it is for her with a doubly incontinent child, not enough incontinence pads, and insufficient support to allow her to care for her other children.  I know how hard it is for me with my family, and my heart goes out to her, and those like her.

She gets no sleep, and it cannot carry on like that.  I have huge respect for her, and the fact that she has asked for help shows how strong a lady that she really is.  

Leave the political stuff aside.  This is a family that is struggling, who asked for help and were denied. 

I wish Riven Vincent all the luck in the world, and I hope that she gets all the help she deserves. It sounds like an awful situation that she can neither move forward, nor backwards from, unless someone takes charge to help her.

Moving the blame back onto local government is a disgraceful cop-out.

Thats my opinion.