Give children with Autism sensory assessments and occupational therapy via the NHS
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Thank you for taking time to read this.... My name is Kelli Martin and I am a single parent of none verbal 4 year old twin boys with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder who attend a Special Education School. When my boys were initially assessed to get their EHCP's (Educational Health Care Plans that allow access to Special Education Schools) it was identified by an Educational Psychologist that they would benefit from a sensory diet as they dangerously sensory seek. I was amazed and did my research into this progressive therapy, that has to be provided by an Occupational Therapist with specific training. This was in May 2015 and I patiently waited to see when my children would get this therapy.
To cut a long story short, our Local Authority (Nottinghamshire) and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospital Trust have constantly closed doors in our faces. I never asked for this therapy for my twins, I was informed they needed it which is why the actions of the decisions makers is so heart breaking. Today I have discovered that once again the Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group, have definitely turned one of my sons down for this therapy, again.
Why when our children are diagnosed with Autism are we signposted to charities who cannot give our children the specific help they deserve? Why is the NHS diagnosing our children then offering them no therapy? I believe our story is not an isolated incident.... there are many other families struggling to gain access to vital services for their children.
Around 700,000 people in the U.K are on the autism spectrum, this means that autism is a part of daily life for approximately 2.8million people, families included. Autism is a life long developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. One of the many related conditions is dyspraxia which may cause a person to be over- or under-sensitive to certain sensory stimuli.
Many people on the spectrum have difficulty processing every day sensory information. For my boys it is impossible to walk down a street, go into a shop or take a bus. All of these stimuli have a profound affect on their behaviours, causing them to panic and drop to the floor or self harm. Sensory overload can cause physical pain to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, why should children and families be left to suffer with no therapy from our National Health Service?
Why do we offer therapies for people who abuse themselves yet cannot offer children with profound disabilities therapy to enable them the chance to live independent lives? Able to do their own shopping? Go out for meals and have hair cuts? The NHS has a policy of early diagnosis, we were informed that early intervention is key. If that is the case why are my children and many other children across the UK being denied access to vital therapies?
I am urging you to sign this petition, not just for me but for every child in the U.K who has a right to live their life free from the torture of sensory overload. Please sign my petition to get our children access to vital therapies from the NHS. We need assistance and expert help to encourage our children to channel their sensory seeking activities in a more positive, safe and controlled way.
I am also extending Mr Jeremy Hunt an invite to walk down a street and in a shop with my twins and I. I would like him to experience how challenging life is doing "normal" daily tasks with twins with sensory issues.
I urge you all to sign my petition and give the children a voice, lets channel our resources into the children with no voices and lets give them a chance to be independent adults.
Kelli, Leon and Wills and every other child with Autism in the U.K.
Help me to help them.
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