Petition to Senate Armed Services Committee, House Armed Services Committee
Stop Penalizing Veterans Retired from the Military Due to Service‑Incurred Disabilities
Until recently, military retirees who were also rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs as being at least 50% disabled as a result of their military service were forced to choose between receiving either their military pension OR disability compensation through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Congress partially corrected this injustice, recognizing that a military pension is earned compensation for a service member's faithful service to our nation and a promised benefit for his or her military service (10 USC, Chapters 61-67), and disability compensation is an entirely separate benefit, administered through a separate government agency, to compensate all veterans (not just retirees) for service-connected injuries or illnesses, provided the injury is connected to the veteran's military service and the veteran was not dishonorably discharged. (38 USC §§ 1110, 1131). Military retirees were being unjustly penalized for suffering incurable injuries or diseases in the service of our nation by being denied a benefit (disability compensation) available to any veteran who served any length of time in uniform, lest they be required to surrender their earned military retirement/pension in order to avoid receiving “dual compensation.” This situation was particularly cruel when one considers that injured retirees, unlike perfectly healthy retirees, have fewer opportunities to obtain and maintain meaningful employment due to their service‑connected injuries or illnesses. They sacrificed their health and wellness to serve our country, and we denied them either their earned military pension OR the disability compensation they were entitled to, in spite of their being otherwise eligible for both, in the name of saving money. The fix to this injustice is codified at 10 USC § 1414. That law states that military retirees who are eligible for both a military pension (retired pay) AND who are rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs as being at least 50% disabled as a result of their military service need not choose between receiving their full pension or receiving disability compensation, but may finally receive both. As positive a step as this law and subsequent amendments to it were, there is still a group of disabled military retirees who are left out and penalized financially for becoming injured or ill in the service of our nation: military retirees who were retired with less than 20 years of qualified service due to a service-connected disability. While one might argue that having served less than 20 years, those military retirees who were retired due to a military service-connected disability may justly be forced to choose between pension benefits and VA disability compensation, this particular class of military retirees actually has a greater need to receive both benefits. For starters, military service members involuntarily retired due to a service‑connected disability prior to completing 20 years of service have already incurred a significant financial penalty in the form of a greatly reduced pension, as military pension amounts are calculated according to the member's highest 36 months of basic pay multiplied by either their service disabling disability percentage (which is NOT the same as their VA disability rating, and is normally far less) or a calculation involving their length of service, whichever method is more beneficial to the service member. A career cut short due to disability incurred in the line of duty is a career with a significantly lower final pay (or last 36 months) than a career allowed to continue to 20 years' fruition. Changing the law to ease this restriction would not “open the floodgates” to all disabled veterans. But for an injury or illness incurred in the line of duty, that is, disability due to the member's military service, the service member will not be retired from the military for disability but will simply be discharged as unsuited for further military service. Members retired for disability must already face significant scrutiny over their injuries or illness, and a painful, protracted review process that routinely exceeds 2 years, before a decision in favor of military retirement for disability might possibly be reached. A military member forcibly retired due to an injury or illness incurred in the line of duty, and rated as 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs, has little to no hope of ever securing meaningful employment once forcibly retired from the military. In contrast, a 20-year retiree with a 50% VA disability rating might thrive in a sedentary (e.g. office) job and secure significant earnings in addition to his or her dual military pension and VA disability compensation. Thus, the 100% disabled retiree should not be penalized for having his or her military career cut short due to a severe service‑connected disability. On the contrary, his or her sacrifice should be honored and dual compensation allowed just as it is for the 20 year retiree with a 50% disability rating. Therefore, I propose to amend 10 USC § 1414 by deleting subparagraph (b) in its entirety, or in the alternative to amend subparagraph (b)(2) to read as follows: (2) Disability retirees with less than 20 years of service.-Subsection (a) does not apply to a member retired under chapter 61 of this title with less than 20 years of service otherwise creditable under section 1405 of this title, or with less than 20 years of service computed under section 12732 of this title, at the time of the member's retirement, unless the disability retiree has at least 10 years of service or is eligible for veterans' disability compensation for a qualifying service-connected disability or disabilities rated either individually or cumulatively at 100 percent. The longest enlistment length is 6 years, so by serving at least 10 years, a service member has essentially indicated his/her intent to make a career of military service. Being forcibly retired early due to a service-connected disability is a traumatic and heartbreaking occurrence for many disability retirees, who would have continued serving until 20 years but for becoming injured or ill in the line of duty. Likewise, a retiree rated as 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs is in a dire situation, and unlikely to be able to obtain or maintain meaningful employment. Adding either or both categories of disability retirees to 10 USC § 1414(a)'s allowance of both retired pay and veterans' disability compensation not only further corrects the injustice partially remedied by 10 USC § 1414, but assists our most vulnerable military retirees in maintaining some semblance of a decent standard of living. If any group of Americans is deserving of a financial benefit (or in this case, removal of an unjust financial penalty codified in law), it is military retirees who became injured or ill in the service of our nation. Therefore, I urge Congress to amend 10 USC § 1414 by either deleting subparagraph (b) in its entirety, or in the alternative by amending subparagraph (b)(2) as indicated above. To do so would make a world of difference in the lives of many military retirees who answered their nation's call and were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of all that this country stands for, and indeed have sacrificed their health and future employability serving our nation.
Petition to Department of Veterans Affairs, President of the United States, Department of Defense
Give Corey the benefits and care he has earned!
My son was assaulted by a soldier breaking his neck. He was hit from behind because he didn’t want to get into the car with them. The Army says this is my son’s fault because if he had gotten in the car when he was told to, he wouldn’t have been hit breaking his neck. After breaking his neck the soldiers picked Corey up and placed him in the back of a compact car between two other soldiers. They had a Sgt and a paramedic meet them in the parking lot of the barracks where the paramedic evaluated my son and did not call an ambulance for him to stabilize him. It took about 3 hours for them to get Corey to the military hospital where they did not have a neurosurgeon. The Army refuses to transfer him to a WTU they refuse to start a medboard and they refuse to say this is in the line of duty. SOLDIERS did this to my son. SOLDIERS moved my son around and hauled him around in a car for hours with a broken neck. A Paramedic trained by the army looked at my son, documented that he was barely breathing, paralyzed, had low blood pressure and heart rate, and was in and out of consciousness. This paramedic had a responsibility to call an ambulance to stabilize my son’s spinal cord and administer oxygen, fluids, and medication for his heart rate and blood pressure. A paramedic had the responsibility to transfer my son to a hospital with a neurosurgeon on duty to stabilize my son. Due to the care and treatment he received at the hands of soldiers and a paramedic on post, my son suffered bleeding into the spinal cord as well as having bone fragments impinging on his spinal cord. He went from paraplegic to quadriplegic all while in he hospital. Now my son is not eligible for any grants for adaptive technology, home and vehicle modifications, transport to and from therapy, durable medical equipment, or home health care. He is not eligible because the Army refuses to take responsibility for their part in my son’s injuries. I cannot sue because of something called the Fares Doctrine. My son has suffered enough! For the rest of his life he will have to have someone help him with everyday tasks. He cannot even control his own bowel and bladder function. He is 23 years old. Help me get the benefits my son deserves!! I have 5 kids and have worked hard to get where I am. I am a RN who works at the VA hospital in our area and I am going to lose my job. My FMLA is up this month and I will have to return to work. They won’t even let me work part time so I can care for Corey. Without the benefits being withheld we will lose everything! I can’t leave him by himself and he has to go to therapy. I was told last week to apply for Medicaid. I shouldn’t have to. He is coveeed on my insurance and the army has some responsibility for the extent of his injuries. PLEASE help in any way you can! To read more of our story or to help share or donate to help with modifications we so desperately need for our home please follow this link https://www.youcaring.com/coreyshackelford-1038083 or you can find my story on Facebook @accountabilityforcorey
Petition to Edinboro University
Save the Attendant Care Program
My email written to Interim President Hannan of Edinboro University: This email is being written in regards to the rash decision made by executive staff at Edinboro University. First, I would like to give you a little background information about myself. My name is Alyssa Briglio, I’m 20 years old, and I’m attending Edinboro University to complete my bachelors degree in biology. I am slightly different than traditional college students since I am wheelchair bound due to a progressive form of muscular dystrophy. I’ve required extensive personal care my whole life and will continue to require it as my disease progresses. Yet, the one thing unaffected by my disease is my brain and I hope to put it to the test by becoming a pediatric neurologist. Edinboro University, for at least the past 30 years, has been known around the country for their 24/7 personal care staff and other disability related services. This service is vital to my success as a student, and if nothing else, to my existence. Yet beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, this service will be terminated. We will be left with an outside agency to cover around 36 students needs. I can say from personal experience that this is not effective. This decision was made without the input from the students and senior staff members directly involved in the program. Edinboro University should realize that taking this program away is equivalent to taking the students’ independence away. They should realize that there is no correlation between the functionality of our legs and the functionality of our brains. They should realize that although we may need to be lifted out of bed, or need help picking something up off the floor, or need medication placed on our tongues because we simply can’t reach our mouths, we deserve a fair chance at getting an education in a place where we feel safe. If Edinboro prides themselves on their diverse campus and numerous disability services, why would they want to abolish it? I live with 35 students who fear that their degrees will never be completed because of this change. I know staff who have put in 30+ years of work into this program and got handed their notices while on duty today. I know Edinboro University is better than this and I will not give up until my voice and all of the other affected voices are heard. Help us keep the ability to attend college without worry of being stranded in bed. Sincerely, Alyssa Briglio
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, Texas State House, Texas State Senate, Elizabeth Warren, Charles E. Schumer, Paul D. Ryan, President of the United States, Barack Obama
Give All Disabled Children Medicaid
ALL DISABLED CHILDREN NEED MEDICAID At 4 months old, my daughter was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy consisting of Spastic Quadraplegia with Dystonia. Now, age 6, my daughter needs Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech Therapy. She is responding very well to therapy. Like many families that support disabled children, finances are always a struggle. No matter how hard you work, it's never enough to cover as much therapy as you want to give your child. These therapies are the only way our child will be able to be a fully functioning member of society in the future. The Problem: Medicaid takes the family's income into account when determining eligibility. For those who are neither poor, nor rich, every dollar goes to paying for therapy and equipment. It is a huge, constant struggle on the family and there is NEVER enough money. Every dollar goes to another therapy appt or piece of necessary equipment. The Resolution: For those in the middle, we do not ask for Disability payments, nor SSI payments. We simply need Medicaid to offset what insurance companies won't pay for — the therapy needed beyond the limits of private insurance, the equipment that insurance companies refuse to cover that is necessary for our children. We beg you to join us in fighting for these minimal benefits for our children to give them a fighting chance, and so they don't have to be on Federal Disability and SSI assistance when they turn 18. Help our disabled children become independent. We ask for ALL disabled children, regardless of family income to be eligible for Medicaid at no cost.
Petition to Tim Scott, James E. Clyburn, Jay (James) Richardson
Justice and a Chance for Krista. Hop Krista's Law.
Krista was born with two brain malformations. Cerebellar Atrophy is atrophy of the cerebellum portion of her brain, the command center for balance and motor skills. Microcephally is tiny head and smaller brain. She is intellectually disabled, with accompanying diagnoses- such as processing disorder - as a result of her brain malformations. Krista also has physical limitations, including suffering from motor dyspraxia. This petition seeks to win federal mandate to afford disabled individuals an opportunity, a chance, and a healthy, safe life out of poverty and/or state-run facilities. The same opportunities - that we take for granted -afforded to all typical-abled individuals My former husband, Krista's biological father, abandoned us in 2011 for a different life. Although I filed for divorce and it is admitted in the courtroom (public records) that her father got caught up in this different life, which included paying for prostitutes, my daughter and I left the court room with no alimony, NO child support. The lack of alimony after 25 years of marriage was devastating since I am and have always been Krista's caregiver. A court of U.S. law though ordering no/ZERO child support for Krista is, well - I do not have the words. We were invited by the judge to re-petition the court - this after borrowing 22,000 for this 5 year battle - for child support and that he MAY reconsider the issue. How would I re-file when the court (explained below) awarded Krista's father everything?? I couldn't/can not re-file. Krista has struggled, since birth, with developmental delays, low/weak immune system, and non-stop infections. She overcame battles with pneumonia and cellulitis (a deadly infection) that near cost Krista her life. She fought through numerous other illnesses, physical differences - such as a leg-length discrepancy, etc., etc. Her and I fought to pick her posture up (a symptom of the atrophied cerebellum), we fought to gain words, we fought to help her take that first step. Krista has had occupational and physical therapy her entire life. Although, she is still unable to match her motor skill movement with what her mind wants and she still may jump in front of a vehicle instead of away from it, look at her now...Look at Krista perform her dance in front of the large crowd. https://youtu.be/_ZJnkGKiej8 Krista has come so far, please help her and all of those like her thrive. Krista deserves a solid chance to be as healthy and successful as she can be. Myself with Bi-Lateral Meniere's and my daughter with multiple disabilities, left the courtroom with no monetary award/compensation, no asset division, no health insurance. This occurred due to Krista's father's financial status and clout in the county we resided. My daughter, Krista, is disabled by state, federal and medical guidelines. Proof of disability was introduced and produced in the courtroom. These documents included "disability" findings from the federal government. Krista's father was able to dismiss these documents by simply uttering, "she is not disabled". His statement was allowed to trump and/or dismiss federal documentation of her disabilities. Her documents were ignored and thrown out. Krista was NOT allowed to speak or even present herself to the court. Krista's father (my former husband) has assets totaling over 1.5 million, owns multiple homes (including beach home) AND is president and owner of a very successful oil company (that I helped grow) with multiple locations. Krista should not be without. Without appropriate support from Krista's father, Krista loses out on medical advancement opportunities, therapies, enrichment opportunities - to name a few, and if my disease continues to worsen, we do not know what the future holds. Although Krista (post family court) now receives SSI benefits from the government, it is VERY limited. It is substantially, WELL below poverty level assistance. The court system should not have the right to oppress individuals in order to give in to power, money, bias and prejudice. A disabled individual's livelihood should not depend on the arrogance of one judge. No one should have the right to intentionally oppress any human being, by imposing - via court order - poverty on her/him. Please help Krista and others like her gain the support they need to live. Help bring change to a faulty - often purchased -judicial and family court system. We are on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karola.richardson/ https://youtu.be/_ZJnkGKiej8 https://www.instagram.com/karola.richardson/ http://www.theitem.com/stories/kto-night-for-children-with-differences,4078
Petition to Cherry Creek School District Board of Education, Centennial Airport Authority, Stephanie Piko, Bill Holen, Colorado Governor, Colorado State Senate, Colorado State House, Colorado State Board of Education, Dr. Scott Siegfried, Nancy Sharpe
Protect students in Colorado and the Cherry Creek School District
Here's the math - $8,000 a kid. $3,000,000 in misdirected funds... and that’s just the beginning! Millions of dollars diverted away from your neighborhood and community school. The backers of a new charter school have not demonstrated a need or a demand for its program. But our students do have a critical need for smaller class sizes, more mental health services, support services and paraprofessionals for children with special needs, and safety and security.
Petition to Elizabeth Warren, Cory A. Booker, Richard J. Durbin, Patty Murray, Richard Blumenthal, Maxine Waters, Charles E. Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Adam B. Schiff
Civil Rights - Voting - Health Care Voter
Allow me to introduce myself. I was one of several in a NW, Springdale AR town hall of 2,200 people, speaking reality of our lives and asking hard questions to our elected AR US Senator Tom Cotton. I am the lady in blue whose husband was very ill. We the People were not attending this Town Hall to hear the talking points we already knew that were misleading, completely ignore tactic, and outright lies. We were not there for Senator Cotton to be given permission to ignore life and death health care issues and any issue pertaining to the well being for our country. AR's We the People demonstrated a powerful delivery on multiple issues USA people. and beyond our borders, were facing with this one Party ruling. AR's We the People did so with no words or deeds of violence or lies or little white lies or omissions of truth. Borrowing part of a written phrase worn on our country's First Lady Melanie Trump's back, "I really do not care.": AR USA Senator Tom Cotton demonstrated in expertise words and actions "I really don't care" --- in part, that is. At least, our First Lady offered the question: "Do you?' Senator Cotton failed, on that night of February 22, 2018, his elected job requirement duties. What he has shown since that night is his consistency to fail in performance and productivity in fulfilling his job description as an elected AR US Senator. Senator Cotton's unwavering loyalty to President Trump and his Administration has brought, not only AR We the People, but USA We the People in danger and harms way. Democracy is not in AR US Senator Tom Cotton's personal and elected official portfolios. In fact, the ruling now Party does not have it in their personal or elected officials' portfolios.Their voter base is supportive for the democracy of governing be markedly absent from whom they cast their ballot vote in ALL elections. This is transparent in this ruling Party's words and deeds. We know it. They know, we know it. AR US Senator Tom Cotton, an elected official serving in our People's nation's Capitol, has shown, by his words and deeds, where his loyalty lies. He has been successful in fulfilling this for his Party Voting Base. Senator Cotton is loyal to President Donald Trump and with his Administration, especially as a Team Player with the White Nationalist believer, Stephen Miller. I assume he is also a Team Player with Steve Bannon, who encourages White Nationalists to wear the Racist name as a badge of honor. In fact, Senator Cotton and Stephen Miller were a writing team on immigration policy. Of course, these two men were appointed by President Donald Trump, with the highest of praises for both of them. Remember when President Donald Trump made the specific verbal announcement he was a Nationalist? Remember when he did so? The ruling Party has presented their words and actions to be synonyms for White Nationalists/Internationalists/Judeo-Christian Identity beliefs. Please note below about an important court date coming up next Tuesday, December 17, 2018 https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/26199335/Goodwin_v_Cotton?fbclid=IwAR3YR0rnTo89LImQEs0RRgkYJD8O4khP5gobUh45xMan2dC8HZB47xiMWiU With Utmost Respect For Democracy, Of the People. By the People. For the People. With the People. Sincerely, Deborah Joyce Goodwin #DemocracyWarrior #RTLIB #RedTheLadyInBlue E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Debby Washington Goodwin:-- FB personal page. Administrator, with son, for two FB groups: 1.) Keys To Awareness where People Passionate About Compassion 2.) U. N. 4. U. Me (United Nations For You and Me) Humanity Around Our World For You and Me. SCAN: My late husband and I -- as The Outlaw and The Lady (Mike T and Debby Washington Goodwin, Springdale, AR, Keys To Awareness) were so honored to be a guests on Blog Radio Talk Program: SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now). Please note: My husband I spoke about on February 22, 2017, passed away on May 4th of this year. Mike T (The Outlaw) had been encouraged by his medical specialists to begin his writings of his "Living Life". Mike T had a title he shared with many: "From The Cradle", along with my complimentary writing, I too have had my title and have shared with many "To Remember For A Loved One." Two "Living LIfe Titles" may say it all for so many others to be able to find his or her "Living LIfe Voice". Mike T (The Outlaw) will be present inside the Court Room next Tuesday, December 17, 2018. His heat, mind, and soul will be heard and felt. I know. For I am keeping a promise for Mike T.and "The Outlaw" and my promise to myself -- Debby Washington Goodwin and "The Lady" will not allow our stories to end. For we have unlimited and non-dictated script blank pages in his "LIving Life" book and my complimentary "Living LIfe" book for those who do not want their stories to end. Please I need your helping hand. I admit I am scared for the coming Tuesday. No, I am terrified. I, as the Plaintiff, may be standing alone in that court room, with the defendant's representative: The U.S. Department of Justice -- U.S. Western District Court of Arkansas and AR US Senator Tom Cotton, plus, the Magistrate Judge presiding over this Civil Right -- Voting case. But my son will be there. Mike T (The Outlaw) words will be strong in my mind, heart, and soul: "I have no more spunk left in me." "Deborah is naive in her own sweet way. But no one should ever underestimate her." "My spunk has spunked out. Deborah, giv;em hell your way because my way has been shown not as good and powerful as yours. My way has always gotten me into trouble. So, my Lady, giv'em hell your way. And Deb, make my day." This was the last voice message he said to me.. Then few days later -- Mike T passed away - May 4, 2018. Please listen to the SCAN Blog Radio Talk Program. You will hear Mike T"s Voice. And my Voice. Our Voices Living Life on that specific occasion. Our "Voice Living Life" stories will never end. For there is no end when hope is present. My hope for all who reads this petition is the read will lift your spirits. Your #DemocrayWarrior spirits. Sign the petition if you choose to do so. Comment, too. Help me, Help you. Help in anyway that you feel is appropriate for you to help. My spirits are uplifted with more courage for next Tuesday by just writing this democracy warrior petition. Mike is smiling and saying to me once again, "There is only one thing I would change in you. Stop underestimating yourself. Go for it. Do it. Just do it. Stop talking about it. But for sure, my Lady, never stop being you." So. So. So... Here I go Mike T. I am doing a petition that you so often begged me to do ever since February 22, 2017. I will say this to end this democracy warrior petition. No signature needed. I signed off already. And now, as Mike T would say, "Do your sound off with the compassion that only you can show. And what is amazing, no one has to agree with your sound off. But many listen and take with them a thought. A "Living Life Thought". How do you do that?" And I have always replied back, "I don't know. If I knew, I would be really money wealthy right now. Correction, "Outlaw" -- We would be really money wealthy." And off to the next medical specialist appointment or hospital admission.(Just trying to figure out which one of the hospitals we needed to go to, which specialists, which ER, and which one helps us out with our pocket books and gives the quality health care needed. Whoops, Not that one. They do not accept the Medicare Advantage plan you have. They stopped a few months ago.) AR We the People were on February 22, 2018, and still are, armed with education on a diversity of issues. Our questions were hard-lined facts of our lives, with hard-lined questions to the elected AR official. AR's We the People needed to hear and feel from this elected AR official's mind, heart, and soul to be revealed as "Passionate About Compassion" for the common good of all. He failed. Mike T passed away knowing Senator Cotton failed him and his family. But then...Mike T is saying, with a shake of his head and a twinkle in his eyes, "I feel sorry for (him/her/them). Hey, this has worked me up an appetite. Let's go eat before you pounce." :"Sound Off. One, Two, One.Two. Three. Sound Off. Do It Again." Alright, Mike T. hush up, stop marching. You are not now in your military academy. Everyone is watching. Stop. Stop. Let's get out of here and go eat. Now. oh, please stop." If I could hear and see him do that just once again. Just one more time.
Petition to Matt Hancock MP, Damian Hinds MP, David Gauke MP, Theresa May MP, Tulip Siddiq, MP Norman Lamb, Dawn Butler
Add PDA to ICD-11 urgently so the school refusal can be dealt with appropriately
My four-year-old son has been off nursery since the beginning of May due to nursery refusal and very irregular attendance ( once or twice a fortnight ) has been achieved with me being present at all times since the beginning of October with the use of strategies centred around his interests. Underpinning his avoidance is a high anxiety about conforming to everyday demands and of not being in control of the situation, even the mention of nursery would send his anxiety levels off the scale. My son's EHC plan is not fit for its purpose as it does not accurately reflect his level of need, and this is a reflection of me not being listened to and my son's needs not being understood. My son was supposed to start a mainstream school this Sep that was named on his EHC plan against my wishes and after it was confirmed that the school could not meet his needs. The LA has originally rejected my request for deferment saying that it was not in my son's best interest not to start the school this September although there was no plan in place on how to resume his attendance at nursery or the importance of a transition to school if his attendance at the nursery could be resumed. At the TAC meeting, I have requested the network to watch the video footage of difficulties dropping my son at nursery, and his nursery refusal which was also witnessed by the Speech and Language Therapist at nursery at the end of April. As the CDT - Child Development Team refused to provide an information about my son's nursery refusal or failure of ASD interventions applied to LA despite all my efforts to communicate this EHC Coordinator made an assumption that my son is simply refusing to attend because he is 'bored'. When I set on a quest to obtain a differential diagnosis for PDA also known as Pathological Demand Avoidance ( autism sub-type ) for my son as 'typical' ASD interventions were having more of an adverse effect on him, my son already has a diagnosis of ASD since Mar last year I had no idea about the challenges that were to follow. I was puzzled by my son's autism as children with ASD I saw at special needs nurseries were nothing like him. I had a light bulb moment when I came across the PDA profile in children with autism. As a result, I have attended the PDA conference in Reading and parental program for PDA in Norwich. The CDT disagreed that my son may have PDA and refused to engage further, instead, I was asked to go back to my son's GP and pursue the PDA assessment myself. After a year of waiting and chasing my son's GP, a request for an assessment has finally been approved via IFR, however, I was told that my son can only be assessed at South London and Maudsley which has no specific policy for PDA, therefore cannot assess or diagnose PDA. While in the middle of a complaint to NHS about their services and after I have submitted letters about my son's nursery refusal and failure of ASD interventions applied by the Early Years Coordinator, the clinicians made a referral to social care. The professionals meeting was held without my knowledge and with the select few where other professionals involved in my son's case were excluded from attending, three out of four of these professionals were involved in the referral to social care in the middle of my complaint about their services. Based on this "professionals meeting" my son's case has been escalated to the Child Protection Conference as my son is apparently at risk of a serious harm ( "We are concerned that the child's needs are not being met appropriately due to the mother not acknowledging the diagnosis given. Mother's unwillingness to move away from her views regarding PDA despite professional advice. The mother may begin to find S behaviour unmanageable if the appropriate parenting strategies are not put into place. S does not attend nursery regularly and therefore is missing out on key learning and developmental opportunities." ) The joint plan on how to resume my son's attendance was put in place with my son's nursery back in September based on recommendations from PDA Society and National Autistic Society and revised when needed where my son's response to a variety of situations would be the main indicator. The most recent revision also includes recommendations from the latest SALT report. I am still unsure whether school environment can work for my very inquisitive son loves to spend time outdoors or on the public transport and who thrives on novelty and variety, I haven't been unable to obtain an assessment for PDA as yet and the Tribunal Hearing is taking place mid-January. After joining several ASD, PDA and school refusal groups on Facebook I was horrified to see that school refusal is an ASD issue and not just a PDA issue however 70% of PDA children are out of school (the highest number in comparison to other ASD profiles). Not only parents struggle to obtain ASD diagnosis or EHC plans for their children, but they are also pressurised into imposing the attendance on their autistic children ( diagnosed or undiagnosed ) which negatively impacts their mental health. The 2018 survey conducted by the PDA Society highlights that the school environment does not work for many children with PDA. If this is the case then both children and parents should be supported appropriately and not ignored, dismissed, penalised, reported to social care or sent to attend parenting courses that do not work for children with PDA as PDA is not a parenting issue and most importantly left without support because they've reached the ultimate avoidance - nursery/ school refusal. After consulting with IPSEA - Independent Parental Special Education Advice I understand that education does not necessarily need to take place in the school setting as incorrectly advised by LA if the child's high anxiety and demand avoidant behaviour is preventing them from attending the setting as LA has a duty to provide Education Otherwise than at School under s61 Children and Families Act 2014 for such children. Thank you Dagmar I would like to thank Sidings Early Years ( my son's nursery), PDA Society, National Autistic Society and IPSEA for all their support and advice and everyone who signed this petition, much appreciated. Essential Reading: Fears vulnerable children with rare form of autism are being left behind by NHShttp://www.itv.com/news/calendar/2018-05-15/fears-vulnerable-children-with-rare-form-of-autism-are-being-left-behind-by-nhs/ Being MisunderstoodExperiences of the Pathological Demand Avoidance Profile of ASDhttps://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/research-summary/2018-survey Teachers Guide to Understanding PDAhttps://www.pdasociety.org.uk/education/teachers-guide Education: Stories of PDAhttps://www.pdasociety.org.uk/resources/pda-case-studies/case-studieseducation New global diagnostic manual mirrors U.S. autism criteria ( NO MENTION OF PDA )https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/new-global-diagnostic-manual-mirrors-u-s-autism-criteria/ The £70 million council costs of fighting – and losing – against parents at the SEND Tribunal https://specialneedsjungle.com/70million-council-costs-parents-send-tribunal/ Image Courtesy of PDA Bookletfile:///C:/Users/HP/Desktop/PDA_Booklet.pdf