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I just thought I'd ask this question here as I've not really been able to find out anywhere else, it concerns my sister and her 3yr old son. Basically when he was born there were major complications which led to his brain being starved of oxygen for a prolonged period. He has been diagnosed with brain damage and it was explained to my sister in layman terms which she relayed to me, that the part of his brain which deals with speech was very badly damaged in during the birth meaning that even at his age his speech is very limited to just a few basic words and noises and he suffers from what I can only describe as a very nervous disposition and really doesn't like interacting with people he doesn't know. His cognitive abilities are perfect, he's been tested and they are above average, he can draw and has learned bits of sign language as a substitute for what he can't say. He is seeing a speech therapist but to my mind there has been little improvement although the therapist seems to think the damage is reversible.


My question is - my sister seems to be getting little or no support and really doesn't know where or what to ask, she seems to be coping OK but she did say she would like to find out if she is entitled to any additional support that what she is already receiving in terms of the speech therapist so I thought I'd ask here?


Any help would be very well recieved:)

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aw bless, its a long hard road it really is, i take it with a diagnosis being made and a speech therapist involved that there is a consultant involved with the little one still?

if so your sister needs to be expressing her concerns with the consultant and they are her best port of call and do move quickly with such matters. ENt depts, opthalmic deps, childrens mental health etc

does the little one have choking episodes whilst drinking fluids? it maybe that a videoflouroscopy needs to be performed, how is his behaviour in general? attention/sleep etc

did the baby become distressed whilst being born or was there an event that couldve been prevented?

if their is a diagnosis of brain damage the consultant shouldve submitted the DLA forms for your sister

hang in there she really will get the help she needs :) although it does seem like an uphill battle at times

honey x

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In brief your sister should:

Apply for disability living allowance on behalf of her child (not means tested) and carer's allowance for herself (means tested). Let them reject her rather than thinking it isn't for her.


She should find out if there is a special needs health visitor for her area (where is she?). They know lots.


She should speak to the council education department about seeing an educational psychologist and beginning the statementing process for school and nursery.


She could speak to social services for them to do an assessment - she may get respite time and ask for a carer's assessment as well.


That will do for a start except the big question which is could there be a hint of negligence at birth in which case seek legal advice from a medical negligence specialist.

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there is no getting away from the term 'the earlier the better'

however, there appears to have been the necessary 'attention' so far.


the next couple of years are the important ones as the child enters the education system and things will kick-in with regard to help, both financially and physically.


follow the excellent advice that has been given, in particular, the part regarding your local special needs health visitor.


you might want to also start getting in place the necessary support for the child to attend your local nursery. just be aware that many [for want of a better word] private [not akin to a school] schemes will actively push you away.


above all, get the child statemented as early as possible.


the magic words 'my child has been statemented' opens numerous doors.



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