Wasn’t sure if I should write this post, never mind publish it. I thought I can’t be the only one who has been in this posistion before .
To most of you, yes I know I don’t have to justify how I spend my money, the people who really need to read this won’t because the truth is even if I sent them this way, they don’t care.
Like most parents who look after a child with additional needs, we claim dla for Z, this doesn’t make us ‘rich’ far from it. Z isn’t some sort of money making thing, he isn’t worth a lot to us because of money, he’s worth a lot to us because he is Z. He’s our child, someone we wanted long before he arrived. He’s not even a ‘mistake’ not saying all mistakes are unwanted! But he was wanted, we had to go through a lot to be given a chance, same as everyone else who’s gone through ivf.
It’s been asked is my new car because of the money we get for Z, the answer no, it’s coz my husband goes out to work 6am till 2-45pm, and back every other week 6-8pm. Him going out to work five days a week are the reasons why we can do things, I still have my 2 part time jobs too. No, he’s not on loads of money and we’re not rich. I needed a new car to keep Z’s buggy in, bigger he’s getting and a little picanto just wasn’t doing it so for his safety it was time for a new car.
Dvla allows me to take Z places that maybe other wise I wouldn’t try, it would be money I couldn’t really justify spending if he couldn’t cope, dvla allows me to do this, to try new things. It also allows me to get Z the things he needs, I’m not saying the things are expensive like numbers letters and playdoh, but other things are, iPad chargers are one thing! Like other parents we go through so many iPad chargers, because Z doesn’t understand. Hearing from people with older children on the spectrum they still don’t understand. Then the iPad screen cover , ok it can last a while but we can go through a few every so weeks, this is still cheaper than a new screen.
Nappies and wipes, are other things that you wouldn’t still be expecting to buy at four, vests with poppers being another. He needs these for the winter. Have you seen the price on these? Your looking at roughly £8 for one. Same goes for all in ones, if you want the feet in them £15. You could say you don’t need them, but if Z had a dirty nappy at night and we didn’t know, because he can’t tell us, where and what do you think would happen? It would be smeared everywhere, so I’ll pay the £15 for poo free walls!
Z is spoilt I’ll admit it he was before the autism, when he just had a speech delay we would buy things to try to encourage him to talk. There’s others out there who are just as spoilt!
Certain foods he’ll only eat, there was a time that all he would eat would be McDonald’s chips. It’s not as simple of saying well if you didn’t take him he would eat something else, no he wouldn’t he would have starved.
It allows us as a family to try new places, like when we went to the farm a few weeks back, we lasted 2.5 hours that’s not a long time but that’s all Z could manage, and 2.5 hours is a long time for him.
Sensory toys are stupidly expensive, the same as every thing if it’s aimed at a disability, because the sellers know us parents will pay it if our children need it.
The money I claim goes on Z, we were always out before he stated school, swimming lessons he was having, alongside drum lessons he’s still having. Ok it also helps keep me in coffee! Of course when your up from 3am a lot of the time you can get through 4-5 coffees before work. I call it an essential, something I need to function. Sometimes it may also buy me a bottle of vodka! Know that few weeks of 3 am wake ups, meltdowns from hell and not going to bed till 10, then a glass of vodka with your mate is actually needed!
Would I trade my dla for a 4 year old who could talk, wear pants, sleep through the night and not get up at 3am, or even went back to sleep because they understood that it was still the middle of the night and not time to get up. For a 4 year old we could take anywhere an not worry how long we would be out, not have to worry if we needed to take the buggy, the iPad the headphones, a change of clothes, nappies leak, basically were still carrying a baby changing bag, just without the bottles. There are others out there like me who still carry the bottles. * Would we give up all the money for this, I’m sure everyone would say yes. For a ‘normal’ 4 year old.
Or rather would you trade your child who ok will have a few tantrums because all children do. Have to remember all what I’ve said above when going out, worrying about where you would change your child’s nappy because those baby changing facilities are aimed at baby’s. All this on maybe 2-3 hours sleep if your lucky. Then find somewhere where you can go out for a family meal but your always on the timer because you don’t know how long the iPad charge has left, or if that screaming child is going to set your child into sensory over load. Them are to scared to go away because your not sure how the change of routine will affect the next weeks sleep? Think of the things you’ve done with your child this past few weeks, would this be still be possible for Z?
* There’s most probably loads more ‘things’ I’ve forgotten because they are just normal to me now.