Despite great strides in hospital treatment, vital physiotherapy in care homes too often falls shortPaul Luscombe rises confidently from his wheelchair, sets one foot in front of the other and walks steadily between the parallel bars in the rehabilitat…
People with autism and learning disabilities can die up to 20 years prematurely. So how can we help carers and health workers diagnose illness in non-verbal patients?
“Oh, he’s been so brave and good. He’s not made a fuss at all.” That’s what the well-meaning care worker said about my autistic older brother after he broke his nose in an epileptic seizure some years ago. Except that Timothy wasn’t being brave or good – he’s just not able to tell us when something is wrong; he doesn’t have the words for it. Like a third of people on the autistic spectrum, my 58-year-old brother has very limited verbal communication. He can speak, but usually only when prompted, and in learned, short phrases or single words. And like the majority of people with autism, he has unusual sensory responses. We suspect that he doesn’t feel pain in quite the same way we do.
There is a saying that when you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism – it is notoriously hard to generalise about a condition that takes in such a wide spectrum, from the highly intelligent but socially awkward adult to the profoundly learning-disabled child who will need lifelong support. But there are certain health issues that crop up so often that all those with autism, their advocates and medical professionals need to be aware of them.
The leak of emails outlining further Tory welfare cut options shows just how fragile the party’s popularity is over social security reforms
The potential Conservative welfare cuts set out in the leaked Whitehall documents demonstrate the huge risks awaiting any administration that seeks, as the Tories have promised, to cut billions from the social security budget in the next parliament.
On the whole these cuts – insofar as they are adopted or achievable – will impact on the very groups the coalition has tried so far to protect from its five years of welfare reforms: “hard-working families”, disabled people who cannot work, and carers who spend their lives caring for chronically ill loved ones.
Tories dismiss proposed changes seen by BBC that include restricting child benefit to first two children and taxing disability benefitsA range of welfare benefits are potentially facing the axe or severe restrictions by the Conservatives after the gene…
It’s been a hard five years for disabled people under the coalition. I at least got the chance to quiz the PM on this during Sky’s Battle For No 10
Last night I was lucky enough to be chosen to put a question to David Cameron on C4 and Sky’s Battle for No 10.
The audience gathered together a couple of hours before the programme began. We were all quite nervous and excited. I had great conversations with people discussing the issues that we are passionate about and sharing our views.
Government to ask Human Rights Commission for extra time to come up with a new system to determine fair pay for intellectually disabled workers
The Abbott government is likely to have to ask the Human Rights Commission for extra time to come up with a new system to determine fair wages for thousands of intellectually disabled workers, three years after the old system was declared discriminatory.
The prime minister recently said he had “lost confidence” in the president of the commission, Gillian Triggs, over the commission’s report on children in immigration detention. Last year the government abolished the role of disability commissioner.
Almost half of all MPs’ offices have doors and corridors that won’t fit a wheelchair through and neither David Cameron’s office, nor that of disability minister Mark Harper is accessible
Clamouring for the right to vote seems slightly out of sync with modern politics, like watching a suffragette discover voter apathy, or Nigel Farage. Still, things tend to feel more important if you’re stopped from doing them. It’s 2015 and disabled people in this country haven’t yet got the franchise. Well, we have in theory, but having the legal right to cast your ballot isn’t much comfort when dire access means you can’t physically do it.
Adam Lotun, who uses a wheelchair, found himself stuck outside his polling station, a community centre in Tolworth, Surrey, when he went to vote in the 2014 local and European elections. Despite access signs pointing to a ramp, there were no safety barriers and there was a drop to the floor of the building.
The disability minister’s office is not accessible for disabled people. Nor, for that matter, is David Cameron’s
Specially designed flats are using technology, from automatic blinds to piped-music wake-up calls, to help young adults with autism and learning disabilities to take control of their lives – dramatically cutting their support costs
Perched on a sofa in his modern first-floor flat in south Manchester, Khurram Hussain is in gregarious form as he waits for his brother to arrive so they can go out for supper.
“I’ve been to the safari park … to Blackpool,” he says, flicking through photos on his tablet. He grins infectiously at his support worker, Wayne Archer, as a snap of the two of them slides on to the screen. “Pair of good-looking lads there, eh Wayne?” he chuckles.
The total cost of two individuals’ annual care and support packages was cut from almost £500,000 to £240,000
Over the past year £75,000 has been shaved off the cost of residents’ packages as they have become less reliant on staff
Following the Winterbourne View abuse scandal, there’s been a lot of well-intentioned talk but little actual progress in improving the care of vulnerable people
By the time Robin Kitt Callender died, she had endured eight weeks of intermittent vomiting and diarrhoea, and her weight had fallen to five stone. In the four months before she collapsed at her Essex care home, the 53-year-old had visited her GP six times and A&E twice, but her inflammatory bowel disease remained undiagnosed.
Callender, who was severely autistic and partially sighted, with communication difficulties, died on 23 May 2012, less than 24 hours after finally being admitted to hospital.
There have been continuing – but achingly slow – moves to transfer people from institutions into community living
Toy’s London show is a breakthrough for hearing-impaired fans – it will be captioned. Why can’t more gigs cater for fans whose love of music hasn’t been stopped by deafness?
I was born in the middle of the 70s into a family and world swirling with music. One of my earliest memories is sitting cross-legged in awe of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 video on Top of the Pops, trying to decide whether I liked tomato ketchup more than brown sauce (I still haven’t decided). Fast-forward a few years, to the middle of the 80s, and everything was suddenly silenced. An attack of meningitis left me with permanent hearing loss. When I emerged from a coma, the first words to my mother were: “Tell me later mum, I can’t hear you.”
Coming to terms with my hearing loss was hard and frustrating. Learning to lipread enabled me to communicate with the so-called mainstream world and helped build my confidence and independence. I didn’t learn to sign, but I never gave up on music – religiously buying Smash Hits for the lyrics and watching Top of the Pops with the Teletext subtitles turned on.