IT has been nearly two years since The Sun launched its Give It Back campaign with the Disabled Children’s Partnership, revealing how parents of disabled youngsters are being denied the support they need to care for their children.
The campaign called on the Government to fill the funding gap within children’s social care before more families found themselves at breaking point.
Many disabled children are living with more pain, or with less mobility, than before the pandemic[/caption]
A lot can happen in two years.
The pandemic has taken a toll on us all, but the impact on parents caring for disabled children has been most severe.
One parent told us: “We now have no respite and have no break from 24/7 care needs, plus we are expected to home-school two children.
“We now have no therapy intervention at all. This has been detrimental to my child’s progress and health.
“We are all completely exhausted, both mentally and physically.”
Another parent described her situation as like, “Living in a pressure cooker. It’s constantly and endlessly exhausting”.
More than a year on from the start of the pandemic, very little has changed.
Disabled children and their families are still isolated, with no support, and are missing out on vital therapies and other crucial services, such as respite care.
The impact has been devastating.
It has led to health conditions worsening, damaging the overall wellbeing of everyone within the family.
Many disabled children are living with more pain, or with less mobility, than before the pandemic, and are developing higher levels of need as a result.
Our research has revealed that even by March this year — as schools were back open and the country was preparing for the first stages of easing lockdown — 91 per cent of disabled children were socially isolated, with 49 per cent not seeing a friend in the past month, either online or in person.
Around 70 per cent of disabled children are still not able to access specialist therapies, such as speech and language or physiotherapy, nor routine health appointments.
The impact is devastating and parents are seeing their children’s health and wellbeing deteriorate before their eyes.
On a daily basis, parents continue to tell how having vital care and support stopped during the pandemic has had a devastating impact.
One recently said: “The lack of activity, along with the boredom, has disrupted my child’s sleep, and due to no physio, hydro or rebound therapy, her hips and legs have become stiffer and are causing more discomfort.”
Another told us: “My child has regressed irretrievably. I despair he will ever be able to catch up.”
It is time we stopped ignoring the almost one million disabled children and their families in the UK.
Children’s services were in dire need of additional funding and support before the pandemic — and that is even more true now.
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It is vital that disabled children and their families are at the forefront of the Government’s Build Back Better plans.
That is why the support of The Sun means so much to the million disabled children and their families and the 80 charities that make up the Disabled Children’s Partnership.
Together, we are calling for an ambitious and funded Covid-19 recovery plan for disabled children that will help make up for a year of lost progress and ensure all families have the support they need.
- Support our campaign by signing up at support disabledchildrenspartnership.org.uk.