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Family Carer's Prescription Service

Case Study: Short Break for parents of child with ADHD

 "As a mother of a four year old with ADHD I have spent the last few months trying to find a respite scheme so that the my husband and I could take my eldest son  out for a quiet day on our own.  As we don't have any family locally, respite is an extremely rare event and as Edward has been incredibly demanding since birth and only recently diagnosed and prescribed Ritalin, my husband and I are always tired.

I had enquired about the Aiming High 100 hours scheme and the Links Volunteers scheme but because Edward doesn't qualify for higher rate DLA, social services advised that we aren't eligible for any respite care at all.  I found this criteria very harsh as every family and child is different, and anyone who has an undiagnosed child with ADHD will know that untreated, the condition is very difficult to manage.

When I saw the Family Carers' Prescription Service from Carers Trust,  I decided to give it a go but was almost certain that there would be criteria stipulated that we wouldn't meet.  However, my doctor at the Moathouse Surgery was more than happy to write the prescription having known what we had been through over the last few years, though he wasn't sure what we would be offered, as it was the first Carers Prescription he had written.

I contacted Carers Trust and spoke to the Care Manager for Children's Services.  I answered a few brief questions and was told that he would be able to organise a couple of Sunday afternoons respite for the family and that he would be out to see me on Monday morning the following week.  That phone call was a bit of a shock as I had always had to fight so hard for anything we had received in the past.

Monday came and the Care Manager made all the enquiries he needed to in order to find an appropriate carer for Edward.  He was very friendly, professional and I was surprised by how much he knew about Autism and ADHD and how tiring it can be for parents.  We agreed that as Edward loves swimming he would try and find someone to take him to the local pool that Sunday afternoon!  By the end of the day he called me back and had found a carer who was happy to take Edward swimming that Sunday and could take him again in a couple of weeks time, so that he wouldn't have to get used to two different carers.

Sunday came and the carer was a lovely man who loved kids and was like a grandfather figure to Edward.  They played computer games, went swimming and watched a DVD together and Edward was very happy.  Meanwhile my husband and I took our eldest son out for lunch and was lucky enough to go to the young carers youth club to play football, cricket and make cookies.   A good time was had by all!"

Find out more about the Family Carers Prescription Service from Carers' Trust.