"Transition to adult services stressful but worth it"

About: Ashley Court Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

(as a carer),

My stepdaughter has severe learning difficulties. We just completed her transition from children's to adult services. It was a long and arduous process. Lots of meetings about meetings and procedural hoops to jump through along the way. We understood that funding was always a challenge. However it was particularly baffling that one service that couldn't meet her needs and one that didn't even exist were seriously considered on the basis of cost.

After many months, lots of form filling and day visits, we got there in the end. We ended up with Sense which is exactly the service we wanted and she needed. It is a joy to see how genuinely happy she is to be going every week day which wasn't always the case with school. Now she spends her days trampolining, painting, baking and even goes wheelchair ice skating.

Throughout the whole process we were guided and supported by Margaret Slack of the Learning Disability Team. She has a heart of gold and is genuinely on your side. It's a great result and worth the stress and worry along the way.

One thing I would say is that a statement of special educational needs should not expire when students leave education. There should be an upgrade or replacement for adult services. Her needs and situation haven't suddenly changed just because she's 19. The same should apply for Employment Support Allowance and the Atos assessment. It doesn't need to be so difficult and complicated.

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