‘Mums with disabled children lack support’

Social issues
Social issues

A mother to a child with cerebral palsy has spoken out about the hardships faced by parents in her situation after the murder of three disabled children in London last week.

The parent, who lives in Dacorum, says she can empathise with Tania Clarence who is facing charges of killing her daughter and twin sons – who all had the life-limiting condition spinal muscular atrophy – in New Malden, because there is a lack of support for people in their shoes.

The woman, whose son is now aged 13, said: “I am not the only one with this story. It is so sad if other mothers feel that is the only way out.This has given me the opportunity to say that feeling could be experienced by women in Dacorum.

“No-one should be ashamed of depression, but I am strong because my son has a future and I can see hope.

“His education keeps me going, but it has been hard and I have to fight for his rights.”

The parent says she experiences discrimination and has had difficulty in other areas of the county ensuring her son can be educated in a mainstream environment, because he is mentally sound.

She said: “I was labelled a bad mother in the past because I wanted him to go to a mainstream school.

“Mums with disabled children face a lack of support – and it’s not about money. I am lucky, my son is doing his GCSEs next year and he represents Dacorum through his music. Some others aren’t so lucky.”

A spokesman for Herts County Council explained parents with disabled children can seek advice through hertsdirect.org/childrens
services and can also talk to their GP, who will be able to contact further services which can offer help.

The county’s children’s service plan says: “Our aspiration is that all children and young people enjoy a happy, healthy and safe childhood that gives them the foundations for adulthood and the opportunity to get the best out of life. We take a holistic approach by working with the whole family unit and carers to achieve the best outcomes.”