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DLA: Appeal for child aged 9 with ADHD.

 

The CASA
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Community Advice Services Association

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I have a confession I have never done a DLA appeal for a child. I was contacted today by a mum who is desperate. The appeal is on Tuesday and I intend to prepare over the weekend. I comprehend the principle that a child has to have needs substantially more than another child of the same age. The mother has sent me a list of the girl’s behaviour, which I want to turn into a submission for Tuesday. I am asking for any suggestions and case law which will support the girl’s appeal?.
It seems to me that this area of law is sparse and not used enough. Am I correct?
Here is the bullet points list the mother gave me, which might help some kind selves to help me. Personally, I am concerned about the amount of medication, which is prescribed for the child. However, this might help her appeal if they have distinct side effects like drowsiness etc. Thank you for your help!
• Has a very low attention span.
• Has a very low retention span.
• Cannot sit still and will constantly fidget.
• Will shout out an answer to a question without waiting to be asked.
• Will loose things such as pens, pencils.
• Will take any opportunity to run, skate, hoverboard, climbing, playfighting, even indoors and when consistently
    being told off.
• Prefers to play with younger children
• Does not understand she has to wait her turn.
• Will join in with others by being abrupt or loud.
• Cannot take on more than one instruction at a time.
• Must be continually reminded daily to do basic hygiene tasks such as wash, brush teeth, brush hair.
• Will not go the toilet until she is about to wet herself and will wet herself if tickled or shocked.
• Does not like multi-choice and prefers only 1 or 2 options.
• re
• Prefers to sleep under her bed on the floor.
• Is waking up through the night and playing or wandering downstairs to eat breakfast thinking its time to get up
    even though it’s is 2am, or any time throughout the night and must be listened out for so installed gate so I can
    hear it opening.
• Does not keep bedroom tidy and does not seem to notice the mess.
• Will consistently empty products such as shampoo, conditioner or moisturizer down the sink.
• Has no real concept of danger as has been knowing to wander off to find children to play with?
• Will climb on top of sheds or gates or hang upside down on swings.
• Will say things that are not thought out, often inappropriate.
• Ruby has no real sense of time, would not know the difference between 5 minutes and 30 if told to wait that l
    ong. Does not understand later.
• Has difficulty understanding hot from cold unless touched.
• Has difficulty in understanding expressions and idioms such as its raining cats and dogs.
• Will not wear anything restricting.
• Cannot blow her nose.
• Will become anxious about noises she doesn’t know but will become extremely anxious upon hearing a
      motorcycle or anybody talking about needles.
                                                                                             

Ruby- Medication
• Ruby was diagnosed with ADHD on 13/10/17
• Prescribed 10mg of Meikinet XL.
• Reduced to 5mg as unsure of medication and side effects.
• Increased medication to 10mg on 25/5/18.
• Prescribed Chlorophenamine 2mg 5ml nightly to aid with sleep.

     
WROTricia
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Advice Works, Renfrewshire

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I think the best approach to child DLA whether filling in the form or going to an appeal is to start with thinking about what a child of the same age without any additional needs can do and comparing it to the client. From reading the points I would say you have pretty much your whole argument right there - you just need to put it into the usual appeal language. I’m not one for using case law at FTT if it is a case such as this, it’s merit based rather than law based but others may disagree. I think you could expect most 9 year olds without additional needs to be able to safely bathe or shower alone, to dress themselves, to choose appropriate clothing, whether or not we agree with those choices :), to be able to tell the time and understand the concept of it. The amount of intervention needed in your client’s daily life just to be able to function is high - focus on the need for constant supervision and the danger to her if she were not supervised (running off, taking part in risky behaviours, not paying attention to hygiene and toilet needs, etc). Most 9 year olds can be let out to play alone, they can do independent study, they can make most of their daily decisions - when to toilet, when to shower, etc and they do not need someone standing over them encouraging them throughout these tasks in order for them to be completed safely and reliably. Best of luck for your appeal, it sounds like a strong case to me.

     
Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Information and Advice Resources, Age UK

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Completely agree with Tricia and would also add two things.

One, Advice Now produce a guide How to win a DLA appeal and if you scroll down to section 15 How to write a statement for DLA, their case study is based on a child with an ADHD diagnosis so that might help also.

Two, in terms of writing a submission over the weekend for a hearing on Tuesday, I’m not saying don’t do it but I would discuss this with your client as some judges don’t take kindly to documents being submitted at short notice and will adjourn the hearing in some cases. If you simply stick to the facts and evidence as Tricia suggests, the judge might be more minded to proceed but if you start bunging in case law and complex arguments, then there is a higher probability they’ll want to examine these in more detail.

Good luck.

     
past caring
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Welfare Rights Adviser Southwark Law Centre Peckham

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What the others have said. But a couple of things which may not be obvious if you’ve not done a child DLA appeal before…...also on that point, the child DLA claim form is available to download and will give you some pointers on some of the less obvious things.

- any additional support provided at school will count, most likely as attention but it may well be that additional supervision is required in order to keep her and others safe.

- it’s very likely that there will be additional exercises drawn up by SENCOs, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists etc. for the parents to carry out with the child at home - e.g. play therapy, speech and language therapy. That is attention.

     
ClairemHodgson
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Solicitor, SC Law, Harrow

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past caring - 08 November 2018 10:30 AM

What the others have said. But a couple of things which may not be obvious if you’ve not done a child DLA appeal before…...also on that point, the child DLA claim form is available to download and will give you some pointers on some of the less obvious things.

- any additional support provided at school will count, most likely as attention but it may well be that additional supervision is required in order to keep her and others safe.

- it’s very likely that there will be additional exercises drawn up by SENCOs, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists etc. for the parents to carry out with the child at home - e.g. play therapy, speech and language therapy. That is attention.

and to add to that, does she have a SEN?  mother should fetch it with her if it isn’t already in the papers.  and perhaps use Monday to try and get statements from teachers about it - would be late in but would be something.