Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Happy New Year!

Wherever you will be on New Year's Eve here's wishing you all a very happy one!
No doubt 2011 will bring many new challenges ahead regarding the cuts so its more important than ever to shout loud and stand strong together.  We are continually being told of new stories in the media and from our supporters how cuts will affect their lives.  ACT NOW vows to carry on recording the cuts across the UK for families with autism and adults with ASC.  
One of our supporters who has a daughter with autism has continued to fight for her child and writes some excellent, straightforward letters to the government capturing the very essence of autism and how very complex and hidden the condition is.  Let us continue to hope that the coalition will take notice and consult with us, as after all, we are the voice for thousands of parents/carers and adults with autism across the country - TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

From a supporter:-
Dear Lord Freud and Iain Duncan Smith MP / correspondence team,

Thank you for the response. (Our Ref: TO/10/39858)

Why do you keep talking about "severe disability" - what does this mean?

Where does autism (including Asperger Syndrome) fit into this?
I and many others in the autism / autism carers community smell a big rat.

"The Government recognises the difficulties faced by severely disabled people and their carers. Ministers have made it clear that they want to ensure benefits are fair and affordable, and support the participation of disabled people in society."
What does "support the participation of disabled people in society" mean? I smell another big rat wrapped up in a fluffy seemingly PC euphemism. Will they be forced into work with no regard to communication difficulties, sensory issues, fears phobias, anxiety etc etc. or to their resulting mental ill-health?

"New arrangements are also being introduced to ensure that people of working age who currently receive incapacity benefits have access to advice and support to help them consider a move into work, if they are able to do so."
Should not these new arrangements have been made and talks begun with concerned parties BEFORE benefits were cut, as they already have been?

Again - is the NAS being included in any decisions? Who exactly from the disability world are you actually talking to?

Your response does not address any of the issues I raised in my email. People with autism and their carers have ALREADY been subjected to ill-informed and ill-considered government policy over the years, which has affected them adversely. They already have enough problems, they do not need any more. They are already anxious, they do not need to have their lives undermined yet again by a government that hasn't done it's homework re autism - and doesn't actually seem to care.

Your evasive response seems to indicate that people with autism do not matter to you, that it is OK to kick people when they are down through no fault of their own, and that it is OK to take important far reaching decisions on impulse, and without even basic intellectual rigour or any morality. It reflects a morally spineless and bankrupt, unprincipled, arrogant, undemocratic, I'm-all-right-Jack way of thinking.

It's nothing to be proud of to be a bully. You are FRIGHTENING and UNDERMINING vulnerable people. For SHAME.

"The Government published a consultation paper on 6 December and the consultation document can be seen on the DWP website, which also contains details of how to submit views."
Really? I have lost count of the "consultations" that I have taken part in, over the years. When it's over, one does not hear another word. They are usually not "consultations", but presentations in thin disguise. It's all in the clever language, smoke and mirrors. It's never honest and real. This one, I guarantee, will be the same. The government will carry out what it had already intended to do, regardless. This is absolute certainty.

Also, what agency will replace the Connexions Intensive Teams? Who will take over their role in helping young people with disabilities who are in utter crisis, because they have received NO other support?

I think that you will lose a HUGE amount of votes over this ruthless shameful attack on the fragile and vulnerable in society, and rightly so.

Yours sincerely

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