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July 21, 2016

It’s been two weeks since I posted the news that Steven’s name was being out forward for a two bedroom, first floor flat on a new build development, very close to where we currently live.

Today, we got a bit of an update but still nothing definite. The “handover” from the property developers to the Housing Association will be happening mid August. Then the people who have been selected will be invited for a viewing. If we like the property and wish to pursue a tenancy, the Housing Association then do the necessary checks they are obliged to carry out. As long as the checks are okay, Steven is then offered a tenancy to sign.

End of September? October? Who knows.

The one thing I don’t understand is why neither myself nor Jayne, our housing advocate have got an answer to the simple question – “Do you put the names forward of more people than there are available flats?” Nobody will answer that question, which seems to us to be crucial. Basically, it means will Steven still have to go through a selection process, even after he’s viewed the property and expressed his wish to move in? If that’s the case, that will be very tough on Steven. It won’t just be a case of building his hopes up. It means he will be forced to enter into a process where there is no certainty about the outcome, something he always finds very troubling.

I’m clinging onto the fact that we’ve been told, Steven now falls into their “direct allocation” criteria. Also, the original email specifically mentions a “first floor flat”, which must be promising. Perhaps?

I’m not taking this personally. I don’t think the LA are being deliberately obtuse. I think it’s just another of their completely inflexible systems that takes no account whatsoever of the needs of an autistic person.

In the meantime, I’m still having to bid for properties on the LA’s housing options bidding list. This week, there was just one property in the whole borough – a 1 bedroom flat in sheltered housing for the over 60s. That’s the second week running, there was nothing to bid for. Even if Steven is still number 42 on their list.

Today, Steven had his six monthly psychiatrist’s check up and the brilliant news is that he’s lost a further four stone since the last appointment. Since, we started to reduce the medication over 18 months ago, Steven has lost 8 stone. We’re now in the final phase. At the moment he only takes .5mg every evening. The next step is to stop it completely. I know he will experience a reaction to the withdrawal – everybody does, so the timing has to be right. If we had a bit of certainty about the new flat, it would really help with that planning.

In the meantime, we’ll continue dangling.

Like a dingle dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat.


From → Social Care

  1. Jayne knight permalink

    Exactly how I look and feel over this Mark and the hot weather!

  2. everything sounds more than just hopeful, first refusal for Steven I think specifically for the first floor flat after his viewing. If it would be Steven’s preference the lettings officer/housing manager may offer to personally visit with the paperwork and keys to bring the move to life. Homes could easily be occupied by Michaelmas and Steven rightly gets to be part of the newness and excitement of it all .

  3. Pauline Thomas permalink

    Great news about permission to withdraw Steven’s risperidone. I hope the withdrawal will be smooth and not too traumatic. I am genuinely pleased that Steven could one day be free from this medication.

    By doggedly making sure that Steven is happy with his life and is in control and achieving what he wants, you both are living proof that people with autism/LD only need meaningful things to do in their lives and not mind changing medication to keep them from being anxious and unhappy. I would take my hat off to you if I wore one!

    I do hope that Steven’s name is on one of the new build flats. The tortuous dangling must be wearisome and so unnecessary.

  4. simone permalink

    Surely Mark you are not surprised – please refer to my last posting – I have seen this happen so many times with my LD friends. You go and visit and then you are left dangling (for ever). The great advice I had from a housing social worker – when I was trying to find out when my HA flat was read is to ring up EVERY DAY.

  5. Shirley Buckley permalink

    Mark With 38 years of withdrawal experience (with AEDs) I found the safest way for Martin was to scrape a small amount of the tablet every few days or even slower. I know this sounds extreme, but people have different reactions to withdrawal. Is the Risperidone in tablet form?

  6. I had a very positive experience with direct allocation we viewed said yes and then went along to the offices did the paperwork and job done……have faith I am sure the outcomes will be positive

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