Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children

by Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia Inc
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children
Pay Assessment Fees for Special Needs Children

Raising a child with a disability cost more on average and depending on their diagnosis may need care for the rest of their lives. Challenges of Raising a Child with Special Needs and Issues Faced by Special Needs Families Include:

  • Accessibility for the Special Needs Child when taking them out of the house, transportation and entry access is very limited
  • Empathy and Understanding from Others because they fuss and sometimes can be seen as misbehaving.
  • Finding Places to go on Vacation its extremely difficult to find places that accommodates special needs children
  • Adapted Clothing and Other Disability Aids are expensive and sometimes must be imported.
  • Meeting Other Parents extremely difficult as all parents have challenges transporting their special needs children from one location to the next and if possible, its expensive.
  • Communication it’s had to communicate with severely disabled special needs children and most times you must guess their needs and what’s wrong because they are unable to speak.

 A Special Needs Child Parent said to us “You can’t work when you’ve got a child like ours, it’s just not possible. I tried and you always need time off when they’re ill and they’re ill more than normal children, then you’ve got all the appointments as well, but the killer is the holidays, what do you do with them then. If you can find someone to have them then it costs you more because they can have less of them, kids I mean, because of the ratios and it ends up costing you more so that it’s not worth working even if you’d got someone, a boss who’d understand”.

I’m careful with money. I know I don’t waste it. I only buy what we need but they need more than others, more nappies, more clothes, more creams, more things to occupy her because she is stuck in here with me all the time. I have two children and I know it costs more, a lot more and there is nothing you can do. You just must pay it.

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In Saint Lucia Females account for more than half the population of persons with disabilities according to a report commissioned by the Caribbean Development Bank. 

Women and girls with disabilities experience double discrimination, which places them at higher risk of gender-based violence, sexual abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation.

In addition to types of gender-based violence that affect all women and girls, disability-specific forms of violence perpetrated against women and girls with disabilities include, among others: the withdrawal of necessary supports to live independently, to communicate or to move around, for example by removing or controlling access to vital communication aids (such as hearing aids) or refusal to assist with communication; removal of accessibility devices and features, such as wheelchairs or ramps; as well as the refusal by caregivers to assist with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating and menstrual management. 

Other disability-specific forms of violence can include the harming and bullying, verbal abuse, and ridicule on the grounds of disability.

While some women and girls with disabilities received a small stipend

Women with disabilities are also routinely excluded from comprehensive sexuality education. This is often a reflection of harmful stereotypes ignoring and denying the sexuality of women and girls with disabilities. When sexuality education is delivered, it is not always disability-sensitive or conveyed through accessible formats. As stressed by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a lack of access to sexuality information for women with disabilities, especially women with intellectual disabilities, deaf and deafblind women, can increase their risk of suffering sexual violence.

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Packing food bag for distribution
Packing food bag for distribution

To take care of special needs children, parents and carers must take care of themselves. This is even more important in times of increased stress such as the current crisis we are all experiencing. It is a time of huge uncertainty and change for parents and guardians and affects how we live every day. Feeling worried is a normal reaction to something that feels threatening. We are human beings and when we feel under threat, our survival instincts kick in and we spend time thinking about the dangers. The key thing is to accept these as a normal response and let them pass.

The very existence of COVID-19 and how much it is now a constant on our news, social media and conversations means that there is a strong likelihood that we will be experiencing a wide range of challenging feelings with the following being the most likely: Anxiety, frustration, anger, irritation, and boredom. On a positive note, many families are enjoying the downtime, e.g., not having to attend appointments, and enjoying the time as a family.

The challenge for special needs families is differentiating between symptoms of anxiety (upset tummy, tension, aches, pains, increased heartbeat, shortness of breath) and then miss-interpreting those as being signs of COVID-19. It’s not unexpected for us to catastrophize and think of the worst outcome when we observe physical symptoms in a special needs person, particularly children.

Over the past months we have continued to provide food and disposable support to eleven families and while our contributions are modest the appreciation from families are big, because they appreciate that they are being through of and not acknowledged.

We continue to appreciate your support as donors as without your consideration and donations we cannot help and support clients and those who just need help with food, clothing, personal care items, medical support, etc.

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Families raising disabled children are struggling emotionally and financially due to the impact of lockdowns, curfews and restrictions imposed by countries to minimize spread, infections and death from COVID-19.

All families of special needs report a loss of income and increased household costs, as cost of disposable diapers, milk products, special snacks and food prices generally are rising rapidly due to a global shipping crisis causes by COVID-19.

A number of families told us that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their child’s health and wellbeing, so they’re emerging from an exhausting and really challenging period from every aspect of their livelihood and wondering how to reboot their lives literally. 

As they try to recover and re-engage with health and social care professionals, quite a few reports, receiving less support than before the start of covid-19. What we’re also seeing are families struggling further because of the challenges of disability – firstly, they’re uncertain about the lifting of restrictions because the risks to their children’s health and wellbeing are greater.

Secondly, many are now in a much more vulnerable financial position than they were in March 2020, because of loss of income and increased costs. Raising disabled children already costs around three times more than children without disabilities, so mostly all our special needs clients have no money to fall back on and increasing levels of debt.

We were able to provide food and medical support to seven families and three scholarships to children with special needs.

A total of eleven families continue to received support, we want to continue with your help and support to assist these families we have been challenged in every single way over the last 18 months.

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Special Needs Persons over the last fourteen (14) months has had to deal with missing social contacts and altered routines, disturbed sleep and eating habits which can be particularly intense for the children with developmental challenges.

Parents with children on the autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and sensory issues. Before the pandemic, attended programs at special education centers designed for children with autism all that stopped during the pandemic.

Some children were also in regular school, could join other children for some academic subjects, while parents who were able had a dedicated aide who worked with their child when they got anxious.

Then came Covid-19. At first, some parents and their children were excited to be home. A parent told us “He was happy that he didn’t have to get up early for school,”

Virtual education classes never quite started for special needs children. One parent said “He started becoming very aggressive,” “He didn’t want to work with me. He didn’t want me to help him with the problems; he wanted me to give him the answers.” Problem behaviors from when he was much younger started to come back: “He didn’t see me as a teacher — he would become very aggressive with me and start hitting me.”

Many children had academic and social issues being at home, but “for kids with developmental challenges, the challenges got exacerbated by Covid,” We were told by some parents that children aren’t getting their therapy, some miss being in the classroom, and some parents decided to stop medications as they could not afford refills.

A parent of two special needs children said “children are prone to angry outbursts, intense crying episodes, signs they were emotionally displaced”

For the last three months we have provided food, disposible diapers, wipes and medical support to 7 special needs children and their families. 

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Organization Information

Raise Your Voice Saint Lucia Inc

Location: GROS ISLET - Saint Lucia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ourvoiceslu
Project Leader:
Catherine Sealys
President
GROS ISLET, LC Saint Lucia
$2,810 raised of $18,500 goal
 
76 donations
$15,690 to go
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