Autistic and Down’s children ‘victimised’ by Westminister austerity cuts, say parents

Original post from Hearld Scotland

‘…………..By Vicky Allan, Senior features writer

Disabled badge on a car
Disabled badge on a car

Parents of children with autism and Down’s Syndrome say Westminster is victimising their families by removing their right to use disabled parking spaces as a result of austerity cuts.

Campaigners now want Holyrood to intervene. Westminster austerity cuts mean most children with autism and Down’s no longer qualify for the higher rate of mobility allowance, which automatically triggers the issuing of a blue badge for disabled parking spaces.

Owain Martin, who is the father of an autistic child, said this means carers are now having to walk long distances with disabled children. Families say some of their children can be prone to running off, having sudden “meltdowns” due to sensory overload or have learning difficulties which make it difficult for them to appreciate danger.

He has now launched a petition to the Scottish Government calling for Holyrood to act following the loss of his son’s blue badge.

The new qualification criteria means if a child can walk for 40 metres they are no longer eligible for the higher rate mobility allowance element of disability living allowance (DLA) – but campaigners say this does not take into account that many children with autism or Down’s need constant assistance to make sure they are safe.


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