I have just joined this forum, I am currently waiting for an ASD assessment for my son. I have been sent a "parent pack" to fill out but I am a bit stuck on one part and I need to know I am doing this right
(how he/she relates and shows emotion)
it is a chart of questions with a tick box selection
1. MAKES EYE CONTACT WHEN SPEAKING OR LISTENING TO ANOTHER PERSON
I then have to select from the following
-does not apply
-applied to some extent
Now this is where im confused, If i want to say that he definitely "does not make eye contact" do i select "does not apply" or "definitely applies"
I know this might seem silly that I dont understand which box to tick it just seems a bit confusing and I dont want to mess it up
I hope somebody can help me
This is typical of Government forms like PiP and ESA Forms, if you use the Normal Forms of speech you can give a misleading answer if you are not careful..
1, Copy the form as sent to you on to a computer file if possible. This may sound old hat but, first you should make at least two printed copies of everything, Printing off is then just extra paper.
You need A working copy, A final copy to be transcribed copied from the working copy when completed and checking very carefully, and when you are satisfied, the Form itself, copied from your final copy,
This submitted form must then be copied in its entirety, because it is your only record of what you sent in. You may need this copy as sent in, if for some reason you make an appeal to a decision.
You will need this record on which the decision is made to see where you went "wrong", You most probably will change what you intend sometimes more than once, if a meaning is unclear, and if you have kept all your working copies, you may be able to show when you appeal, you made an error misunderstanding their complicated form.
You have to read the Question very Carefully, including the instructions. and punctuation, not always easy for a handicapped person, or for a social worker doing so on behalf of the person involved by ticking boxes in perhaps 10 minutes in a second language, that screws them up, and need appealing against if they can get help.
eg abc,def, hij, klm. whereas you or I may put what we think. They have a set response to "question" and "abc" answer same for Q, "def" etc.
If you believe the question really means something not clear Write it down on the form.
"Does your son Make eye contact " etc You have already assumed a singular "Make" in you interpretation to make sense of it, whereas they have the Plural "makes" which make's no sense unless you assume what could, or may be a different question, opposite to your interpretation.
So you will need to point out in writing on your form where you have assumed what the question means to you if it not clear.(Does your son Make eye contact etc?
Then "Does not apply" to me means:- as it does to most people.
"No! He does not make Eye Contact.when speaking or listening to another person. This answer without qualification is a catch question The suggested response "does not apply" answer presumes without qualification.
. Your son is able to communicate verbally whereas he may not be able to do this being autistic. Further it assumes that he can hear and be able to communicate by listening to instructions. another autistic deficit, not withstanding that he may be a deaf child looking at a mouth.
Lets go to the other end of the scale. Your assumed question "Does your son Makes eye contact etc."
The response: "definitely applies"
Means to me and Thousands of others Yes! Your son Make's eye contact etc. This is obviously wrong if he "does not make eye contact etc as above.
(You Have a Copy). You may get it wrong being human, So if you later on reflecting on the final copied answers as sent and you see something you don't like or, it make's no logical sense, write in and try to correct your answer. You should have all your working records to help you.
You will need a box file. You can often refer to your answers as sent next time they send the same form or similar to you to fill in Same for ESA and PIP.
You are over complicating things, certainly keep a copy that is common sense but if this is the questionnaire that I think it is, it is carbon paper one ie auto score. It is not one that you can add comments to. By all means suggest a supporting letter but it is literally a tick box score sheet.
If you fill in forms for yourself, then that is your responsibility. I have made errors just be aware you can correct them before a decision.
My comments are made for everybody who has to fill in Government forms in relation to having a child with Autism and having the responsibility to interact against official resistance to spending some of their budgeted funds.
My experience goes back for a 1/3rd of a century when I made a first made a claim for what was then an orange (now Blue) badge for help with parking to cope with a very difficult then diagnosed autistic child. Of Course this was refused.
I don't wish to list my constant battle with authority. But I was successful in getting the Government to change its claim form for his benefits and paying years of back payments, getting maximum invalid Care allowance as it was for him and Maximum Mobility Allowance for him. On the basis of this decision, it seemed to me the Government offered a lesser benefit to other autistic children from 2 years without the fight of Courts and Tribunals I had to endure.
Currently with PIP and ESA when these were introduced it took me months to work through these forms, eventually realising as my comments above I had misinterpreted the obviously barrister designed forms to avoid a careless filling in of them. I had to write a detailed letter of correction with what I then believed was the correct arrangement of ticks on a form. in relation to the questions asked. so much depended on it.
The Outcome was a PIP score of 47 this included maximum 12 points for his mobility problems. because he had to be guided under control for his and other's safety. ie We were back where we were in 1991.
I believe I could, should I have to do this again, I will argue about the amount of Understanding of Complicated instructions he could understand for a higher points award on the relevant section.
As this will only ever be necessary should he ever be prosecuted in a Court as to his understanding of proceedings which would be zero, it would be pointless as for maximum benefit Payments with Maximum Mobility Payments the PIP score needed is 24 points.
Hi you are making a valid point about pip I know this can be a struggle as I claim it my self for a disability, and although the struggles you highlight and the issues with benefit forms, the op was asking for help for an NHS form so highlighting issues for benefits was not really relevant that was my point