Monday, 30 July 2012

"Get by with a little help from my friends"

Me on floor with orange plaster and pink tubi grip sock thingy,don't know what it is called, dog who helps me on floor looking a little terminator ish and friend (who has EDS) on sofa.
The UK is a great place, I love it for the most part but there is a waive or nastiness materialising in this divide and rule government we currently have in power. The UK is becoming a place where the wealthy and rich Cheif execs of financial institutions have their criminal  activities covered up and glossed over whilst the disabled,the poor, the elderly, the minority groups, the single parents, the NHS workers, teachers, public sector staff are hated and feel the wrath of many thanks to poor journalism written in a state where freedom of speech is slowly dwindling and you find this governments ideals popping up every where from tabloids to our television soaps where disabled people are seen as fraudulent,single parents portrayed as gold diggers and any one over 60 seen as a liability to our generation.

There is a feeling of being seen as a scrounger if you are disabled, whatever your circumstance, whether you work or not, are clearly very ill or having a moment in time where you can at least pretend to look well despite having to take high doses of morphine in order to put on a good show, the same morphine that makes you throw up at night etc. However among the din of general anger there are some great people out there and there is amazing support.

They say when times are bad you know who your friends are, this is true.

We are lucky enough to have a few marvelous friends out there, not forgetting my ever supportive parents and one soppy dog.  I publicly thank them for brightening my husbands and my time as life has been very difficult for us and our son recently. We have been in what I can only describe as total lock down. I am totally wheelchair bound, need help night and day,I always need help but my husband barely gets a moment to himself nowadays.I can't  get to the loo on my own, cant dress myself at all, cant get to my hair brush,can not access my pants drawer or my wardrobe, I can't drive anywhere and yet have tons of out of county medical treatment so the only time all of us venture out is to go to hospital appointments with my parents help.

We are desperate to use our minds, we have good skills and intelligent thought so we spend lots of time playing with our son, teaching him English and French, playing with water and seeing what floats and sinks, playing with different textures with him, soft cotton wool, hard ruler etc. When our little man is asleep my husband and I find time to chat with one another and try desperately to come up with ideas we could set up from home be it a social network group, a support group an art portfolio, we both say whatever we can to one another to keep each other upbeat. It gets difficult because we have no where to go, we can not get out, we have no change of scene, prisoners live better than we do at times and all we can do is support one another to persevere in our hobbies ,be it this blog or my husbands art work,, in the hopes one day someone will see us and by miracles of miracles we might get recognised and given work that we can do at home, an office is not do able, I need help with every practical event of my day, my husband can niether drive due to his pain nor walk far, I can not drive at all due to being in plaster and non weight bearing for several months which is the same year in, year out as I have had major surgery every year of my life since I was eight years old, in fact the only time I didn't have joint related surgery was the year I had a C section to give birth to my son!
My lovely Canine Partner doggy, Yasmin  and darling son enjoying the garden and sharing their thoughts of the day.

So if it wasn't for friends family and canine partner, life would have been appalling.However most of all my son would have had a very quiet time. Having people come over and chat to Christopher, making him smile and have a change of face has been wonderful. We had two friends over who cooked a home made meal for us which was total heaven, we have been living on basic microwave meals as my husband is so exhausted at the end of the day, he is bent over in pain, so this was lovely. One of my chums comes over and  makes my husband and I laugh a lot, he is a total kid and great fun and there when we all need him.Another came over before this weekend to help make decorations for a gathering we had at the weekend,she brought over some lovely books for Christopher.Someone came over to do my nails and we chatted all things girly. Mark and I met a new friend who is a lovely girl, kind, but best of all an artist which is great for my husband as I can only give so much encouragement about his art!

Friends and family make disabled people's lives worth living,especially when times are very difficult but very much make the difference when you worry for your child that your illness is making his or her life hard.I don't want that for our son, I desperately want him to know that however mummy and daddy are we can still be a worth while friend too and that he doesn't have to deal with our bad times, we have adult supporting people who are there for us and he has no need to feel responsible for our present or future lives, we manage, we cope and we are strong and we do indeed at times "get by with a little help from our friends".

Mr Funny and Lady Arty

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Ingredients for a 6-18 month old baby

Every parent will tell a new mother that babyhood gets easier in some ways after 6 months and yet worse in others. It certainly gets tougher for a disabled parent as the child gets heavier it becomes more tricky to lift baby around, much more planning goes into this game of parenting after 6 months as whilst some tasks get easier others get quite tricky but with the right equipment no problem is unresolvable.

By six months your baby may be sitting on their own, may be crawling or may need pillows around them to sit up, may only be lying on tummy and going no where, if your child is going nowhere enjoy the peace while you can and do not wish they would hurry up and develope!

Here are some simple ideas for the disabled parent with a six month old and beyond. Also I throw in a big dose of confidence your way because you can do it!

1.Problems sitting on the floor?. You need to get creative, I am fortunate enough to be able to get a bed right up against a wall in the corner of his room so two sides of the bed are blocked. I then sit my son in the middle of the bed and I sit along exposed side of the bed legs out in front of me so the only side of bed exposed is the end of the bed which I watch. The bed is our floor, we play with tea sets, read books even put waterproof cover over bed,bowl of water and play with water.

2.Trying to get on floor. I have no strength in my legs and little in my arms. I also have pain and damage in all limbs. I find a room with a sofa or bed. I close the door to the room as my son crawls at speed of light. I remove objects I don't want him touching prior to getting on floor. Then I placed the Bumbo seat on the sofa or bed making sure the seat is right at the back of the sofa or in the middle of a bed. Then I sit beside my son,pull him out of the bumbo, still sitting I grab him with my forearms under his armpits and lower him to the floor, then I slide of the sofa or bed. Getting up is another story, check out my "I got on the floor" blog post.

My son in his Bumbo.

3. Encouraging your child to develop sitting muscles and leg muscles. Use the Bumbo as this definately encouraged my sons muscles and he quickly managed to sit on his own. For developing leg muscles, for enabling your child to be at a height to play with and to even feed child from a baby walker is a great idea, even my Health Visitor said in my case a walker would be good. Walkers are funny things, sometimes they put a child in a silly superman position, sometimes they are tricky for a disabled parent to lift child in and out of, we tried three of these darn things and a lot of money was wasted until we found :

The Babylo buzzy bee walker from Babies R Us £29.99

This was a fantastic buy and an essential piece of kit for any disabled parent, we had the toys on for a while until he got bored and then we used his tray to play cars with him, to do a puzzle on, to read to,to feed him in but mostly to encourage leg muscle strength as we struggle to hold him in a walking position. Easy to get child in and out of as the seat leg holes stay open, the seat is firm and baby at good height to grab under arm pits.

4. Time for a mega easy buggy- The only way I was totally independent was when my son reached 7 months and I was able to get a Babystart Buggy from Argos which literally kicks out and folds up with another kick, swivel wheels and very light weight.

Babystart buggy with canopy from Argos

5. Also time for an accessible car seat! I will keep this point simple, a Maxi Cosi Axiss is a must if you have restricted movement. Check out the link for the Maxi Cosi Axiss demo video .

6. Don't feel you have to safety every thing in your lounge if you will struggle to manage the safety devices, get child a playpen for your lounge or family space instead. Your child can crawl in their bedroom and you can safety kit that out. You will need an accessible playpen, one you can walk into.

Lindam Safe metal playpen
7.Safety gates. My son is not at an age where he is trying to tackle stairs so we do not have a stair gate, instead we put a safety gate across his bedroom doorway and leave the door open so he can see us. When using a wheelchair and with rubbish dexterity, we needed a gate with no bar at the bottom, called a "no trip" gate. We find BabyDan has the easiest opening mechanisim, isn't spring loaded making the gate difficult to push open and has no bar on the bottom. With the downstairs we either have our son in the playpen when out the room or we shut all doors to kitchen, dining room and keep an eye on him in the hallway so we have no need to gate down stairs at the moment, however he will get exploritory with stairs and the playpen will be a useful gate as it opens up to form a gate for awkward stair cases or for stairways needing a stair lift.

BabyDan No trip gate

8.Bathing malarkey! We contacted Adult Social Services when Christopher got to 5 months old, an OT came out and ordered us a slatted bath board, we put this across the bath, we place a baby bath ,with an easy rubber plug, on top of board. We use a jug which is a bit arduous, to fill up bath with warm water, we use no bubble bath as this makes for a slippy child and very dangerous to try and lift out. The only way bathing is safe is if there is two of you if you have poor arm strength, one needs to hold baby in sitting position in bath whilst other washes hair and body. Then one needs to lift baby to other parent sat on toilet with a towel or on a chair very close to bath. Baby sat on this parents lap, dried and left in towel to be carried to a bed to finish changing. We only give our son a proper bath once a week, any more is ridiculous and not required at this age. For the rest of the time we do a bed bath, see ingredients for 0-6 months old. 

Otherwise that is about it, my son now is weaned, so we no longer need sterilizing kit.

We still have lots of fun but now it is even more rewarding as he is laughing, picking up new words seconds after I have spoken them, enjoys reading more and more and loves to see new things. It is more exhausting in some ways from the earlier stages as he is up most of the day and wants to be more on the go. Which requires me watching him all the time, trying to follow him, trying to find new things to do with him that I can actually do. However, above all he is happy and loving life so I guess I am doing something right :o)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Ingredients for child 0-6 months old.

Ahh you thought I was going to launch into some mummy chat about food or weaning didn't you?!

I am going to outline tools of the trade every parent with physical disabilities need for the first six months of your little ones life. I shall follow with the next six months on in a later blog.

1.Difficulty with poppers?get quality second hand baby vests where poppers have been worked by others so are so much easier to do and undo.

Mothercare velcro baby  grows  upto newborn size. 
2.Velcro baby vests- available at Mothercare in their premature section both online and in shops.

3.Baby zip suits for daywear ease of dressing. These are a godsend for those with difficulty in doing up diddly buttons or poppers on baby clothes, great for daywear. Fleece zip suits often found in nightwear area in supermarkets or Next,Mothercare during colder months. Lightweight cotton baby grow zip suits are available from

Zippy suit in cotton light weight material, ideal for spring.

4. Difficulty carrying baby upstairs to bed? A carry cot for the lounge that comes with a stand is a solution,they are available in many high street shops, if your child is like ours they will hate the openness of the cot and prefer sleeping in the carry cot for several months anyway.Would look on ebay for one or preloved as carry cots are expensive.

5.Difficulty bathing baby? An ice cream tub cleaned out and empty with lid and a j cloth,changing matt on a bed and giving baby a bed bath on mat.The lid goes on top of ice cream tub if walking the tub to bedroom as some of us creaky parents rock a bit when walking and the lid stops it slopping everywhere! Make sure your towel and baby clothes are beside the mat. You can simply bed bath baby. NEVER LEAVE BABY ON BED OR COT BASE NOT EVEN FOR A MIN SO HAVE ALL YOU NEED RIGHT BY YOU ON THE BED!!NEVER USE BABY WASH DESCRIBED AS CREAMY AS MAKES BABY HARDER FOR THOSE WITH LIMITED STRENGTH IN HANDS, TO GET HOLD OF BABY SAFELY.

6.Highchairs tricky,baby needs to learn to sit? Then bring on the "Bumbo" seat from any baby store or online departmental store. This seat is a godsend for feeding baby at your height without needing to fuss with sitting baby in high chairs you can't work, the seat holds them in with no straps, we put our son in this when he was five months old , pushed the seat right to the back of our sofa, here I could feed him, we never left him alone though!!The seat encourages their sitting muscles as well without hurting your arms to try encourage baby to sit. again these seats are expensive so I got mine from ebay for £13.00.

Bumbo seat, available from Amazon,Mothercare and Argos.
7.Need an accessible cot? Then you need a cheap cot that starts of working for you as well as a non adapted cot can eg. don't buy a cot bed if the base isn't adjustable at all,look in Mothercare for a cheap cot with a fairly high base. Then call

8.REMAP, a disabled parents greatest group of people, a charity run organisation of engineers who will adapt any item of equipment you own to suit your needs, within reason and they adapted our cot. google them, there is a REMAP nationwide and call them before baby is born to sort equipment out if you can.

9.Car seats difficult? I can honestly say we tried nearly every seat and they are awful in design for any parent even ones with a bad back or who have had c sections let alone disabled parents! Go to the Baby show at the NEC or Earls Court to try them out, failing that try in Mothercare and good luck finding one you can manage but the law says you need one and obviously you do so at least do your partners, parents or friends a favour and get a simple one to put baby in even if you can't do it! When The Carkoon comes out, see earlier blog, you might be in luck with this being an accessible first born seat. Now my son is over nine months old, he has a Maxi Cosi Axis seat which is a fantastic design as the whole baby seat twists on an axis to face the car door making for an easier life for disabled non flexible parents!

Carkoon car seat a possible choice for an accessible newborn baby, a seat that twists on its axis. 

10.Need a lightweight,easy fold buggy? Less is more, the more gadgets it has the heavier and more difficult it will be to fold and unfold, keep it as simple as possible and go try some out, I recommend Babies R Us as a good place to start, I hate John Lewis, their staff consistently have ignored me whenever I have gone there and stupidly so too as I am happy to spend top dollar on a buggy if it means I can actually open the darn thing gracefully and lift it, the only healthy parents who will get the best are people with more money than sense!

Swift stroller one of the easier baby buggies for newborns,light weight and reasonably easy to fold.

11.Breast feeding hard on arms? A V pillow for lying baby on to breast feed, the pillow sits around you, you can pull it around you easily with one hand or mouth,put baby on top and lean down slightly to bring nipple to babys mouth. V pillow also great for cuddling baby on your bed, if you can not hold baby in arms for ages, lie baby on side, you facing baby on side and put v pillow down back of baby to support him.

12. Sterilizing bottles difficult? If you have limited upper arm strength or pain in joints then stay away from sterilizing pods! You will not be able to lift them anywhere when filled with water which is how they all work. Instead find a bucket with a lid on Amazon which has a good wide handle which you can hold on your forearm which will bide you a little more ease in moving bucket to tap and back to worktop. You will need Milton tablets as the packaging for Milton bottles is awful for trying to open with poor dexterity. Simply drop a table into the bucket,fill with cold water,wash your bottles in the sink then pop in bucket and place lid on top to ensure the bottles are submerged. The bucket method is a really cheap and effective way of sterilizing.
Kampa Bucket with good rubber handle
13. Are you hard of hearing or deaf? "The nightingale vibrating alarm" which works with the "Tomy Classic" baby alarm range, the classic will light up when baby cries which is fine for when you are awake but obviously at night you will need some extra equipment. The Nightingale is available from Connevans limited online. However if you are not deaf then don't bother with baby alarms unless you live in a mansion, a waste of time, trust me when I say this, your baby will be heard!!!!

Apart from nappies,Tescos own brand (not value ones) are great for easy of putting on,taking off,get lots of baby rag books or board books with bright simple pictures,rattles,mirrors,you are good to go!

Be confident, there is nothing you can't find a solution for, it may not be my way but you will work it out. All this thinking is what will make you a thoughtful, kind parent. Don't feel if you were well you would be doing a better job, not true, our well counterparts all say they found it difficult and in fact because you won't be able to get out much due to rubbish car seat designs out there, you are more likely to have a clam baby who enjoys reading with your and kindly gentle activities.

Enjoy it, it is the best thing in my entire life having my son, oh not forgetting marrying my husband but he doesn't laugh when I say banana or "Smiley teddy bear" like our son does! :)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Bullying and children with disabled parents,

My son is the happiest little boy I have known. My parents have always said that I was the happiest out of all my siblings despite obviously very hot and painful joints from right when I was, well my sons age.

As it stands at the moment, I open a teddy bear book and he giggles at the grinning bear, he giggles at the word banana he roars with laughter at tickles.He adores learning, he loves his French picture dictionary and knows some French words and English words for a few foods. He isn't walking and that is not due to two parents unable to make him do standing activities,no he is not ill, no he feels why keep a dog and bark, literally, why walk to something when if he points to something my assistant dog or a parent will get it and of course the doggy getting something is another excuse to chuckle! There is not one activity we do with him that bores him, he loves looking at and trying every thing.

This is not an opportunity to boast, I am explaining who my son is because I would be devastated if he lost this personality because someone's child was bullying him at school, if he lost his quick thinking because he was feeling so down.

This is every nice parents fear for their nice child. Lovely parents seek to find their child three nice peoples schools well before school entry time to try and avoid proximity with ferrel kids however nowadays there are no great catchment areas, we all think there are, so,show deluded by the sixties generation that is our parents that good catchment still exists, but does that really make any difference to the child's perception of school, heck Bob Diamond is a scallywag and ex CEO for Barclays bank,I have no doubt he lived in a great catchment area! It is in my opinion that money does not always equal moralistic, compassionate and considerate adults or their offspring. I don't know Bob Diamonds children, I am sure they are all pleasant but money does not equate to good ethics or kind children.

There is not a parent in this land which will not share the common ground of concern about bullying in schools both at primary and secondary school level and now even via social networking. However am I right to have perhaps more concern than my well counterparts about my son being bullied because of me?

I hear my sister in my ear going "ahh don't worry Caro, children don't see disability as adults do" yeah I am not convinced that nasty children will still not use my difference to be very unkind to Christopher. I have no idea what strategies to adopt at this stage, I know I am thinking way too early about this and one such strategy will be to ensure he goes to a play school, again a nice play school, with nice children in it hopefully who will get used to seeing me, my assistant dog and him at play school. These same children will hopefully get the same school allocated and Christopher will already have an army of little children ready to stand up for him with the odd stray child at his school feels like picking on him.

So I have been on Mumsnet today to see if other parents with disabilities have been in this situation or how they intend to deal with it or have dealt with it, hopefully I can add to this blog later thanks to their thoughts.

Finally, here is a classic example of bullying nowadays, brace yourselves new mummies! My sister, a doctor with her doctor boyfriend, lives in a nice catchment area for a nice primary school, you would think all children would be nice there, WRONG! On Thursday, my eight year old nephew was being picked on for being a "virgin" by older boys at his junior school!! WHAT THE F$#K !?! Heck there isn't much they can pick on my nephew about,he is brilliant at sport, popular, very attractive, big blue eyes, blonde hair and tall, I guess when the chips are down what is there to be unkind about, heck why not bully a little boy about not having sex! As disabled parents, we chose to have our lovely children and they will no doubt go on to make fantastic adults but we chose to bring them into the world and it seems to me we should pre plan for bullying because they are perhaps left more exposed to unkindness at school than children with well parents.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Ankle replacement the endurance test!

On the 18th of June I had my left ankle replaced. This was done by the top international surgeon for ankle replacements,Mr Winson, in Southmead hospital, Bristol.

I had my right ankle replaced in 2005.

I knew from the previous ankle replacement what an endurance test this would be but back then I was with my ex. I had been with him for 7 years and only met his parents after six years, this ex never stayed over for more than a weekend each week even though he lived 15 mins away. So I had no help except for carers who would come in to help me dress in the morning around 10.30am, make me a sandwitch at lunch and help me get ready for bed at 7.30pm. That was it.

So when this strange mother of my ex walked in to my house without even knocking at 9am one morning, I was still not dressed because my carer hadn't arrived,the reader will understand how embarrassed I was and how undignified I felt when I had only met this woman twice after several years of dating her son and they were a judgemental family!I was so upset when there she was in my lounge sitting waiting for me to somehow entertain her. The whole family were useless at conversation. Of course not only was I mortified, I was angry and irritated that I was expected to do the talking when I was in pain and had large amounts of morphine to get me through the night.

I dumped the ex six weeks into the recovery of this operation really because not only was he hardly ever there as a boyfriend, he rarely supported me and I was rarely good enough for him and when he couldn't respect my request that he asked his mum to not just barge in again as I felt humiliated, I had had enough! Enough of trying to live up to his and his wacky family's expectations! I got through the rest of the endurance test that the ankle replacement is, 12 weeks of being in a plaster and unable to walk or move much at all,on my own but I was pretty much on my own any way so it was really business as usual.

So when this recent operation came around I was dreading it! However I needn't have.

My husband has taken it all in his stride. He has been there by my side, he even does his art sat beside me in the evening. He looks after our son like a trooper, he helps me to the loo, makes our tea, makes the lunch, feeds our son, changes our son, plays making tents with our son. He still has enough energy,just,despite every joint of his burning with arthritis pain, to make me smile with a joke or his chit chat. Sure I do what I can for our toddler, I sing songs, we read umpteen books, I am teaching him French along with his English words, we play peekaboo, we cuddle but all activities are done from my bed. I feel so sad when my son wants me to follow him into the tent and I just can't or when he bumps his head and I can't get to him to cuddle him and make it alright but we manage,we cope.

It is an endurance test, we are all basically in lock down at home, I can not risk jolting my already thin ankles which will keep me in plaster even longer.We can't go anywhere at the moment. My husband needs to get on with his art work as he hopes to exhibit again soon but he is not only caring for my son but me as well. I feel awful that I can not help more with housework or child care but we all muddle through every day and we all still smile.

Thank god for the iPad as that has opened up so many fun activities for Christopher to do with me sat on the bed, I really would put this gadget as a top piece of equipment on any disabled parents list.

Of course then there is Yasmin, my assistant dog, she is being walked at the moment by my dad and fortunately she is as lovely and cuddly as ever, helping pick up things for my son around the room. She has an understanding,unlike pet dogs, that we can't have max fun every day, she knows she works for me as even when I open the French windows she won't leave me, even if I say "go play" and shut French windows she sticks her nose against the class and stares as if to say "I'm going nowhere lady!". I didn't have my dog when with the ex as he was allergic to dogs, as soon as he went I applied for a Canine Partner dog,an excellent trade.

Ankle replacements are a real endurance test! I say to any disabled parent only get this operation done if your ankle has already become life limiting (if you are strong and well otherwise it will be a doss because you will be able to hop and have good arms for crutches) you need to be in a very tight, strong relationship with a good support system in place for helping with your child. It is very do able though with the right people and who knows what I will be able to do when I am out of plaster, first thing I am going to do though is make my husband rest, cook him a lovely meal and play tents with my son!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Husbands art work sometimes done via using his mouth!

I don't often get political publicly but it seems every one is doing so these days, we all seem to have a political opinion on every ones lives so heck, may as well join them as can't beat them. 

On Mumsnet yesterday, they had a guest blogger in the name of Louise Mensch, a Conservative member of parliament. She was discussing the merits of Social Networking and the impact it has had on the lives of women around the world.

To this I say hear hear! I am in agreement ,for once, with a Conservative MP! However, as is always the case, the Conservative mob think little of emotional connection and instead only money talks in their circle. So of course she was highlighting one of the founders of Lastminuet. com, a woman, being an idol to all ladies who know how to go online and use social networking. Gosh this isn't the 1950s my dear, we all are aware! Often women go online to formulate intellectual discussion and share thoughts and feelings. To feel comradeship, we are all capable of going online, we don't need a patronizing "girl power" speeches thanks. What she fails to sight because money talks is that there are doors opening to the minority groups of women, not just for the multi million business owner ladies amongst us. Social networking and blogging gives those minority groups a safe place to discuss issues that affect them and to seek advice from those who understand, share feelings and thoughts on how to tackle issues.  

Then of course lets not forget the men, again this is not the 1950s, women are becoming the higher owners slowly.On the occasions my dad has helped me go to Bounce and Rhyme with my son ,I am heartened to see men attending the group with their little ones. So there is a forming group of men who now are the ones who stay at home and do child rearing, unfortunately the outside world is still very "mother and baby" orientated so you can imagine these guys need social networking, blogging to make them feel part of the world still. 

Above all the online community opens vast doors for severely disabled people and this, Louise, is where the Conservative party should be investing their thoughts in terms of up grading the work place to incorporate the use of social networking, the concept of men and women having to commute onto a crowded train to sit in an office and rattle of emails or have a few meetings is so old fashioned. With the rise of facetime, skype,email and The Cloud why are we still insisting that in order to "work" we have to all be sat in an office?? If work came to the disabled person, ie. they can work from home without need to go into an office they are likely to get many more into work. I know many a bright disabled person who has an excellent brain, many of them studied with the Open University for their degrees because the OU have been the pioneers of harvesting the power of online to eliminate the need for students to attend lectures, all exams, essays,lectures are done at home. Equally many of us need help getting on and off a bog!

Then there is the environmental issue of thousands commuting to big cities every day, why, if aliens were watching this you can imagine them having a good old laugh. We have this technology but errrr no one seems to be using it as a tool for their work force. Why? Are corporations seeing the internet capabilities as a toy perhaps and missing out on a real trick to stop wasting employees time with commuting and get more work done via their homes because they don't have to travel for an hour.  

Finally all the single parents out there who want to work but can not afford ridiculous child care fees or the cost of a car or train tickets to commute to work, then my modern vision of work would throw open so many opportunities for this group as well. 

Perhaps one aspect going for old fashioned working method is the face to face contact we have with other humans, this obviously is enriching but many disabled people or single parents don't even get off the starting run to experience this because if we need help on and off the loo etc then we are unlikely to even be able to ever set foot in an office, most disabled people would rather feel productive from their bed than feel useless because they can't fulfill an old fashioned need of commuting and working in an office. 

Something to think about the Conservative party, I appreciate you guys are firefighting at the moment, getting those with a sore big toe back into work but perhaps when you have done this you can find time to make work work for those that appreciate their bodies are a car crash but really want the dignity of using their minds. 

Here are some pictures my husband has done with his deformed hands it takes him months per picture but look at what is out there not being utilised! 

Marks black and white art work.

Mark did our own copy of the classic, Night before Christmas for our little boy.