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Personal travel budget advice - Carers UK Forum

Personal travel budget advice

For issues specific to autism / Asperger Syndrome.
Hello, I wasn't sure where to post this but I figured I can't be the only Mum with an Autism child who has faced the same conundrum.
Very brief background, my son started his new school in September nine months after being forced out of mainstream. He has recently been referred for pathological demand avoidance not the only reasons but the leading ones as to why I didn't consider transport for him, another being I didn't have a clue how to get it.
The school run is a 22 mile round trip in a 2.5 litre diesel due to the rise in fuel it is costing me an absolute fortune that i just don't have. I accidentally stumbled upon the existence of a personal travel budget and applied, ignoring how fuming I am nobody told me, I am relieved at some point we will have one of our many financial burdens eased. I will of course be using the prepaid card for fuel when we get the payment 'easter' seems vague but at least it is on the way to help.
I am a little worried do I have to work out exactly how much fuel I use? There is a threat of 'auditing'. I am concerned about what that entails, more so once our new electric motability vehicle arrives. Would I be able to top up the electricity meter with it?
It says the money must be used to get my child to school, even by purchasing siblings bus or rail pass or paying car insurance. It seems ironic that the new vehicle may be here before we get the help after struggling all this time and going without I just can't think what we would need to spend it on once the electric car arrives. Of course the electricity meter to charge the car, but would I then have to work out the kW per hour and the rate? I really doubt I could do that!
Thank you for reading, I do tend to waffle on, I apologise.
Ask the LA to provide a taxi for him might have been a better option?
He's unable to use the transport, but thank you for the reply.
What "transport" are they offering?

If he can travel in your car, surely he can travel in a different car/taxi?
I came here for advice, I thought as carers this would be an understanding place, my mistake. I don't feel comfortable discussing my child's entire history and diagnosis. I did specify he has PDA for clarity, they won't take him, I won't elaborate more.

I don't think I can delete my original post so please note I will no longer be visiting these forums.
Hi Carla,

Welcome to the forum.

We had a few children at the special school I taught at, who required transporting by their parents due to difficulties experienced by the child/transport provider on the journey to and from school. The parents who applied for financial support were given direct payments rather than vouchers towards the cost of transport. I have a feeling this was a set amount. IPSEA might be able to advise you more about how the system works.

I don't think BB meant to pry, but was trying to understand why your child couldn't travel by taxi, to save you making the 22 round trip. Unfortunately, PDA is still only understood by a few.

Do you subscribe to the PDA Space?

Sorry, I wasn't trying to pry, just to be quick as I have a poorly son and grandson at home.
I helped someone get a taxi for her daughter with Downs Syndrome, who got travel sick, rather than a 90 minute minibus tour of the New Forest every morning and evening.
I was just trying to establish the basic facts to start with, I'm very concerned about the huge hole all this travelling must make in your day!!
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... idance.pdf

Here is a link to the regulations which councils have to abide by when arranging school transport.
From my own experiences (my son was brain damaged at birth, now 42 can't read, write or do any maths but can drive a 10 ton steam roller!) I know that councils very often say things that are not quite true if it's going to save them money, regardless of the impact on a parent.
Hi Carla

I hope you read this.

I understand that with children with PDA (and some children with autism), getting them to accept a different car or different people for some tasks. Sometimes even the different smells in the car or sounds of the car can cause problems, so I get why you may well have little choice regarding the journey. My wife used to have a 2-litre diesel and that was bad enough: her current car is a 1.2 Turbo but as it's a 7 seater we do well to get 35 on a run. I've just filled up - £100. Last time it was £70. Fuel costs are silly at the moment and that must be a worry.

Councils are allowed, to some extent, to set their own rules, but the important thing is any budget is subject to an agreement as to how it works - mileage rates are the usual way. So however many pence per mile for an agreed number of miles times the number of days attended. It should of course allow for both ways and both journeys. There will be a mileage rate for your current car, and that will change when the electric one comes along. Again, they'll set a mileage rate.

It really isn't a major worry. The big thing, to be honest, is to think about how long you can keep it up - and whether there is any way to encourage your son to accept other transport options? If not, fair enough. But then you'll need to think about what you can safely manage to do in the intervening time between travelling. Resting will be appropriate sometimes!
My son had a lovely escort and a taxi to go to school, 16 miles away.

After his circumstances changed we kept in touch and gave her a Christmas card and a little present, usually some home made lemon curd, so that she know how much we appreciated all the love and care she gave M on his journeys.

Obviously I don't know your specific circumstances or your son's disability, so my comments may not be appropriate, however it would save you so much time every day if he could, ultimately, travel to and from school without you. How would he get to school if you were ill, if you are the only one who can take him?

Do you think if you had an escort your son grew to know, that ultimately it might be possible for him to have the same escort and use a taxi?