Autism sufferer’s long wait for housing scheme place

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A MOTHER whose autistic child was promised a place in an assisted housing scheme only to be told it would be delayed for five months has spoken out about her son’s plight.

Fran Braybrook says her 22-year-old adopted son Leon was looking forward to gaining his independence when he was promised a place at the recently opened Dashwood Court in Marlborough Place which offers care assisted living accommodation for nine residents.

Mr Braybrook, who has Autistic Spectrum Disorder, epilepsy and learning difficulties, was a pupil at Frank Wise School before he transferred to Strathore College in Stoke-on-Trent to learn independent living skills.

Oxfordshire County Council has been working with Mr Braybrook to help him achieve his goal of getting a job and a place to live. When he finished college in July he was told he would be able to move into the flats in September.

But his move is being delayed until February because the council has not appointed carers to support the residents.

Now the family are living between a canal boat and a two-bedroom flat in Banbury as they struggle to offer Mr Braybrook the support he needs while giving his brother space to complete his A-Level homework.

“Leon likes having things planned out and he was so looking forward to the opportunity for some independence,” said Mrs Brayrbook.

“At the moment he thinks everybody has let him down. The flats will now be standing empty for five months because they haven’t sorted out the care provision.”

A statement from Oxfordshire County Council said: “We are sorry that there has been a delay in providing a permanent placement caused by building works and care commissioning taking longer than expected. During this time the county council has been working closely with the family to find an acceptable solution. We are also currently providing additional support to meet his care needs.

“As things stand at the moment we will be able to provide a place in the new year when the necessary care services are in place. However we are in discussions with the care provider to see if this date can be brought forward at all.

“In the meantime we are exploring other options, including long-term respite or Shared Lives, with the family until his permanent place becomes available.”