Miracle App and what support workers aren’t

Social services want me to use a Miracle App that will solve all my problems. I can hardly wait. I agreed to the referral with very little hope that it will work because I like to be (seen to be) compliant and I like apps. A lot. Never mind that they don’t count having a smart phone as a disability related expense despite the fact that they want me to use this app on it. Anyway, the whole thing is a trial and they’re trying to get people to use it. So I accepted. Recently, I had this exchange with my social care assessor (kind of like a social worker but really not):

THEM: We need The Amazing Helen’s [My support worker. No, they didn’t call her that.] phone number and email for the referral for the app we want you to use.

ME: Why do you need The Amazing Helen’s details? I make my own decisions.

THEM: To set up the app. [Was this meant to be an answer?]

ME: Set it up to do what? The Amazing Helen works for me 9 hours per week, not 168. It would be inappropriate to contact her outside her 9 hours. So please specify what they want this information for exactly.

THEM 2 (A different person I’ve never heard of from the ‘autism team’ I didn’t know existed): We need your phone number to register the app and the phone and email for The Amazing Helen so we can contact her.

ME: Here is my phone number. Do not ring it. I can’t give you The Amazing Helen’s details without knowing what they’re for and despite asking repeatedly, no one has told me.

THEM 2: Thank you for your number. We need The Amazing Helen’s details. I don’t know what for, but I will make wild unsubstantiated guesses if that would help.

THEM 2: I can do the referral without the email, but still need the phone number as they are your emergency contact. We can’t do the referral without this.

ME: Then don’t make the referral. I am not giving out The Amazing Helen’s details without knowing exactly what for. 

ME: By the way, The Amazing Helen is not my emergency contact. She is my support worker. My employee.

THEM 2: We’ve sent the referral.

I’ll let you know how it goes with the app if I ever get a chance to try it. I can’t see how it would be better than the 500 strategies I’ve already tried, but you never know. From what I can tell, it is for helping with problem solving when you get overwhelmed when out and about, but I already have strategies for that. It’s also for anxiety, but i’m not anxious. I’m not sure how I would remember to use an app, just like I was supposed to use this parenting app, but I can’t understand how if my kids are playing up I’m supposed to remember to whip out my iPhone and ask an app what I should do.

But it could be the miracle I’ve been waiting for. You can be sure I will shout it from the rooftops if it is.

Karen L Buckle

I am a PhD student studying autistic inertia. I am interested in this topic because I suffer from these problems and because I know that they are common and seriously problematic for a lot of autistic people. If you are interested in being kept up to date on my research, including participation opportunities and updates on findings, leave a comment or email me at karenleneh.buckle@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment