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Disability Bitch vs young carers

12th June 2008

Hello. I HATE YOUNG CARERS. Steady now. Last time I hated anyone under the age of 16 - children with special needs - one of my devoted fans emailed in to say she believed me to be in league with the Klu Klux Klan. Readers, I am not in league with the Klu Klux Klan.
Young carer - an artist's impression by Disability Bitch
The fact is, I borrowed my best friend's child last week and asked him to do a number of intimate personal tasks for me, before cooking me dinner and mixing me a whisky and soda.

Well I can tell you he was rubbish and I shan't be inviting him back. No domestic skills whatsoever. I'll be sticking to the adults.

Forgive me if I stop joking for a moment. 'Young carers' are back in the news because a child who was caring for a terminally ill mother has died following a methadone overdose. That's not funny. In fact, it's so not funny I ask you to read the rest of this carefully to appreciate where I'm coming from on this.

There followed a slew of articles about the 'plight' of young carers. Occasionally, you'll see politicians and celebrities handing out 'child of achievement' type awards to the children of disablified parents.

The thing is, I'm not sure why we're congratulating them.

I'm not sure why young carers exist in the first place.

We shouldn't be giving them awards. We should be supporting ill and disabled parents properly, so that their children don't need to care for them.

Hear me.

In the meantime, I took my friend's son to the zoo in a vain attempt to look like a nice person. I gave him some cash and he ran off to get some ice cream.

A passing stranger told me I was disgusting for getting him to do all my dirty work. Huh? Let that thought linger. In reality, he just knows that he'll get more ice cream if he carries it back from the van, rather than leaving it to wobbly old me who'll drop it on the floor.

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