A FAMILY have released distressing video showing how their disabled son has been forced to scramble up and down the stairs at his home for nine years.
Steven Berry, 15, has cerebral palsy and is forced to shuffle down the stairs on his bottom and crawl up on his hands and knees.
His family accuse their local council of failing to deliver on their promise to find suitable accommodation, despite the fact he has been on a “priority list” since 2009.
As a result, the teenager is forced to make the difficult, tiring and potentially dangerous climb and descent several times a day.
Family friend Rachael Barrett posted two videos exposing Steven’s plight, one showing him coming down the stairs on his bottom and the other showing him crawl up on his hands and knees.
Getting up the stairs, even with a supporting hand on his back, takes 38 seconds.
Going down, one step at a time on his bottom with both hands down at either side for support, takes 50 seconds in the video and he has not even reached the last step.
Rachael described the tortuous experience the family have gone through in trying to secure a place to stay which meets Steven’s needs, writing: “On behalf of the Berry family we are having to take to social media as the council are ignoring this case again.
“Steven has cerebral palsy, very limited speech and takes seizures.
“He is living in a private let that does not meet his needs in many ways. He has been on the West Lothian Council priority list since 2009, he was ignored until his mum went to MPs and councillors.”
The first offer of a home which suited Steven was made in July 2016 but work on the new build hasn’t started yet.
And temporary accommodation offered in the meantime does not deliver on Steven’s needs as laid out by social workers.
“Steven has been let down and is being penalised for living in a private let, a very dangerous one that he has struggled for the best part of a decade in,” she said.
“He’s not the one who hasn’t followed rules so why should he be moved out his town and routine or made to crawl like you see in the video and risk his life for another two years?”
A council spokesman said: “The council has had suitable accommodation available but due to the families’ desire to stay in Armadale the family have been unable to move.
“We are continuing to work with the family and their application has been assessed at the highest level as a result of their son’s exceptional needs.
“Mrs Berry has been advised that through our new build programme the family are in a favourable position for consideration to receive an offer for suitable accommodation in a number of communities.”