DUE TO A LACK OF CLEAR INFORMATION I AM TAKING THIS POST DOWN UNTIL ALL THE FACTS ARE CLEAR, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO READ IT, COMMENTED, SHARED AND CHECKED IN HERE. I HOPE TO REPUBLISH SOON. IN THE MEANTIME HERE IS A SHORTENED EDITED VERSION:
There has huge upset in the autism community this week and some disagreement. But what everyone agrees on is that many many families who have children on the autism spectrum find that their calls for help go unanswered, sometimes until it is too late.
Children with Asperger's are amazing, they can be clever, funny, creative, interesting and basically wonderful. But at times their behaviour can be very difficult for their parents to understand and manage without help and support.
One mother would like to share her story - names and details changed. It could have ended badly too. Luckily it didn't. After three very difficult years the authorities did act and, following a spell in residential care which included intensive therapy and some medication, her son is now a handsome young man who is back living at home.
"Mary" is a lone parent living in the Midlands, and one of her sons has Asperger's Syndrome...
My family was torn apart because the authorities refused to listen to me for three years. There were times when I could easily have hurt my son or he me as he was extremely aggressive or volatile. There were times I wished my son would just die of natural causes or that I would ... that's how bad it was here. Until you experience it, you have no idea of just how hard it is to be afraid of your child, and know in your heart that without help he could unintentionally kill you or your other children.
For three years I was on constant alert as his meltdowns were every day and so aggressive. Myself and my other children have spent hours locked in a room as it was too unsafe to come out. We sat there hugging each other and crying while he broke everything he could find. He punched his fist through a glass door and still the authorities didn't listen. He beat me and his brother, and even the social workers did nothing when I showed them our injuries.
During all this time just one person listened: a psychologist, who was extremely concerned, but even he could not get child psychiatry to see us. He did a battery of assessments, and my son came out in the 95th percentile for aggression, anxiety and depression, and still they said they could not see him. Our story could have been headline news too, but nothing was done.
When you're in a very dark place you do not function correctly or think clearly. And you can end up in a very dark place indeed if you are the lone parent of a child with autism, caring for him 24/7, and dealing with challenging behaviour with no help, support or respite.
Just one message: when families ask for help, DO NOT ignore them. Please.