Tag Archives: medical evidence

Addictions & Aspergers

1 Jun

Little man didn’t go to school last week hardly at all! He has a toothache which is probably down to the fizzy drinks he drinks. The thing is Aspergers Syndrome and toothache doesn’t always result in a trip to the dentist. Yep, his refusing, despite the pain his in. His made it pretty clear he isn’t stepping foot in the dentist and I’m losing the will to live as a result!

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Firstly, it isn’t like I can just drag his backside there kicking and screaming! Why not? Because little mans kicking and screaming involves hitting, swearing and screaming so loud that in the past passers by have called the police thinking I’m some kind of child abductor. Believe me, this situation isn’t easy!

Shockingly, in between the tears of pain little man made a request… “Can I have a can off Coke please mum?”… Shocking… I know! I’m really having difficulty getting him to associate the cause of the pain with that of the fizzy pop. He waited till i was out of sight and went straight for the fridge. Lets just say that he finally realised that the fizz and the pain go hand in hand!

Yes, the fizzy drink as predicted, set of his toothache and did so in style. Little man rocked and cried as he experienced such intense discomfort. I tried to once again explain that this was a direct result of drinking fizzy drinks due to there high sugar content. I guess I expected some kind of big reaction, maybe a promise that he’ll never go near the stuff again! Shockingly little man made the suggestion of using a straw in the future instead.

The thing is, when younger, little man loved the dentist. He had a filling when he was around 6 years old! Myself and the dentist were sure he’d freak out and were all geared up ready for the explosion! Well, you can just imagine how shocked we both were when discovering he actually enjoyed the sensations of the drill during a small filling (mainly the vibrations he felt within his numb mouth).

He tells me he doesn’t remember this, which seems odd as he remembers almost everything (past events). He has no reasons to block such memories out.

I myself have a real dentist phobia and as a result, I’m registered under a clinic especially for those diagnosed with such fears. Note, that despite the amount of drugs they pumped in me, ones designed to relax me in order to receive the treatment I so badly needed, I still went ballistic and as a result, not one wisdom tooth was remove and not one filling applied… I left with worse toothache than when I had arrived! It is said that I had to be carried out from the treatment room as I was throwing punches at both the dentist and his assistant. I don’t remember becoming violent… I’m not that kind of person! This was down to the cocktail of drugs pumped into me for sure. I’ve now been told that the only way forward for me is to be put to sleep during treatment and I don’t want this to have to be the case for my 12 year old son. Its important that I point out that despite this somewhat intense fear, I’ve never displayed it in the presence of any of my children. If mums scared shitless then its simply a job for daddy! Oh Yes… I just ensure its him who makes the dentist trips. Though this brings me to my second reason on why dragging him kicking and screaming wont work! Dad isn’t used to public meltdowns, the type displayed by our little man. When outside, whenever such meltdowns have surfaced he’ll just run off the other way having been highly embarrassed by the situation! Sometimes I wish I had such an option as running! Sadly I don’t!

You see… In life some of the most “normal” everyday tasks that are usually completed with ease, are often more trying for those on the spectrum. I personally think, that those who don’t get to witness such struggles first hand, will never truly “get” it! I mean, I’ve been given some awful advice at times! Popular ones being… “Don’t take no for an answer… You’re the adult not him!” or another… “His being over the top and throwing a tantrum in the hope you’ll give up and give in!!” … Come on People, do you not think I haven’t already thought such “possibilities” over in my head? I’ve stood my ground and not taken no for an answer (and often still will) however, its all down to the situation at hand and how difficult little man is coping with the task or activity… Something’s are easier said than done and although their are times when his just plain not behaving, there are also situations such as the one we are in, where little man has little control over it! Trust me I’m his mother… I know!

Well, we have since had half term (which is a few days from ending) and little man still has an on/off toothache but still refuses to let a dentist work their magic. I’ve done my upmost best to keep any fizzy pop locked up and haven’t given him spends for the shop as I just know what he’ll buy. Sadly, I read an article in the paper just this week, about that of a young man age 30 who was diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome, was addicted to Coke (not the drug but the type supplied in a can and found usually in a refrigerator). Sadly this addiction took his life, it actually killed him. It was reported that the young man drunk an excessive amount of coke on a daily basis which has been reported to be behaviour motivated by his Aspergers. The young man had been drinking Coke -Cola since the age of 10 and his mother commented that it was as if her son had a self distract button (read report Here).

Its sad to think that the thing he loved was to be his killer! The 30 year old was reported to have died in his sleep and the cause of death recorded as excess liquid consumption.

Of course the above story scares the crap out of me! I just wish it would do the same for little man! So far no luck! Its dead frustrating and some days I just feel like I need to take ahold of him and shake the sense into him. Somehow maybe then the importance of what I’ve just told him would actually take some positive effect. Right now he just can’t relate his own actions with that of the young man who unfortunately lost his life at the hands of a Coke can.

Its my experience as a mother to a child diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome, that children on the autism spectrum seem to have rather addictive personalities! Of course not everyone! But for little man, I think this may well be the case! He so easily attaches himself to something in which he loves and like many diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, he will then over indulge. Both interests and habits almost always become obsessional and then indulged to an excessive level.

Well, its teacher training day this coming Monday so little man’s return will be on the Tuesday. He really needs to go in as the continued time off will just land me in trouble with the school/LEA. I could even be taken to court due to the lack of medical evidence I’ve obtained. Such evidence would usually be needed to authorise such absences. But I can’t possibly produce it, as little man won’t step foot in the dentist meaning I can’t request such written evidence. This is a fact but regardless of this, I know the court would not understand such a situation, therefore brand me an irresponsible parent before throwing me in jail, giving me a huge fine that I just can’t afford to pay, or even worse… Both!

Well, that’s about it for now! Just a quick thank you to all my lovely readers and fellow bloggers for your support and well wishes. Admitting to the world that depression has taken ahold off you, isn’t at all easy… But the response you all gave and tweets you sent just proves its worth speaking out and that no one is going to think any less of because your depressed. As you can see I’m slowly getting back to grips with blogging once more, though its taking long than expected I’m still here! Its a tad strange as I’ve always thrown myself into my writing when depression hits me! However, this time things were very different indeed.

Onwards and upwards from here on now!

Hope your all bright and well.

Bye, bye for now.

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Please don’t patronise me – the verdict

3 Jul

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So, here I am! Obviously not in prison but still feeling somewhat drained of every emotion in my body.

Please read my last post which will explain in more detail my reasons for writing this.

Basically, I was taken to court for my daughters school attendance which was said to be 80% (is now 95%). This wasn’t the first time! I’ve experienced this before as my last post explains I’ve been twice before. Having a child with special educational needs and Aspergers who refuses to attend school and when he does, he finds himself excluded as his needs can not be met, doesn’t seem to fall into the statutory requirements of “Special circumstances” and both times I was fined. As explained in yesterday’s post I was going to court this time for Alice. To be honest I was fuming as she is a child who has missed so much school in the past due to late nights (having a big brother who kicks of throughout the night isn’t easy) as well being made late when little man required all my attention of a morning only to refuse to leave the house. There are many other reasons as well as different parts that make up this story but as mentioned you can read yesterday’s post, I’m just to emotionally drained to go into it again today.

Well, Alice’s attendance went right up as little man started attending an independent special school and got transport half an hour earlier than Alice needed to leave. I also allowed her that bit of independence when allowing her to walk the two minutes to get to school alone.

Sadly during October to the end of Feburay Alice got every bug going. She also had a bad urine tact infection that made her attendance fall to 80%

Letters were written by myself and passed to the school. I even rang and emailed to cover my own backside. The current receptionist sent me back home with Alice on at least four occasions when I turned up with her reporting she had been sick during the night but felt well enough to attend (school policy I’m told). So can you imagine my horror at discovering the school and that of the attendance and welfare officer (AWO) were claiming these absences were actually unauthorised and I’d needed sick notes! The twist here was I’d signed a consent form which allowed the school to contact my doctors as they don’t like to write sick notes for schools.

I was fuming that I was going to court especially given the fact of our history and the reasons behind the erratic attendance of my son.

I went to look through my daughters school records and found most of the evidence needed to prove I’d been communicating. The rest just seemed to be amiss somewhere!

I defended my own case. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust a solicitor to do it better I just didn’t have the time required to get one. I was nervous but filled with anger, it’s the latter that keep me going.

If I was found guilty of the charge I was up for s444 (1A) then it was a very high fine or prison sentence I would be looking at receiving. Being up twice before it would seem the LEA wanted the latter, given they had made the point known that they didn’t think any of the other options were suitable for me (you know given I’m not a good “communicator” and all that)!

I had gotten to the point where I just felt victimised by my daughters school and that of the LEA. I had battled them both for years and won a discrimination case against them. I guess I just assumed that given little man had now left to attend a special school we could forget it and move on. God I was trying to lose any bitterness (and I had a lot to lose, why couldn’t they?)

I was most angry by the fact that my daughter had been sent home yet the register stated no reason was given for her absence. This was for more than 4 occasions. I was also fuming that the attendance print out that was sent to the court differed from the print out I had received from reception. This one had the reasons I had given for my daughters absence printed underneath each absence (you know them reasons I hadn’t given)!

The prosecutor who I understand was just doing her job was something of a bitch which I guess makes her ideal for the role. During the hearing I mentioned that I had won a discrimination case and how my child has SEN and Aspergers, I wanted it noted that the school seemed to be acting bitter towards me. The prosecutor just rolled her eyes and for a minute I felt like shaking the ignorance out of her. I just about held it together!

One thing that shocked me was they had a witness. This wasn’t made known to me and I felt cheated when she gave evidence. She was said to be in a Senior position within the LEA’s attendance and welfare departments.

I hadn’t received a letter about the pre court meeting which was organised by this women (someone I have never met) as soon as they wrote telling me I hadn’t bothered to show and was going to court I called her right up. She wasn’t there so I left a message explaining I never got the letter and could she call me back.

Of course she didn’t and I called my AWO who had prised Alice’s attendance and promised to find out why the receptionist wasn’t logging the reasons behind the absences including the times she was sent home. We spoke for 36 minutes but it would seem nothing was documented for court. Once I received the court summons I phoned her again daily… I’ve been ignored for months!

Now this witness was telling the court how I left a message saying I’d forgot about the meeting. My blood was boiling.

I had questions for her but she just answered in a way that displayed ignorance and the lies continued.

The court were a tad shocked when I produced the letters I had written to the school, ones I had taken from my daughters records. They also wanted to know why they hadn’t been given the attendance record that I had obtained the day before from the school. Of course they save some other crap excuse.

I really did just about hold it together! Having someone ask you if you understand how important it is for your child to receive an education, especially when you do what I do is pretty frustrating. After all I really can not help it if my daughter is sick can I?

When the magistrates stepped out to make a decision I had to step out and use the toilet. I couldn’t let them see my tears and I was at the very point of letting them come out. When I returned I discovered the magistrates were already back… That didn’t take long!

So as to remind you, here’s what I was up against…

Failure to secure regular attendance without reasonable justification (s444(1A) of the Education Act 1996)
This is used where the LA thinks the parent knows that the child is not going to school but is not trying to do anything about it. This is a more serious offence than s444 (1) because the parent is accused of not taking responsibility for the situation. Parents found guilty of this offence can be fined up to £2,500 or sent to prison for up to 3 months.

I was told to stand to hear my fate.

In my head I knew I’d be handed another blow of injustice despite my hard work of gathering visual evidence.

One of the three magistrates declared that I was NOT GUILTY of s444(1A) she said their was clearly some confusion based over the communications made by myself (really, I’d call it lies rather than confusion)!

However here’s the twist….

I was still found GUILTY for s444(1) the less serious charge.

(1) Failure to secure regular attendance of a child (s 444 (1) of the Education Act 1996)

This is used where a child is absent without permission and is without suitable alternative education. Parents found guilty of this can be fined up to £1,000.

So because the school had chosen to not authorise ALL of my daughters time off I had to be found guilty of this charge because it’s the law and the law is shit.

I didn’t receive a fine, a parenting order or anything of this kind. Instead I was given a one year discharge. This means if I come back within a year I’ll be trailed for the same case too. This was said to be their way of not punishing me!

Yet… I felt patronised as the magistrates continuously asked me if I understood while telling me that she didn’t want to see me back there. I had to ask them if they thought it made sense that I would fight the battles I have fought to ensure my eldest son an education only to not bother ensure my daughter had one too?

Now my fear is the school will never authorise an absence when my daughter is sick… Come on they don’t even authorise the ones where she has been sent home.

For this reason and others I’m yet to write about, I’ve decided that in order for this not to happen again I’ll be looking into another school for my daughter to attend!

I will also be putting in a formal complaint against the school for not recording her absences in the way they should have done (mainly sending her home and stating no reason was given for her absence).

Lastly it would seem that if your child’s school decide to not authorise an absence and you go to court then unless you have a medical note from your doctor for every absence then you will be found guilty of s444(1) which is the less serious charge.

I disagree that this should be the case so I’m getting ready for some serious campaigning!

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