Tag Archives: reports

How Would You Feel If Your Child Was Given Blades To Self Harm At School?

27 Mar

Yesterday I read a very disturbing article regarding a UK Special School and there policies surrounding the safeguarding of the pupils in their care.

The article states that the school who cater for children with high functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome, had introduced a procedure which would allow a child to self harm in their care. Now, I don’t mean turning a blind eye to whats happening around them! I literally mean that teachers were instructed to hand the pupil a sterilised disposable razor blade and sterile wipes and then escort him to the toilets while they waited outside the door for the child to finish, checking on him every few minutes before finally cleaning up the wounds.

The school had introduced a new policy that would allow the child with a history of self harm to self harm in a “Safe” controlled environment. But luckily some teachers didn’t feel comfortable with the policy introduced by the more “Senior” staff which resulted in some having raised concerns with the designated officer at their local authority. The policy was therefore brought to a stop some 6 days after it had first been introduced. A full investigation is said to be underway with those involved possibly facing a professional conduct panel if the incident is thought to be deemed serious enough.

Yes, I’m a parent to a child with Aspergers Syndrome who attends a special school, but regardless of this fact, as a mother alone, I’d not be very happy knowing that my child was attending a school that practiced such procedures. I find it frighteningly worrying that this is what the school believed to be a responsible thing to do! Something said to be in the child’s best interest!

I also think that the staff who worked at the school took the right action. How was it fair to expect them to participate in such action? What if something went wrong and the teacher assisting the child was then brought up on charges.

I don’t like to judge, god only knows I get judged enough, but I do wonder while the parents didn’t protest to the policy. Maybe they did truly feel that this was in their child’s best interest. Maybe the fear of their child engaging in such activity alone was a fear much greater. It is said that the parents of thr child were thought to be aware of the new procedure, but having had many dealings with schools, “Aware” is not always as it may first seem.

Again this just goes to prove how the system is not supporting these children and their families as it should be. Was the child seeing anybody about the self harm and how was this being dealt with, what was their advice? Surly it was the first source of advice the school would seek. Therefore did medical professionals outside of the school feel the procedure to be appropriate? I just hope this child was even getting access to such support.

I ask, what do you think about as you read this? I’ve so far seen nothing but negative comments. Parents, like myself expressing their concern that this has been allowed to happen. I am yet to hear from someone who thinks the school got it right! Do you?

You can read the article in the Daily Mail where you will have access to the name and whereabouts of the school in question.

Again, please do share your thoughts here on the blog.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298952/Unsted-Park-School-Investigation-launched-teachers-hand-special-needs-student-razor-blades-self-harm-safely.html#ixzz2OkWPEOFE
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Learning disabilities & Past Relationships May Result In Forced Adoption Of Your Children

10 Nov

This week I’ve learnt so much… I’ve learnt that the system is more twisted than I ever thought possible… I’ve learnt that within that system there are big fat stinking rats that only feed off money.

Personally, I’ve never really needed to deal with social services (SS). Yes, I’ve dealt with the child sen team and the education welfare officers, but social workers… No!

You see, I did once request their help. When your child has a disability and you have no respite… you request it… Of course I was turned down.

Then I discovered a friend of mine who is suspected to have a very mild learning disability, was being made out to be a bad parent. Why? Because she escaped a bully of a partner and requested help from SS as a single parent.

She did all that they asked of her. Parenting assessments, meetings, counselling. She was now in her own flat, her daughter (a toddler under 4) was in a great routine. She loves her child so devotes herself to making her happy.

SS come to the door regularly, she always lets them in. Why not? She has nothing to hide.

Then at a child protection conference they tell her that her child is too advanced and therefore at risk of emotional abuse in the future.

They also tell her that despite her being happy and away from the abusive father, its another reason her child may be at risk of emotional abuse in the future.

My friend feels that the parenting assessment she agreed to will save her. But it doesn’t! Instead it is 60 pages of hideous lies and over exaggerations.

They tell her to be prepared for the worse! They ask her family to prepare and consider whether they may want to care for her child. Yet there is no guarantees they will even be allowed too.

The child has never been hurt, abused, ill treated or emotionally abused! Further more my friend does not smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs… But this countries twisted child protection laws mean that she may well still lose her.

I, convinced this couldn’t be right, searched online for something to ease her mind. But I couldn’t find anything. All I see is report after report about SS targeting single mothers, especially those who have been in past abusive relationships or have a learning disability.

These are mainly mothers of children under 3 years…. Mothers who’s children tick the adoptions most wanted boxes and therefore find themselves at risk of forced Adoption .

Now, I’d heard bits about the family courts when it came to secrecy. But I was at the most part extremely naive and found myself shocked to discover how 200+ mothers are jailed every year when they try to speak out about their case. They are gagged, the human rights act suddenly doesn’t apply. Mothers, fathers, families…suddenly Lose their freedom of speech something we are meant to be entitled to as living human beings.

Did you know that we are the only country who operate in such a horrifying way. Families are not given a fair trail, children are removed without crime and us parents can’t speak a word of it!

How is this happening… How is this allowed to happen?

Some may ask themselves why women stay with violent partners (or vis-visa)? Why don’t they call the police? For fear the children will be removed from their care… That’s why!

Some may wonder why so many parents fear the SS… Because cases like that of my friend… That’s why.

If you have ever been abused, have a learning disability or even a past mental health problem, then the SS can state your child is at risk of emotional abuse, and apparently risk is all it takes for them to take a child away from its loving parents forever!

You may think there has to be more to it! SS don’t take away children from loving mothers/parents without good cause. I used to think the same!

The only reason we think this is because we know no different! Why? Because every parent who leaves the family court is gagged… And that’s why the gag needs removing!

Instead of finding something to ease my friends mind, I’m now scared for her… I’m scared that SS will rip apart a loving family that have done nothing wrong but ask for help!

I’m also scared that not enough people know what’s happening behind closed doors and because of this they are in danger of it happening to them too.

Be careful… They are everywhere

DLA and Aspergers Syndrome

16 Sep

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks. I’m tired and moody, everything and anything seems to set me off!

There has been so much on my mind, an overload of worry that I can’t seem to shift. It’s not like I’ve had any less sleep than I usually would! Plus there has been no real big dramas (well, nothing out the ordinary that is)!

However, there is one thing I guess I can blame for my sudden decrease in mood…. The filling out of the DLA (Disability Living Allowance) form. Seriously it’s enough to make the happiest and most energetic of a person, feel depressed and lethargic! It’s a headache… A big fat headache.

I was first faced with this form back in 2008 when my son started attending CAMHS. I wasn’t sure it was right to claim it, but our doctor stated we should as Little Man was more than entitled to the benefit so why leave it to those that wasn’t! I actually cant imagine how we would now manage without it, it makes up a big part of our income.

I remember the thud when the postman shoved it through the letterbox… It hit the floor and the house shook. The form is just outrageously lengthy and anybody else who has ever needed to fill it out will know what I’m talking about! It’s just so barbaric when you have to answer the same question over and over and over again!

We were lucky as we didn’t need to appeal anything, there was no wrong decisions! Our claim went through the system accordingly and it was one battle we didn’t need to fight.

Just like in 2008 I’ve been faced with the stress of having to fill it out again! And how it hasn’t changed much at all.

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Little man’s claim is up for renewal and filling out the form is something I’ve tried putting off for months. Not only do you get that classic wrist ache and dead fingers, but it’s very likely that you’ll slowly be driven insane. The frustration as you read out a question only to see that it’s the same as the one you answered 2 questions ago, only its been rephrased and categorised under a different area of care! Some of them questions you’ll need to read over and over again, just to understand it within your own head, because surly they don’t think that your child’s difficulties are that black and white! As a result you find yourself needing to use the space set out at the end of each section. You know the one… “Use this space if you wish to explain why you have given the answers you have within this section… Blah… Blah… Blah!” When your child is on the autism spectrum you find yourself filling out every single one of those boxes. Then there’s the space at the end of the form designated for “Anything else you think we should know?” plus you end up writing an extra two A4 sheets of paper with all that stuff you think they should know! Stuff you think will help your child’s claim success.

There is no possible way you can complete such a form in a day, not if you have a life anyway. You’re this child’s carer and the time required to fill in such a form just isn’t logical. This time round we have the official diagnosis. We’ve been through the statementing process and have seen a whole host of specialist. This therefore means we have acquired a good deal of paperwork, paperwork that the DLA would like you to send in with your form.

I hate paperwork and find myself requesting everything in digital form. I was then stressing at the prospect of having to print it all out to send it to them. Not only would this be disastrous for a good number of trees but would also cost me a small fortune to send. Thankfully they have allowed me to send it to them via email which makes the process much more simplistic.

The hours spent filling in the DLA form were not jolly, they highlight just how difficult life can be for your child which in itself is a difficult reality for any parent to face.

If your filling out the DLA form for the first time, I’d advise that you don’t rush into it. There are many online sites designed to help with the process and you might want to contact the national autistic society for some advice. Their online site has lots of useful information that is designed to help you fill out the form or appeal against a DLA decision.

Why don’t you believe me

5 Jun

Why don’t you believe me?

As a parent to a child with Aspergers syndrome, I’ve heard myself ask this question a thousand times in an array of situations.

I really couldn’t care anymore if the lady up the road thinks I’m a bad parent and my son is the child of the devil!

But there have been some situations in the past when I have felt like bashing my head continuously against a brick wall, times when I needed support and understanding. People I felt should be naturally supportive were not, instead they made me feel as if I was an overreacting pain in the arse, one who had a problem with parenting… One who was full of Nonsense!

Those people were my child’s teachers, these people almost cost my child his diagnosis!

My child is challenging at home yet he doesn’t show such behaviour when at school is a common issue for parents who are going through the procedure of trying to obtain a diagnosis of Autism for their child (this is so common it should be added to the criteria for diagnosis)! It’s not that we are crying out for our child to have an attached label but without it we have little chance of obtaining the support we crave for both our child and ourselves.

It’s important to remember that us parents are not alone in such situations, but at the time it sure does feel like it!

It comes to a point when one really does question their own skills as a parent, we often find ourselves questioning our own abilities to do the job correctly. I actually started to envy other parents, their relationships with their children! “Why doesn’t their child violently hit, bite and kick them?” You start to wonder if your child loves you and if he doesn’t then why the hell not? You start to walk on dangerous ground when you start to wonder if this really is a case of “poor parenting”

It’s not easy knowing that your child is sat like some little angel in the class room, yet a few hours later his walking through the door and trashing his bedroom! Then someone suggests the autism spectrum, at first you instantly refuse to believe it, but the more you learn about it the more you realise the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit, in some sense you find comfort in the fact it isn’t down to you, your child doesn’t hate you, he just has difficulties regulating his own emotions, why? Because his frustrated with over loaded senses and an altogether different take on the world.

You climb mountains to get on that waiting list for an assessment, when you finally get that appointment the paediatrician nods his head and tells you his confident that your child has traits consisting of a diagnosis of autism ( in my case Aspergers)! More assessments follow and every medical professional your child meets draws them very same suspicions. Then they requests feed back from your child’s school and although you understand there to be no challenging behaviour you are confident that the school will share other concerns, odd behaviours and so forth!

So, why is it that they don’t… Instead they write a report that indicates your child is a typical boy, a child who communicates on the same level of that of his peers? Why do they fail to highlight any bullying, obsessions or quirky behaviours?

I speak for thousands of parents who have all had their child’s diagnosis held up or dismissed completely as a result of such report writing!

I remember feeling completely alone, So angry, So let down.

Every concern I had was disregarded as a lie, my child’s head teachers blamed me for the way my child refused to dress for school of a morning or when he failed to sleep the entire night. I began to hold back my concerns for fear of being judged!

I had now entered a new world, one that no longer got left behind at the school gate! A world of TAC meetings, CAF forms and assessments, a world of battles ones I’d eventually become accustomed to!

Sat in my doctors office, head in hands I cried, I cried so much I could hardly get the words I needed to say out of my mouth and into the listening ear of another! I was tired of fighting the system, I was tired of fighting my child to get out of bed and dressed each morning, I was tired of having my concerns pulled to pieces, most of all I was tired of being me.

It doesn’t help when your own mental health begins to slip away, when you find yourself only able to get through a day once you’ve tanked yourself up on Prozac! I remember reading my child’s education record some 2 years later, I remember the statements made in relation to my own mental wellbeing! What still makes me angry is the fact that my own health only suffered because of them… I didn’t do this to myself, they did it! Being strong enough to now say that with confidence is a wonderful thing!

Despite the depression I continued to battle on when eventually one year after that report my child received an official diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome!

Why now? He had now seen a number of professionals and the very last assessment was the one that finally closed his case. A video interview with a speech and language assessment who specialised in the autism spectrum, plus a play assessment which helped highlight his intense special interest and rigid thinking.

School still failed to acknowledge his diagnosis as they should have, he was no longer 5 but 8 his traits were more noticeable yet the school failed to make prober adjustments. It normally came back to the issue of little man having no statement of special educational needs (something I later went on to successfully acquire, though not without a fight). Eventually though things changed direction and finally little man settled at home. This was down to working out his triggers that lead to meltdowns, different reinforcements for desired behaviours etc. Not everyday was problem free (far from it) but the hitting slowed a bit and I felt as though I had gain some control back. This was due to now having a better understanding of his needs. However, with the school’s complete lack of adjustments or understanding, little mans challenging ways started to surface once more… Only this time, it was within the school setting!

It’s a long story, but put it this way… That same child (the ‘typical’ little boy) was now excluded on a weekly basis, never taken on school trips and even taught In isolation. All this lead to a disability discrimination case which I finally agreed to settle before the hearing once all my commands had been met! (letters of apology, rewriting of policies and teacher training)! What a turn around!!!

My child now attends an independent special school for children with autism and Aspergers. Life isn’t perfect, who’s is! But we have the diagnosis, the statement and finally the right school… One where I no longer need to ask “why don’t you believe me”

I’m in the final for the mad blog awards in the inspiring category voting closes today (6th June 2012) at 5pm! Please if you love the blog pop over and give us your vote. Mum and Dad Blog Awards 2012

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