Tag Archives: autism

Why being an autism parent is akin to being a house elf!

In common with most autism parents the extent of my ‘social life’ is conducted through social media, most notably good old Facebook! Over the past couple of years I’ve made some fantastic friends who I view as surrogate family, we’ve laughed together, cried together, made plans to kidnap male hotties for our very own island getaway if one of us wins the lottery.……well, you get the idea! Today one of my surrogate sisters (and fellow matriarch of our group – don’t worry we keep the younger members in check….yeah, right, I think you all know me better than that by now!) posted one of the most hilarious (and true!) daily round ups I’ve ever read and she has very kindly agreed to let me share it with you Amazons.

So, without further ado I turn the page over to Mrs Dobbie, the house elf …

“Been wondering recently how I’m always exhausted and thought back to what I’ve done today.

6.30am rise and shine! Get The Queen of Sheba (ASD) up. Give her breakfast, then get her washed, clean her teeth, hair brushed, dressed etc.

7.20am she’s off to school. Yippee! Freedom! But first….put the washing on, have breakfast, have verbal intercourse with Mr Dobbie, even though I hate talking to ANYONE in the morning. Quick shower, get dressed for work. Hang washing out.

9.15am leave early as I have a 9.30 appointment with the case worker at Community Care. Lucky it’s in the same building as my work because at 10.20 I had to excuse myself or I’d be late for my shift. Further meeting organised for 9.30am next Monday.

10.28 signed into work. Remind myself not to make eye contact with any customers while I’m on the shop floor, therefore keeping verbal intercourse to a minimum!

1pm time for my 15 minute break. Yahoo! Me time! Oh, but first I have to go to the bank to ask them why they have deducted a $395 admin fee from my account. Have had to make an appointment to see my personal banker (WTF) on Wednesday.

1.20pm have gone over my official break time, but f@€k it I NEED A COFFEE. Am starving so decide to add a nutritious and healthy cream bun to my order.

1.25pm managed to stuff cream bun in my gob in two bites. Gulped the coffee down. Thankfully the barista doesn’t believe in making hot coffee so there was no chance of me scalding myself!

2.05pm Daughter Dobbie calls me with some drama or other. Have to be a bad mum and tell her I’m at work, the place I am at that time every Monday, but she never seems to remember that, so can’t talk to her. Promise to phone her back later on when I get home.

3.30pm knock off time! But first, better buy some groceries, after all I’m in the store anyway.

4.05pm Mr Dobbie calls me while I’m walking home, with 4 quite heavy bags. “Where are you? What’s taking you so long?”. Aww, bless his heart, he’s missing me. I’m hoping by this stage my pretties that you can all hear the sarcasm dripping from me!

4.15pm home sweet home, and if he dares even hint at the thought of a quick ‘naughty’ before the school bus arrives I will f@€king deck him!

4.30pm sitting on my a*$e having a cup of tea and a boiled egg on toast because a gal can’t get too much of the good life!

5pm well enough of being a lazy git. Time to run around like a blue a*$ed fly making sure everything is to the high standards expected of the Queen of Sheba.

5.20pm bring the washing in while Mr Dobbie puts the finishing touches to the queens nightly feast.

5.29pm there goes the school bus horn. No more shilly shallying. It’s all systems go now. She does a once over quick inspection while Mr and Mrs Dobbie anxiously wring their hands in fear of having misplaced something. All good and queenie allows herself to be enticed upstairs for a bath.

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6pm bath finished. No time wasters allowed in this house! Back downstairs for a scrummy calorie dense dinner provided by the ever subservient (but only to queenie) Mr Dobbie.

6.30pm the boss has taken herself off to her room. At last! That promised Me Time! Not so fast! Off to the kitchen to cook a huge batch of bolognese. While that’s cooking I decide to make Son Dobbie some corn fritters for his breakfast. Talk of the….in comes Son Dobbie who then proceeds to devour half the bolognese. Oh, and yes the fritters will do nicely for his breakfast. How do I know this? Because he also ate half of them!

7.50pm F@€k the dishes! I’m going to watch an episode of The Killing while working my way through a family bar of chocolate! I know how to show myself a good time!

8.05pm phone rings. Don’t answer, don’t answer, don’t answer. Too late! My melted chocolate covered fingers went onto autopilot and picked the f@€king phone up. Traitorous little b@$tards! F*€k me, it’s Daughter Dobbie! I truly am a despicable mother!

9.40pm unfortunately had to end call as battery on phone was ready to die.

9.41pm get Queen of Sheba’s clothes and schoolbag ready for the morning.

9.47pm that’s it! I’m calling it a day. Pass the kitchen on the way to the peace and sanctity of my bedroom. Kitchen looks like Ragnar and his gang have taken a wooden spoon to it. I’m very tempted, but decide I’ll only hate myself in the morning, so in I go to clean up the debris.

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10.25pm. I really need a shower. Nope! My ablutions consist of cleaning my teeth. That’s it! I’m done in!

10.30pm I think I’ll tell the girls all about my relaxing yet fun filled day ”

Doctor Who – Timelord or Autistic?

Well, we have the 50th Anniversary Special behind us and the Christmas Special is only days away so what else could I possibly write this weekend? The Whirlwind had been awaiting the Anniversary episode with bated breath ever since John Hurt made his appearance at the end of The Name of the Doctor and the excitement is now building for the Christmas Special. The past few months has seen a whirl of Doctor Who related programmes, activities and lots and lots of Doctor Who Lego building!!!

Having taken in so much Doctor Who knowledge by osmosis over the past few years I started to ponder the similarities between the various regenerations of the Doctor and those of autistic individuals and to ask myself why IS The Doctor such a huge obsession with autistic children (and adults)?  Maybe they see a kindred spirit…….

The First Doctor played by William Hartnell

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The ‘grandfatherly’ incarnation and our first encounter with The Doctor shows the ultimate absconder – stealing a Tardis so he could escape an environment where he felt trapped and constricted. Hmmm, reminds me of The Whirlwind!

He was abrasive, patronising, and cantankerous towards his human travelling companions and this could be down to the social interaction difficulties that are such a large part of autism which can lead them to come across as rude or abrasive.

One quirk of the First Doctor was his tendency to become occasionally tongue-tied and stumble over words

The Second Doctor played by Patrick Troughton

In his first story, the Second Doctor referred to his predecessor in the third person as if he were a completely different person – again something that can be associated with autism.

The Second Doctor has been nicknamed the “Cosmic Hobo”, impish and unconcerned with how others view his appearance as long as he’s comfy. He was also mercurial in his moods and endearingly childlike.

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This Doctor is associated with the catchphrases (echolalia anyone?) “Oh my giddy aunt!” and “When I say run, run!”, and is noted for playing the recorder to help him think. In early stories he also demonstrates a fondness for hats and other types of headgear, mainly sporting a distinctive stovepipe hat when outdoors.

The Third Doctor played by Jon Pertwee

The Third Doctor was a suave, dapper, technologically oriented, keen scientist who enjoyed working on gadgets in his TARDIS. In his spare time, he was fond of motoring, his favourite car was a canary-yellow vintage roadster that he nicknamed “Bessie”.

His courageousness could easily turn to waspish indignation, a common catchphrase of his was, “Now listen to me!”, how many times have I heard the Whirlwind say that to me?!?

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This Doctor had a manner of dress that is the most ornate of his various incarnations, favouring frilled shirts; velvet smoking jackets in blue, green, burgundy, red, or black; evening trousers in colours matching those of his smoking jackets; formal boots, riding boots, dress shoes, and Inverness cloaks for his regular outfit; with variations and accessories including bow ties, cravats, and leather gloves. All of these earned the Third Doctor the nickname of “The Dandy Doctor.”

The Fourth Doctor played by Tom Baker

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Baker portrayed the fourth incarnation as a whimsical and sometimes brooding individual whose enormous personal warmth is at times tempered by his capacity for righteous anger, unpredictable in terms of his emotional depth yet slightly more distant and alien than his previous incarnations.

With his eccentric style of dress ( that usually consists of a shirt, waistcoat, cravat, trousers, a frock coat – with pockets containing a seemingly endless array of apparently useless items that would nevertheless suit the Doctor’s purposes when used – a wide-brimmed hat and, most famously, his impractically long, multi-coloured scarf ), speech and fondness for jelly babies and his moments of whimsical charm and offbeat humour he is more aloof and somber than his previous incarnations and could be intensely brooding.

He also has a strong moral code, such as when he faces the dilemma of whether to destroy the Daleks in (Genesis of the Daleks) stating that if he did, he would be no better than the Daleks himself – I’ve found that many verbal and higher functioning autistics, Whirlwind included, have an extremely strong sense of right and wrong.

He often contemplates his outsider status to both humanity and his Gallifreyan heritage, as he seems more inclined toward a solitary existence and yet seems to long for companionship.

When taking charge, he could be considered authoritative to the point of controlling and egocentric, who among us autism parents haven’t heard so-called professionals accuse our children of being controlling?

The Fifth Doctor played by Peter Davison

The Fifth Doctor was far more vulnerable, sensitive, and reserved than his previous incarnations and often reacted to situations rather than initiating them, often displaying a tendency to be indecisive and frequently making decisions by flipping a coin.

He had an excess of nervous energy – tending towards hyperactivity.

He could decipher the ingredients of a drink by smell alone and rosemary made him sneeze – this could easily be attributed to the SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) or Sensory Sensitivities that are so common among autistics.

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Yet again this incarnation displayed his own little quirks when it came to dress, on his left lapel this Doctor wore a celery stalk.

The Sixth Doctor played by Colin Baker

Again brightly coloured, mismatched clothes that he loved regardless of any social norms that may dictate them to be inappropriate and a brash and overbearing personality set him apart from all his previous incarnations,

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Following his regeneration he initially considered going into a hermit-like existence which would parallel the autistics need or desire to be alone rather than coping with the pressures that society puts on them.

The Sixth Doctor was unpredictable, with mood swings, manic behaviour, bombastic outbursts and glib, unflappable wit. His personality also displayed occasionally fatalistic overtones – always expecting the worst to happen, constantly wondering ‘what if this goes wrong..’

The Seventh Doctor played by Sylvester McCoy

This Doctor was very fond of rambling, idiosyncratic speeches that would mix literature, ordinary places and even food and drink with the deeper and weightier concerns on his mind. He was empathetic and somewhat melancholic at times but placed great burdens upon himself, much like the burden to be ‘perfect’ that many autistics place on themselves.

Again the Doctor’s outfit displays a quirkiness and mis-matched quality although it is more subdued than previous incarnations.

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Fiddle toys??? The Doctor carried all sorts of random items in his pockets and enjoyed using his hat, umbrella and the TARDIS key, amongst other items, as physical props much like the fiddle toys and myriad of, in our view useless objects but in their view, essential treasures that our autistic children hoard.

This Doctor also displays strange and ‘alien’ characteristics playing with the perception of his senses, as he listens to cheese, could this refer to Synesthesia that has recently been linked to autism?

The Eighth Doctor played by Paul McGann

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Although up until recently he was only The Doctor in the TV movie, this incarnation displayed a wide-eyed, child-like enthusiasm alongside an excess of energy – flitting randomly from one topic to the next and with an eye to fashion that doesn’t necessarily match that of his peers.

The Ninth Doctor played by Christopher Eccleston

At the start of his tenure this Doctor doesn’t want or need friends, feeling life is easier if he’s alone and doing his own thing but a reluctant friendship with Rose grows into an enduring and deep relationship, echoing the struggle that exists for autistic individuals when making friends and also the way that once those friendships have been forged the friendships are often deeper and more enduring than the friendships that exist between neuro-typicals.

He avoids thinking about his past because “there’s some pain there” – and his only concern regarding the future is that “it’s there” much in the same way that an autistic lives mainly ‘in the moment’ with difficulty understanding, or caring, about the concepts of past and future.
Personality wise, this Doctor is often confrontational and inflexible and his clothing, which is the most ‘normal’ of all the incarnations gives the impression that he strides through the universe wearing a dark leather jacket saying “Don’t touch me”.

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The Tenth Doctor played by David Tennant

The Tenth Doctor has a tendency to babble, mixing apparent nonsense with vital information and sometimes acting erratically. He is prone to making comments that to others might seem rude. He has a tendency to use technobabble to describe scientific concepts before substituting it with a simpler, analogous explanation, such as his description of non-linear temporal physics as “a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff” – in the way The Whirlwind will use ‘made up’ words and phrases to explain things when he cannot come up with the words he needs.

This incarnation also has a strong sense of justice which makes him quick to anger when he feels it is violated, he also rapidly switches moods, from mania to anger to nonchalance.

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Another recurring theme in the Tenth Doctor’s stories is his intense loneliness, a feeling that although he’s in the centre of things he is still on the sidelines watching it all happen.

He also exhibits a remarkable sense of taste, again similar to the Fifth Doctor and SPD – able to identify the blood type of a blood sample or the presence of mistletoe oil just by licking

This Doctor also echoes certain phrases on various occasions, such as “Brilliant!”, “oh yes!” (used in an exuberant fashion, often when he has successfully done something), “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry”, and the French command “Allons-y” (“Let’s go”). The latter also shows the random thinking and rambling mind of the Doctor as he goes on to say that he would love to meet someone named Alonso so he could say “Allons-y, Alonso!” and again when he quotes the song “Circle of Life” from Disney’s The Lion King during a confrontation with the Sycorax leader.

The Eleventh Doctor played by Matt Smith

He is at times childlike, and yet can also become grumpy and solitary, refusing to interact with others. He attempts to be cool (including enthusiastic dancing) and . He even shows ignorance of adult activities such as sharing a bed, providing bunk beds in the TARDIS for the married Ponds purely because they are ‘cool’, and drinking wine before spitting it back into the glass after trying it.

Although the Doctor puts on a façade of cheerful arrogance, he secretly believes himself to be a bad person and often displays self-loathing for the things he has done throughout his life, as seen in the episode Amy’s Choice when he determined that the Dream Lord was a version of himself by surmising that there was only one person that hated him as much as the Dream Lord did.

Again we see a quirky, individualistic dress sense with a special affection for bow ties, often proclaiming “Bow ties are cool” progressing to include a love for fezzes, “I wear a fez now, fezzes are cool.”

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Like his other regenerations this Doctor can see the small details but struggles to see the ‘big picture’ relying on his companions to help him put the pieces together.

So, in summary, we have an almost child-like at heart individual who although deeply loved by those around him feels like an outsider, a very unique dress sense preferring comfort over social norms, the ultimate absconder, a man who always speaks his mind and a few glimpses of synesthesia, echolalia and SPD. Ladies and gentleman I think you’ll all agree

    THE DOCTOR IS AUTISTIC.

Who Knew I Still Had Dignity To Lose?

Come on ladies, you all know that with each birth we lose a little shred of our dignity – midwives prodding and poking, student nurses and doctors traipsing in and out and the whole time we are reclined there, legs akimbo with everything on show! So having done that twice I’d already lost a fair bit of dignity before The Whirlwind decided I didn’t actually NEED any and decided to take away whatever remained.
So far I’ve had my knickers flashed to all and sundry at more family gatherings than I can mention (I eventually got wise to this and only wear trousers now), the whole staff of the local supermarket (and it’s a Tesco Extra, so that’s a lot of staff!) have seen my entire collection of bras at one time or another, I’ve had private bodily functions broadcast at the top of his voice on crowded buses and I’m now extremely careful what I say about other people within his earshot as I can guarantee he’ll remember the one and only time I was less than complimentary about them and decide that they REALLY need to know about it! After all of that I honestly figured that NOTHING else could EVER embarrass me…..oh boy, was I wrong??

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Tonight The Whirlwind’s tutor popped round to deliver a copy of his report for the LEA and being the kind-hearted, generous soul that I am I made him a coffee while I perused said report, next thing I know The Whirlwind has tsunamied into the room and yanked my top up to my chin …… I didn’t know what to say, the tutor didn’t know where to look and I felt one tiny, hidden, forgotten, last shred of dignity tear free and sadly wave goodbye as it trudged out of my life, never to be seen again…….I suppose I should at least be thankful it was a clean, well-fitting bra he was flashed with and not the sad, misshapen thing I put on when everything else is in the wash!
So, goodbye tiny shred of dignity, I will miss you!

I need a 36 hour day, 10 day week

I’m sadly aware that I’m ‘past due’ with a new blog post but as things seem to be picking up pace as regards finding a school placement for The Whirlwind, an increase in anxieties and meltdowns from The Whirlwind and the all important prep for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary on Saturday (an event of ultimate importance in this household!) there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

I have several ideas for blog posts humming around in my head but in the meantime if you’d like to keep up to date with the more mundane musings and shenanigans of the Amazon and The Whirlwind you could always follow us at http://www.dayre.me/AutismAmazon where I am trialling a new system of micro-blogging! But don’t worry I will be back soon with some more in-depth posts as soon as time allows xx

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COMMUNICATING about mis-COMMUNICATION

Why is it the (very) few services that are supposed to help actually hinder or, in many cases, make the problem so much worse?

As regular visitors will know my son is currently excluded from mainstream school as a Health and Safety Risk and we are struggling to find a special school that can meet both his academic and special needs. In the meantime the LEA’s Intervention Team are ‘providing’ his education.

Before the school summer holidays this ‘education’ was one hour every morning at a local PRU (Pupil Referal Unit), in a room on his own with two members of staff. At the start of the school holiday I was informed this would need to change in the September and they would also try to provide more education, however by the end of August, and despite constant chasing on my part, I had still not been given any idea of if, where or when he would be educated in September as the Intervention Tutor (from here on in referred to as the IT to prevent a case of repetitive strain injury!) in charge of his case was on annual leave for the entire summer holiday.

So, fast forward to the start of September and I’m told he will be at the PRU every afternoon from 1-3, all fine and dandy, double the education he had been getting so it’s a step in the right direction. You really would think that I’d have learned by now, wouldn’t you?

Within the first week this has been cut back to an hour again with faint rumblings that if he doesn’t settle soon they won’t be able to take him at all (yet again the dreaded Health and Safety was mentioned) – really, this was the first week and these people are supposed to understand about autism and transitioning struggles????? You can imagine my surprise when I get a message the FOLLOWING WEEK to tell me that he’s settled in so well that they’ll now take him full afternoons at the unit in the KS2 classroom with the other children! So off I trot to the induction and a date is set for him to start the following Monday.

Whilst all this is going on the IT decides to add in an hour with a tutor every morning at the local Children’s Centre, before he starts this additional education it’s upped to TWO hours, ok, still no problem, I just need to prep him for two hours instead of one, that’s do-able! Oh, and of course he needs to be prepped for extra time at the PRU……and suddenly having classmates……..and a different taxi driver! Still, we work on the prep and things aren’t going too bad, intensive as I’ve only got the five days to prep him but we can do this, right? Then comes Friday and a phone call from the PRU, “we need another week to get things organised” sigh ok, so I tell them that unless they tell me otherwise I’ll assume that the interim week will be 1-2 at the unit as usual.

Ok, now it’s this week….the interim week. Monday morning we turn up at the Children’s Centre at 9am, by 9.15 no tutor and The Whirlwind has started to throw furniture, think we’d best go home. Phone call to the IT to find out what’s happening and it seems the tutor thought that writing a note that the homework should be done by Tuesday 9am would be decoded as “the Monday session has been cancelled” hmm, O….Kay, obviously my implanted education-ese translation circuit is on the fritz! Hey-ho, never mind let’s prep for the afternoon at the PRU. 12.50 and The Whirlwind wants to wait outside for the taxi (his usual routine) and as time ticks on he’s getting steadily more wound up “what time is it now?”, “where’s the taxi?”, “I’m going to be late” At 1.15 I phone the taxi driver to be told the PRU have booked him to pick The Whirlwind up for a 2-3pm session???? By now it’s obvious that NO WAY will I manage to wrangle The Whirlwind into a taxi today so I tell him not to bother and then phone the PRU to find out what is going on. Apparently the IT organised it and should’ve told me about the changes….ok so this is the same IT I spoke to this morning about the mis-communication? And she didn’t think to communicate that the PRU time had changed?

Tuesday morning, despite my telling the IT two weeks ago and reminding her during the phone calls yesterday that The Whirlwind wouldn’t be attending the morning session the tutor apparently turned up at the Children’s Centre! Oh well, at least we know the taxi will be here at 2 to pick him up for the PRU. Before he returns home from the unit however I receive a phone call to give me a heads up that he’s had an unsettled afternoon, during this conversation it becomes clear that the IT hasn’t passed on the message that he won’t be in Wednesday afternoon as he has a dental appointment……..am I the only one spotting a communication problem here???

Well, it’s now Wednesday, we’ve had two days of communicating about the mis-communications, surely today will go smoothly. The Plan – 9am to 11am Tutor at the Children’s Centre then home for lunch and a dental appointment in the afternoon. The Reality – struggle to get The Whirlwind to the Children’s Centre BUT we made it AND we were on time! By 10 past 9 there’s no sign of a tutor and chairs are starting to fly again so now comes the struggle to get him out of the centre and home without him harming himself, me or random passers-by and a text sent to IT informing her of this. At 10 I get a phone call from the tutor who’s turned up at the centre to be told we’ve left and he tells me he was told to attend 10-11!?!?!? The phrases brewery and ‘p*ss up’ float into my mind but thankfully don’t find there way to my tongue! At least I know (or at least hope) that this afternoon goes smoothly as I have made sure the tutor and taxi driver BOTH know he won’t be there, let’s just hope the new dentist is a better communicator with autistic children than those whose job it actually is to COMMUNICATE with parents and pupils with communication difficulties!

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Life in Limbo

While putting life on hold, yet again, in the hope of call-backs from two more special schools within travelling distance I’m left seething inside.

How dare they not take this seriously, can’t they see this is a 911 emergency? Don’t they see a child being denied an education while they tick forms and pass them between departments? Don’t they realise that when they put it in their pending tray and lock up their office at night that that means another sleepless night while I toss and turn trying to come up with a Plan C, Plan D….Plan Z, in case they turn us down?

I’m not saying they don’t care, I’m not saying they aren’t trying but while our children are just names on a file, ticks or crosses on a chart of eligibility they forget that at the other end is a family in turmoil, a family struggling through a minefield of legalities, a child feeling worthless and unwanted, a mother feeling powerless.

The entire education system in the UK is not ‘fit for purpose’ when it comes to autism. Our children cannot cope with a mainstream environment but LEA-maintained special schools cannot take our children, as in most cases our children are too academically-able to meet the criteria.

It’s about time that LEAs realised that needing special school provision isn’t just about the academic and start providing special schools for the 1:88 children with autism, the children who could excel academically if their educational setting was truly ‘autism friendly’ and not just a case of “well yes, the class is noisy, distracting, cluttered …but, look we use a visual timetable so we ARE autism-friendly” which seems to be the norm for mainstream schools trying to be inclusive.

Until that time my son and many, many other autistic children will continue to exist in educational limbo, unwelcome in both mainstream and special schools, with their parents desperately fighting for something that neuro-typical parents take for granted – an education for their child.

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Branded Unteachable

As you may be aware my son is 8 years old and has a firm diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and various professionals have also mentioned dyslexia and PDA as probable issues as well, however we have to wait for assessments on these. Today another label appears to have been added to my son ……. UNTEACHABLE.

According to the LEA transition team he is “difficult to engage”, “…insists on staying ‘in character'”, “needs to be in control” and has “absconded on several occasions”. I nodded sagely through this whilst my inner voice screamed “WTF, you know all this from his diagnosis and school records, he isn’t any different to how he was before the summer break, YOU are supposed to know how to help him with these issues not tell me the unit may no longer be the right setting for him!” The LEA representative couldn’t advise on ANY maintained schools, mainstream or special, that could meet his statement end needs as they’d already turned him down for an emergency placement, however she did say a letter would be sent to all LEA special schools asking if they can meet his needs now, how they can offer a permanent place when they couldn’t on a temporary basis two months ago is a magic trick I’m dying to see.

However, I still had a glimmer of hope. Although one of the Independent special schools couldn’t ‘meet his needs’ (a euphemism for not wanting him) I was still waiting to hear back from a second one, this one had spoken knowledgeably about ASD and PDA, when I explained about his behaviours they said they couldn’t see it being a problem for them, surely they will come to our rescue and then it’s just a case of getting the LEA to agree funding.

On returning from the meeting I’m thrilled to find an email from the Independent school I’ve pinned all my remaining hopes on so you can imagine the shock as I read on……..

“Currently our primary centre would find it difficult to support R due to the challenging behaviours that he can display. We are not a school that is trained to deal with high levels of behaviour and we don’t restrain our young people which may make it difficult for us to support and control Robert when he is in a high state of arousal.”

So, there you have it, my son is (unofficially) unteachable. Where we go from here I honestly don’t know. What I DO know is that this Amazon may be down but I’m NOT out, I will take a day or so to regroup and research then I will come up with a new plan of action. In the meantime I will remind myself that my son is oblivious to the fact that the education system wants to write him off at only 8 years old and that, as long as I have faith in him, he will remain oblivious.

Humbled

Wow, I knew I wasn’t the only person struggling with a child with behavioural problems and I knew that one or two on my friends list might relate to what I was saying in “The New Taboo” but over 300 views in 24 hours, from all corners of the world – I am humbled that a piece I wrote while recovering from another onslaught and feeling pretty low about it all could have touched so many people.

Welcome new friends, pull up a chair (hit the follow button, like me on FB or follow me on Twitter) and join me in the revolution to break The New Taboo and make Child-on-Parent abuse understood and to make the powers that be accept that IT IS REAL, IT IS NOT THE PARENTS FAULT and THEY MUST HELP before it is too late.

The New Taboo

You may have seen me at Parents Evening or in the supermarket and noted the long sleeve tops in the middle of summer, your gaze has lingered questioningly on the heavy make-up on the suspiciously puffy eyes, you may have even thought about quietly slipping me the business card to a support group for victims of domestic violence.

The litany of injuries to date includes several broken toes, a broken finger, a broken nose, constant fresh bite marks and bruises to both arms, bald patches where he has torn my hair out, black eye, gouges to the face, constant fresh bruising to both legs and back and several teeth either loose or knocked out. Add to this 3 pairs of broken spectacles, several plates and mugs smashed, a smashed phone, holes in internal doors and several larger items of furniture damaged beyond repair.

BUT here’s the secret – I’d confide in you if it was my partner inflicting these injuries on me, it’s no longer taboo to speak up about that, no my secret is much worse, my secret is still taboo. In a way I am the victim of domestic violence but the difference is that I can’t just walk away ……… The perpetrator is my own son. My son has just turned 8 and was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder when he was 6.

You see, behaviourally, my son is trapped in the Terrible Twos. At two it’s easy to put them for a time out, at 8 you can’t get near them without risking severe injury. The professionals are aware of these incidents, it was the violent behaviours that led my GP (after several years of my asking for help, it was only when she witnessed a meltdown for herself) to refer him for assessment. In his paperwork I have a letter from Clinical Psychology and the very first line reads “…I hope you made it home ok” following an appointment that was cut short after 10 minutes due to a meltdown, he is currently excluded from school as a health and safety risk and yet nobody wants to help. There are no services in the UK (and probably the rest of the world) for parents who are at risk from their children, even social services will only look at whether you are likely to snap under the pressure and harm your child – if they think you might your child is then classed as ‘at risk’ from you when, in fact, the opposite is true.

Don’t for one second think this is rare, at one time people believed domestic violence didn’t exist but it was just that it was taboo to talk about, victims suffered in silence. It’s time we break THIS taboo. It’s time to start shouting. It’s time for society to stop turning a blind eye. It’s time for proper advice and support it’s time for those of us living this to stand up and admit I AM A VICTIM OF CHILD-ON-PARENT ABUSE AND I AM NOT TO BLAME