I believe I lost my parental rights, when I asked for help in 2007.
Told I am disorganised and need to check myself! That’s funny! They obviously don’t know me!
I was not believed and accused of many things, I was seen as a liar, exaggerating my sons’ behaviours, accused of being mentally ill and having suicidal thoughts. My childhood abuse and childhood traumas was used to justify my son’s behaviours, which caused delays in him getting the right support. Was it prejudice, discrimination and/or racism? Very difficult to say when many of the professionals that made the choices were Black also. For many White professionals they seem to be more sympathetic and did help! You have to wonder, how many autistic people have been failed for being overlooked, especially Black autistic people? Many parents need help? But we need to be aware of the many professionals who have tried to offer support to these families who denied the diagnosis. Being in lockdown can see how much my children have been failed and me too.
My daughters’ needs were NEVER met as they struggled throughout their early years and primary school. Secondary School was when I lost my daughters and the pain, the hurt, the betrayal and the dishonesty of how people can try to use their position and power to bring you down.
I had the opportunity to write a chapter in Girls and Autism. My contribution you will find me in chapter 6 – Black Girls and Autism.
Things have changed drastically in my household and know it’s time to my own book on my journey. Will help someone who has lived silently for years. Gaslighting is a crime and those who carry out such injustice to families should be exposed. Thank God for the people around me who gave me the voices to speak and to write when I can.
My children were failed and to have to see my daughters’s struggle in the system to be damaged by the decisions made, because many did not believe my son was autistic and that his sisters behaviours was due to me neglecting them and focusing too much on their brother.
I battled and I battled, yet no one really took me seriously. Many judged me by what they heard but could not be bothered to just ask to see the evidence and see I was not lying. I was not a bad parent, I was miss understood and denied the help.
2020, I can say that it has taken the lockdown to see how much all my children were failed and so was I.
When I say I am lonely, it comes with not being believed.
When I say I wanted to help. I could not even rely on several voluntary groups as they forget I am a parent too and don’t realise I do know alot of people and some people talk. If they care enough to tell you.
When I say my daughters needed help, I was constantly judged. When services are denied, this don’t help. The lack of support, advice, information, services is what one constantly experience. And still then if they did offer a service. It don’t meet the needs of your family. Seems failure is needed to create and to sustain jobs for people to try and delay and make excuses. That you must need help! When really they are saying! We can’t help you! You do not meet the criteria. Oh well!!!
Denied help can cause many mishaps and it has taken me from 2007 to 2020 to know that autism, abuse and race is important when supporting families within the Black and Asian communities. The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity – BAME acronym needs to be scrapped as it has been abused and misused, especially in education. When my youngest regressed as she got older – from liking school to hating it.
She was the classroom clown to getting into trouble, singled out and blamed for things, to detention to the point in Year 6. She ended up in Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) four days a week half days, or else she would get kicked out of school. She loved PRU, but she would classes were small but she was exposed to all sorts of behaviours that as she said “mum, I should not be here”, as she would tell me what happened in the classroom sessions. One thing I did learn from her attending this primary school PRU establishment! They were outstanding in how they worked with these SEMH challenged children and she did improve. But her needs were never really acknowledged as no one believed she was autistic.
In Secondary School Year 7 (September 2017) – things got worse. She was diagnosis with Severe Expressive Receptive Language October 2017 (by her Secondary School) and then Autism Spectrum Condition December 2017 (had to redo as the Neurological Specialist left the practise in the year and did not finalise her report, early in January 2017). Did it make any difference with her having a diagnosis? No it surely didn’t. Things turned for the worse when she refused to go to school and being placed in another alternative provision from her current school. She was placed in a unit that was like PRU. They wrote of my daughter and then turned to my parent skills and once again.
Then these uneducated professionals tell me “they work with autistic children and she has to learn”. The cheek of it. They placed her in a class of boys! How would that help her, when she was trying to understand her own needs. Failures will continue, until we make a stand! And one thing I have to say “ACADEMIES ARE NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN, IF THEY HAVE CHALLENGING BEHAVIOURS”.
Education ignoring the cultural needs and wants for many autistic children and young people is appalling. Which sadly majority of these kind of establishments and mainstream provisions have missed and have the the one size fits all attitude, failing children and young people.
Too many families right now need to the help! Unfortunately for many Black and Asian autistic parents who do need help, do not ask for many reasons. This really needs to change. COVID19 is holding no prisons.