AA child with FAS, history of pre-adoption abuse, plus more.

(26 Posts)
BurlyShassey Mon 14-Oct-13 19:09:20

Writing on behalf of a friend(shes here with me).
Shes a single parent, was approved for adoption AS a single parent.
her child (beautiful child) has a history of FAS, drugs in womb also, physical, sexual and mental abuse, child also has tourettes and severe autism, and aspergers.-child was adopted at 5 years old after being in care for 2 years-.
has severe behavioral problems/learning difficulties/anger issues/sharp memories.

my friend is a brilliant mum (not just saying that cos shes here!), loving, supportive, child being given a decent Christian upbringing, but she feels stigmatised as shes a ''single parent on income support and not childs REAL mum as child didnt come out of her belly''. and I can tell you she IS childs mum, the only mum childs ever known and the most loving mum.

and child was expelled from junior schiool as their behaviour was beyond help.

well child is now a teenager and has growing pains etc that they cant understand. friend crying (as am I writing this) as child is punching her and hurling verbal abuse at her. child doesnt mean it, ive had it from them too, its their condition, but friend isnt getting ANY help from anywhere, only me as ive worked with sn kids and can help up to a point. CAMHS dont want to know, FAS agency washed their hands, chikld has so many complex needs no agency knows what ''box'' to put child in to get help.

are there any adopters out there with challenging kids and dfo/have social services and the rest helped them AT ALL? friend has gone from pillar to post for YEARS to no avail. ive even written and spokjen to agencies to support her.

shes a brilliant mum and a lovely person but shes scared of her own child now and feels likea failiure (which shes not, its not her fault).

sorry this is long, and theres more! we'd appreciate any feedback.

BurlyShassey Mon 14-Oct-13 19:16:23

and btw w angry that the people responsible for her childs condition and problems are walking around scot-free, living the life of riley, and didnt give a fig about this child (whisky bottle on a saturday night child) ever.

and my friends the one that has to live with all this, 24/7.

all because she fell in love with this child and wanted child to have a half decent life which neither child or her are getting as they are constantly let down by the system.

btw- thanks for all you adopters, , you all deserve so much for the love and care for your children.

* BurlyShassey* so sorry to hear of your friends situation.

I am sorry I can't offer any advice.

I expect you have tried the GP, health visitor, local MP and schools link worker? Sometimes it seems if you get one nice person on your side they can really help you to access assistance.

I think a start is to make a list of all the things you think would help and then see how you can access them, for free.

E.g. tourettes, autism and aspergers. I imagine each of these has a UK based charity. Ask them what they recommend. I am also a big fan of just looking to see what is out there in other countries like the USA. they seem to be ahead of us in certain medical conditions. Maybe due to money or simply having more people in the country they have more people who have suffered with conditions so they can offer more advice etc. They won't be able to get you free help in the UK but they might be able to guide you as to what would help if you can get it.

Also, (and please keep in mind I am not an adopter yet, I am only approved to adopt, so I really don't know much) but thinking too much about the birth family and the wrong they did this poor child is unlikely to help the child or her your friend. Although it must be painful beyond words to know that their behaviour in the past has caused these problems, I would encourage your friend to look to the future and find as many positive solutions as she can for each problem she faces.

All the very best.

I expect you know of these and I have no idea how good they are but here they are. Please be aware some are USA and so may not be relevant but worth a look!

By the way I don't know if your friend's child is a boy of girl so have included articles about boys and girls. Have not read them all so please do not think I think these all relate to your friend or her child, I just wonder if they may help.

theautismhelper.com/faq-dealing-aggression/

www.indyschild.com/Articles-i-2011-04-01-251393.112112-Coping-with-Aggression-in-a-Child-with-Autism.html

www.asperger-syndrome.me.uk/links.html

www.usautism.org/

www.autism-society.org/about-autism/aspergers-syndrome/

www.tourettes-action.org.uk/

www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Tourette-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx

tsa-usa.org/

musingsofanaspie.com/2013/08/30/beyond-the-talk-what-else-autistic-girls-need-to-know-about-puberty/

www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/autism-and-asperger-syndrome-an-introduction/gender-and-autism/women-and-girls-on-the-autism-spectrum.aspx

aspie-girl.blogspot.co.uk/

Mum2lots Mon 14-Oct-13 21:59:44

I just wanted to point you to adoptionuk they have a forum and phone line

notagiraffe Mon 14-Oct-13 22:16:46

Hi

So sorry to hear this. She's not a lousy mum. She's a great mum to have held everything together, on her own, this far.

Would she be prepared to bend the truth a little? I know a few families where similar violence was directed at the mum once the adopted children with very damaging pre-adoption histories hit their teens. The only phrase that triggered any response was: 'the adoption is breaking down.'

Tbh it might in the end, if no one helps.

Why won't CAMHS help?

This might sound like feeble advice, but she really needs to take excellent care of herself while this is happening. To eat really well and do strength building exercises so she is a physical match for her growing child. And she needs to keep a record of all physical abuse, and contact the police.

fasparent Tue 15-Oct-13 12:06:57

Social Services have a legal duty of care, If child has FAS all what you describe fits ??? . would be good if your GP could refer too , FASD clinic at NHS Surry and Borders district. only one in the UK . Can get details off www.fasaware.co.uk. Webb site Also list of all parent support groups in the UK. and list of other FAS UK orgs.
We have two children with FAS both are adults now and are fine , been along hard journey, but needed lots of understanding and support.
Speak too LA explain regards their duty of care give them two weeks too apply then proceed with legal procedure if they are not co operative.
Regards

titchy Tue 15-Oct-13 12:21:34

Can't offer any advice I'm afraid, but try posting in SN section. Your friend needs to identify herself as a parent to a child with SN, not as an adoptive parent.

fasparent Tue 15-Oct-13 15:09:38

FAS/D Support groups, Most are ADOPTIVE Parents of children sad too say but this is the reality afraid, sure if you contact them many will or would have been in the same situation and perhaps be able point you in the right direction believe me.

Kindest regards

BurlyShassey Tue 15-Oct-13 17:34:36

Thank you all for replying. my friend had to leave soon after, t Im de to see her tomorrow or the next day.Ill take mylaptop ad show her these posts.

lll update when I kniow something .thanks from both of us and from her child. didn't want to disclose childs gender in case it outed her in rl.

Italian thank you for taking the time to find al lthose links. Ill show her those too she doesn't have internet access.

It's great she has a friend like you to support her, BurlyShassey.

BurlyShassey Tue 15-Oct-13 19:07:06

Thanx Italian I try and help as much as poss,my DC is autistic so I can empathise.

Spoken to her briefly on phone and she saw a counsellor from her church who's going to help as much as he can by calling some agencies, as they both feel he might be taken more seriously.

TBH I get same probs trying to get help for my DC too so I know where shes coming from.

will keep you posted!

The reason we came onto adoption site and not sn was because that's the reason her child has their probs, not through any fault of hers, and other fas kids who've been adopted their parents might have some strategies? Ill see if she wants to ask on the sn site when I see her again.

she says thank you to all. and shell join mn if she ever gets internet !

I really think she needs to push to get an appointment with CAMHS. Our daughter has a range of special needs, and has very challenging behaviour as a result of brain injury at birth. Her neuro consultant has made a referral to a clinical psychologist who specialises in children with a LD. This has the potential to make massive improvements to all our lives.

CAMHS referrals can also come via GP - I am not sure whether she can self refer? (I assume not, we've always been seen via other health channels)

Is the young person seen at the local hospital under the children's disability services? Does your friend have access to social services 'children with disabilities' team? This would seem a good place to start for help and assessments.

BurlyShassey Tue 15-Oct-13 20:23:29

Pheasant Ill have to find that out. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to get an appointment with CAMHS where we are there a long waiting list, and I also know FPE that CAMHS pass the baton to SS,who pass to the GP,who pass to the disabilities team and so on and so forth. everyone passes the buck.

and we live in an overcrowded area of the country and so things take longer to transpire.

(she contacted the Surrey FAS people but they said the GP had to make a referral but even so shed have to pay something for a consultation as they were a private run place?and it was pricey!)

I know from years of this for help with my child, you'd think that a government that say they want children adopted quicker and easier and want them settled would provide more resources?

andfor anyone with sn?

shockers Tue 15-Oct-13 20:43:42

Pheasant, that's interesting, DD was discharged by CP as she refused to engage on her first two sessions. She has LD and an extremely complex background similar to the one that BurleyShassey describes.

I was really shocked TBH, I know they're stretched, but she is displaying behaviours that are making it nigh on impossible for her to stay at her special school. I thought the whole point of CP was to help us/her manage those behaviours.

I am going to ask where we can see someone who specialises in children with LD.

Burley, I'm sorry I cannot add anything constructive, we feel like we're swimming against the tide too. You sound like an ace friend though smile.

Moomoomie Wed 16-Oct-13 21:02:07

FASD trust is a very good charitable organisation.
I have two children with FASD and have found hem very helpful.
We are going to a study day that they are putting on soon. They are also setting up support groups all over the UK.

roadwalker Wed 16-Oct-13 22:35:53

I contacted the FASD clinic - Surrey- anyone can have a free telephone consultation with Dr Raja Mukherjee
I found it quite useful
An NHS referral can be made and then there would be no cost but if you go privately then it is £1950 for a 2 day assessment
This is only for assessment not therapy. You end up with an extensive report which can be used to guide future intervention
So, probably not that useful if there is already a diagnosis

Has she had a post adoption assessment from the LA?
If not she should request one. This should identify needs
I now have a pretty good support package in place. I managed this by getting a post adoption assessment then complaining about lack of support and getting my MP on board
If she wants more info about how I managed it pm me

fasparent Thu 17-Oct-13 11:28:21

You could also ask GP for a referral too your regional NHS Genetic Clinic again no cost. Were very good with us with diagnosis and identifying associated conditions , allowing correct support and interventions too be put in place. Children still have disability but are both in work and enjoying life too the full. All children with FAS FASD are effected in different way's , hence the need for assessment's and diagnosis.

Maryz Thu 17-Oct-13 11:46:42

I have massive sympathy for your friend, as sadly I have managed to get no help at all for ds, who has many and varied problems.

But I don't think that talking about "fault" and "blame" (i.e. his birth parents) helps, and I'm finding it hard to read your posts because of that.

Your friend would be better, imo, going on to the SN boards where there are many posters who know a lot about getting help for children with SN.

I struggle really badly with friends connecting ds's problems with his adoption, asking about his background, asking if we knew he had problems or whether we wish we hadn't adopted him.

There may be help in the UK going down the post-adoption route. But certainly here that was a blind alley, and going down the CAHMS/gp/voluntary societies relating to SN route is the only way to access support.

Moomoomie Thu 17-Oct-13 14:34:27

I also agree with Maryz, it doesn't help to be angry with the birth parents, turn that anger into energy to help to get the support that this child needs and deserves.

Lilka Thu 17-Oct-13 15:54:47

I also have massive sympathy. I have two daughters who live with life long issues, and part of DD2's issues are the effects of foetal alcohol exposure. Had a lot of very challenging behaviour over the years.

Accessing support can be very difficult, I did manage to access support through post adoption - referral to CAMHS, asssessment of need, then funding for an assessment and therapy elsewhere which is gold dust really, and follow up meetings over the years. However PAS is very much a post code lottery, some teams are great, some are useless, and IMHO if PAS have not supported up until this point, they are very unlikely to start now, and going down that road might just be fruitless. I mean, if they will do an asssessment, that might be helpful, but because they have no obligation to actually provide any support it's difficult if they want to wash their hands. The older a child is the more difficult it gets

If CAMHS (another post code lottery right there) haven't been helpful then that leaves things like voluntary societies, the FASD clinic mentionned above, anything else your GP might be able to refer you for. I would also try posting on SN, as there may be people there who have found ways to access support we haven't thought of. No one is to blame for their own child having SN, so your friend is in a very similar boat to many of the women on SN who have children with autism, tourettes, LD's etc, and they may be able to give really helpful advice.

TBH, I have some anger/upset. I don't feel it in isolation, especially when talking about my DD2's birth family, I feel all sorts of other emotions (worry, sadness etc), but I think it's actually very natural, normal and okay to be a bit angry. The issue is to try and not let feelings affect your actions, judgement and try not to ever let it get the better of you. As much as possible, try and keep the focus on the present and what can be done, because looking back ends up in a vicious cycle (speaking from personal experience here). Easier said than done sometimes.

Violence is very hard, but I'm concerned that you say your friend was being punched when you were writing your post. She could end up being quite badly hurt by an angry strong teenager. Does she have anywhere she can go immediately volence starts to get away? She cannot stay there and get hit. A room with a lock on the door, someone else's house, and honestly if this carries on, may need to consider if you will need to call the police to help. Your friends safety needs to be the priority.

BurlyShassey Thu 17-Oct-13 17:58:07

hello-update.
sorry, she wasn't being punched while I was posting, wrote that wrong! but she does get punched. her child is like Jeckyl and Hide, literally, Ive seen it for myself, loving and sweet one minute (was like that today when I saw them) and then the next.....

Ive copied and pasted and will print the posts that are here(if that's ok with you all), did show her, she really appreciates it, and she DID talk to the FAS person, Raja , who wasn't very helpful to her.

Shes got a meeting next week with a childrens services person, ill try and be there too (DC's disabilities permitting) so hopefully something will be done, CAMHS is a dot on the horizon as mines bottom of waiting list ad has been for a while, even though mines got major probs, so I hope it will be more forthcoming for her.

thanks again all of you from all of us.thanks

shockers it is appalling that your dd was discharged after 2 sessions for failing to engage - surely the CP should be trained to facilitate engagement?? That makes me really sad.

OP, I see you are in Surrey. I've had a look and I can see that there is a CAMHS at Roehampton SW15 (Queen Mary's) that has a facility for children with LD and challenging behaviours. There could be a closer one to your friend too. Hope this might help.

BurlyShassey Fri 18-Oct-13 19:08:19

Thanks pheasant were not actuallyin Surrey, but friend was told that's where the FAS headquarters/main facility are so gave him a call and spoke directly to him.

Im sure she could get to St MArys though from where she is, our local one is not good. might try there myself!

BurlyShassey Tue 22-Oct-13 18:31:47

hi. update. friend got in touch with me and said shed seen social services, who are going to priorotise cAMHS as shes in danger from her child, as also her child is in danger from themselves too. and friends church counsellor is going to try and rally troops in church to try and help a bit more, plus ttry nd get a bit of respite but they need to find someone that can understand her childs needs.

I know her child is very challenging, lovely but challenging, and unless you know about sn its difficult to understand a childs needs.

we do try and help each other out between ourselves and children but its hard to sometimes so hopefully there'll be a solution soon.

that's all Ive been permitted to say (there are still a few issues)plus ahuge thank you to all for your support.

ill update more if im given anything. thanks

fasparent Wed 23-Oct-13 23:28:48

Find that local "Parent partnership's" can be helpful, they will have the expertise in most areas including Rest bite and short break care. Would do no harm too contact them and explain the situation.

BurlyShassey Thu 24-Oct-13 17:48:10

Think she's been looking into that too. Im still waiting for a response from them too! thanks x.

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