Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

12 yr old ASD/Tourette's sectioned and placed in a non-ASD unit, advice please

(2 Posts)
happyis Tue 07-Jul-15 07:03:27

Hi, this is from the FB group that a friend has set up to help her son. I have posted on her behalf in case there was anyone here that could offer her some practical advice.

"Jo is a 12 year old boy with Autism and Tourette's. He has spent the last year, under Section, in a Mental Health ATU up in Manchester, 240 miles away from his family home in London. A placement with no Autism awareness and therefore has had a hugely detrimental impact on Jo's overall wellbeing and development, at such a crucial point in his life.
This was a decision that was made without any involvement from the family, and as his mother, I was only informed the day of the transition, whilst sat in Intensive Care at the bedside of my husband.
Although his Autism can severely impede his communication, often leading to explosions of behaviour that can be extremely challenging, Jo has a fantastic sense of humour and a phenomenal strength of character.
He often speaks of all the things he would love to do at home, but unfortunately the 7 hour transition in the car is too vast for him to comprehend.
Jo needs a bespoke package built around him that will allow for him to be placed much closer to home, so our family can be together again and Jo can enjoy a proper childhood like anyone would wish for a child.
Without the continued support of his local Clinical Psychologist and Social Worker, in ensuring my regular contact with him is maintained, my relationship with Jo would have deteriorated dramatically. However, even with this in mind, more work still remains to be done in order to support Jo in enabling him to see his Dad, who he hasn't seen in person for over a year."

The poor boy has not left his room in the last 6 months - his "education" is having worksheets posted through the door. This Saturday he had a lovely day out with his Mum and she was able to take him outside in the community (safely!), his first daylight in such a long time as they refuse to take him anywhere due to the "risk". however when she returned on Sunday, they tried to bring him to her using a different route and he couldn't cope. He then spent the day locked in his room crying, as he was "too much of a risk". He injured himself by banging his head numerous times but they refused to go near him to put his helmet on!

He is currently waiting for a place at a unit in Birmingham that understands asd so that they are able to put together a bespoke package that will enable him to be nearer to home. However the unit he is currently in, has no understanding what so ever and it is having a serious detrimental effect on him.

Has anyone been through a similar experience?

Anomia10 Fri 10-Jul-15 11:38:59

I haven't had a similar experience, but it sounds appalling and they are failing him on every level - no education, access to fresh air and exercise, reasonable adjustments for his disability (ASD), relationships with family, friends and his local community.

I would be seeking legal advice for him and trying to get legal aid for him, as assuming he has no other money except benefits, then after the first pre-action protocol letter, the lawyers would act for him for free, although his mother would be his friend in litigation (ie actually talking with the lawyers, as its beyond him). The first conversation with lawyers is usually free, so I'd have a conversation about his story, and if they could fund it on legal aid, with:

1. Maxwell Gillott - they have franchises for legal aid in community care law and education. He clearly is not getting an education; and IMO he is where he is, as a result of education failure. I'm not sure if they can deal with the part of the law on the section and mental health, but there is nothing to lose by talking to them.
2. Irwin Mitchell - they do education, community care and have a dept. for people with autism, etc in trouble with the law/detaining authorities.
3. Leigh Day - leading human rights lawyers. They also deal in education; people, who have suffered psychiatric harm as a result of actions by local authorities, etc. IMHO, whoever placed him so far from home is in breach of his human rights under the Human Rights Act - the right to relationships with his family, etc.
3. The Coram Children's Legal Centre - they have a franchise for legal aid in education law. I have never dealt with them myself, but presumably they act for children in different areas of law - and I have heard recommendations for them by lawyers.

You don't say where the family lives, or anything about his level of functioning, but have they looked at Priors Court? (A specialist residential school for children and young people, with severe autism and challenging behaviour.) If it could meet his needs, they could provide an education, appropriate behavioural interventions, etc. Its very expensive, which may be why nobody has mentioned it to his parents - but that is not their problem. It would be funded by any combination of the local authority (education dept.), social services and health. IIRC, they do 38/44/48/52 week placements. Parents can still have their children home for weekends and time in school holidays, as and when they can cope with their child on a 44/48/52 week placement. (I know two parents with sons, with severe autism and challenging behaviour who violently attacked their mothers, when they didn't get their own way; who were in the school at Priors Court on 52 week placements, and are now in their residential care up to 25)

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