Most upsetting choice I've ever had to make as a parent

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  • I feel distraught. Today I had to contact social services and ask them to start the process to take my nearly 13yr old son with aspergers into care. I've asked for respite etc many times, but always got turned down - because 1) he has an IQ over 50 & 2) I'm not physically abusing him.

    Problem is, because I didn't get the support I so desperately needed its gone way beyond just a needing a few respite hours. I hear my son's voice - whining, arguing and complaining about something, (he can keep going for 12 hours or more easily), and I either feel murderous rage or lose the will to live. He's certainly destroyed my belief that I was a laidback, buddhist pacifist.

    The off the record professional assessment is that my son's best chance of significant progress would be in a specialist residential boarding school. That way there are a team of people working with my son around the clock in a carefully structured environment, he needs more than exhausted parents and stressed out mainstream teachers can provide. And as social services have made very clear, this won't happen unless he's in care...

  • What an impossible choice. My heart reaches out to you as a fellow parent.
    It does sound like you are making a positive decision for your family.
    My thoughts are with you.

    "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well" Mother Julian of Norwich

  • :hug:What a difficult thing to have to do. It's so hard to accept that we can't always be what we want to be as parents, I know I do. Sounds like you are doing all you can for your child, the system is letting you down. You must love him a lot to make this choice, be strong.

  • IWoah, what a choice to make hun. My heart goes out to you. My opinion for what its worth, you are doing the most unselfish thing possible as you know he will get the help he needs this way, heartbreaking for you though


    If you need a friendly ear anytime, drop me a PM. I cant pretend to know what your feeling right now but Im here if you need a friend x

  • Just who makes up these rules? It's insane! What everyone else says, a heartbreaking decision, but you're absolutely doing the right thing, though in even a half civilised country you shouldn't have to. Sickmaking.

  • I know where you are coming from. My 13yr old who has Autism and Dyspraxia is driving me completly insane. Its non stop 20 4 7 fighting moaning back chatting and hurting us all. Adam is top of the spectrum Autism and will go for me with out warning. Im on shift 24hrs a day with them with no break at all. We get no respite and no other help. Them telling you its his IQ is rubbish. Also getting them in to foster care is a battle as there are no funds due to cuts :( My sw was very honest and told me that even if i beg and plead they cannot take them. Not that i asked. I wont deny it has crossed my mind at times. Please feel free to pm if you need a chat :hug:

  • Just who makes up these rules? It's insane! What everyone else says, a heartbreaking decision, but you're absolutely doing the right thing, though in even a half civilised country you shouldn't have to. Sickmaking.


    Its down to cost, will be at least 150K PER YEAR! Its cheaper (short term) for social services & the LEA to ignore kids like him & desperate parents like me. Longer term though, providing specialist residential schooling could mean he can live independently as an adult, which will save millions over what a lifetime of supported care will cost.

  • It all comes down to cuts. Services for disabled and special needs children where the first thing to get hit by cut backs.We dont have time to protest and make a fuss like students and eldely. Children and parents are easy targests :( Its very sad as the only time it gets in the paper or on the news is when somthing terrible happens :cry:

  • I know where you are coming from. My 13yr old who has Autism and Dyspraxia is driving me completly insane. Its non stop 20 4 7 fighting moaning back chatting and hurting us all. Adam is top of the spectrum Autism and will go for me with out warning. Im on shift 24hrs a day with them with no break at all. We get no respite and no other help. Them telling you its his IQ is rubbish. Also getting them in to foster care is a battle as there are no funds due to cuts :( My sw was very honest and told me that even if i beg and plead they cannot take them. Not that i asked. I wont deny it has crossed my mind at times. Please feel free to pm if you need a chat :hug:



    Thanks Free Spirit.

    I made it very clear to the social worker I saw today that if they tried again to say they wouldn't help because I wasn't physically assaulting him, just to let me know how hard I had to hit him in front of them for it to satisfy their criteria.

    Around then I started seeing the mental wheels turning - Could almost see the thought bubble, oh dear, if this goes wrong the publicity would crucify our already poor service rating - disabled single mum in wheelchair & autistic kid - the newspapers would love it. How can we resolve this most cheaply, hmmm... maybe we can farm him off on a relative! I've got no family in this country I say, she looks disheartened for a second... brightens up... tell me about his biological dad she says...

    Oh, he's not had contact with son since he was 2, on your department's advice...her smile dims....brightens....tell me about his family.... Sorry, no help there either, all have substance abuse problems and other issues. Her face spoke volumes - it said we're going to try delay an assessment for as long as we can & REALLY hope you change your mind.

    Aaargh!!!!

  • What upset me the most was after telling my son on the way home from school. He looked at me, then looked away for a while, and that was it. No tears, no tantrums, no protest, no questions, nothing. That's when any lingering doubts went & I felt certain I'd made the right choice.

  • You see my 13 yr old is the same. I one time said to him. If you keep this up i wont be able to have you in the house any more. All he said was Oh :eek: It was like it dident bother him. Another time he beat his brother so badly the school thout it was me and reported it. Social worker turns up and we told her. She asked him what happend. He says Adam anoys me. She asks what he do's about it. Well i batter him :rolleyes: No emotion no shame :(

  • I used to work in a residential school for children with autism spectrum disorders.


    Lovely kids, but I wasn't half glad to go home at 5 o'clock and hand the care over to another team.


    A single family just cannot provide the support such children need. I'm sorry you've been forced into this, but it is no failure on your part and you are acting in his best interests.

  • Met son's social worker tonight. As social workers go she was really nice. Too young to be patronising & she still seemed to care and see her clients as people rather than case numbers. She agrees that something definitely needs to be done, and is coming back to see me to do a further assessment tomorrow when Luke is at school.

    Funny how now that things have got so dire she reckons she's going to be able to speedily magic up:

    1) An ed psych - (Luke has only met one of these rare creatures 3 times);
    2) A behavioural expert - (Was told there was no hope of seeing one in this area);
    3) A full health work up by the area's lead autism consultant;
    4) A multi disciplinary meeting getting education, social care & health together - (She was quite excited at this novel prospect, but I pointed out that I'd already arranged several of those previously);
    5) The laptop son was supposed to have been provided with 2 years ago;
    6) Full co-operation from the school.

    Told her that I'd lost count of the amount of meetings I'd arranged & attended on my son's behalf & that I was at the end of my endurance, it was going to take a lot more than a few meetings to sort out this situation.

  • Thanks for the hugs & kind thoughts. Had another assessment today & have to write a care plan for my son tonight which is going to be pretty tough. Have to write down everything anyone looking after him might need to know.

  • Typical! I ask for help & now it REALLY feels like I'm being victimised. Social services insisted I see my doctor today and as he said I was sane just under extreme stress, tomorrow the mental health crisis care team are visiting me at home to "assess" me.

    It seems I couldn't possibly be totally emotionally wrung out by being in a very difficult situation, dealing with a very challenging child & not getting any help despite begging for help several times over the last decade, oh hell no, I must be crazy! If I'm really unlucky they could try to section me on the spot.

    My fiance in New Mexico is really concerned, so much so that he's warned his boss he might need to fly to the UK for a few days to help me straighten this out if this all goes bad. He says I'm the sanest person he knows and is horrified that they're trying to play it this way. As he had psych training at nursing school he should know what he's talking about.

  • So they reckon it's not a failure on their part to help you, they're suggesting there's a failure with your mental health... Wankers. Sorry.


    You are only doing what you can, to make sure your son has what he needs. for different reasons, I had to ask for my daughter to live elsewhere (with her dad - SS wouldn't speak to me because I wasn't abusing my child). It's the most heartbreaking decision you can make. My daughter was visiting this week and went home today, I feel broken.


    I don't know how the system works, your best bet is chatting to those who have knowledge of SS, but I hope he gets what he needs soon and that you can be strong - you are only choosing an option to improve both of your lives.


    :hug:

  • Is that what they're suggesting or is it not part of the process? I.e. to take your son into care, they need to evaluate the whole situation. If you were 'normal' and just not bothered about him and wanted an easy life then they'd want to see that. I'm not suggesting that social services are all about the best outcome I just wonder if maybe you're a little oversensitve? If you have the support of your GP I can't see that there'll be a problem - you know you're own mind. (I think that sounds harsh but it's not meant to be!).

  • Fortunately the mental health crisis team agree with my GP that I've got no exciting underlying mental health issues, so the onus is back on social services. They seem to have agreed to place him "when a suitable placement becomes available", which seems pretty damn vague, and have arranged for a carer to come in for Monday & Tuesday morning to get him ready for school. Have to attend a big multi-agency meeting on Tuesday to help agree his needs & future care. There are at least another 2 big meetings ahead & who knows how many little ones. On one hand I guess I should feel reassured that they're being so thorough, on the other hand I can't help wondering whether they're trying to bury me in bureaucracy in the hope that I'll give up on getting help.

  • Gosh what an awful situation to be in...my heart goes out to you. I am the single parent of a child and I find it hard at times, and that's without the extra pressure and challenges you have..... Sending love and hugs and hoping the situation turns around soon for the better.... best wishes x

  • What a nightmare for you. Sounds like you have been backed in to making such a difficult decision just to get the best for your son.


    I hope everything works out ok for you both x