Autistic author and campaigner Callum Brazzo on provision and support for autism
Good morning all!
This past week, in a picture, would be a flower growing in a war-torn country. There is still room for blossoming amidst the conflict.
Breaking this down into a few articles I read last week, I think of Claire Dyer.
Claire 'is among 34,000 people with autism in Wales and many have "fallen through gaps" in care provision, leaving families struggling to cope. The Welsh Government is trying to address this and is rolling out a Wales-wide integrated service. But parents have also called for more input in devising appropriate care plans.'
Additionally, I think of an article about Matthew, because, in reference to a care home setting, 'When he had a seizure, he would become aggressive, trying to grab people and they would lock Matthew in the central courtyard. This extreme behaviour was linked to sensory overload and anxiety but no specialist seemed able to tie it all together'.
This is a cycle rife with inconsistencies in practice, incapacities to cope educationally, financially or any other way and injustice within the care system in Wales and beyond.
Care home staff continue to abuse autistic people, through deliberate efforts or indeed neglect, due to misunderstanding what the autistic person is feeling/sensing and it hurts me.
More needs to be done.
Appropriate care plans should invite autistic people, online and offline, to participate in tangible conversations around what might be best for an autistic person.
I also believe that anyone that knows the autistic person and has a positive effect on them should be involved in the process. Unfortunately, that isn't necessarily the people a council might automatically go to, such as teachers or even parents. The communication channels have to be crossing both ways, as I have always made clear, for any real change to happen because this is awful news.
The final piece of news that entered my consciousness is about the three-year court case to overturn an initial pathologist report of Heddwyn Hughes, who 'had autism and was unable to communicate what he needed or how he felt, had been in the care of the state since the age of nine.
'The inquest, on the morning of May 6, 2015, heard that he suffered a "catastrophic" injury after collapsing to the floor of his bedroom whilst being lifted by staff. It took around four hours for him to be seen by a medical professional and it later transpired he had broken his neck'.
The doctor was originally unaware of such mistreatment and called it a stroke.
Mass comunication difficulties resulted in a lost life. This kind of event is occurring far too often but if anything it reminds us to work towards compassionate, accepting communities that can do more in their own area as opposed to sending autistic people away without solid reasoning.
Autistic Led, a support group I am evolving, is to start this Thursday at Tonic Health, Spalding, from 4.30pm - 6.30pm and I hope that despite thoughts of many that 'services are stretched and it seems like there is no capacity for autism' I want to create a service with our local community that works for autistic PEOPLE.
Autistic people, especially with overlapping SEPARATE learning difficulties may never be free of care...but we, as a community, cannot be carefree.
Check out my TEDx talk on utilising autistic people's potential here:
Sign and share the Going Forward Music Festival 2019 fundraising petition here:
Stop hate speech here:
Until Next Tuesday!