Saturday, July 10, 2010

Support us and other autism parents.



I'm a mother of 4 autistic boys and 2 non-autistic girls.
Just a few months and I'll celebrate my 25th parenting anniversary.
I've always been able to cope with everything, even with the worst experiences of life.
We're a tight, loving and caring family.
All children are lovely young people, who try to focus on the positive in life.

Two have left home in best spirits. They're grown up. And with a little bit of assistance they do well.

Due to some strange circumstances Child Protection Services entered our family, which set a whole sequence of amazing things in motion.
We knew the 2 group teachers of the girls were not very well able to do their jobs, but we never expected they would report our girls in such a way that we were told, not only that we were members of a sect (we're not!), but also that both girls were not functioning well at school. They lacked social contact, were afraid, etc etc. One even was depressed, it was told to Child Services.
And one way or another it was even written down that one was missbehaving and had to report in for punishment each day.

As we never heard anything bad from the school at the parent's meetings we were amazed and shocked.
The contact person from school told us the girls are perfectly normal 14 year olds and nothing is wrong with them.

But even though his message is clear, the people of Child Services cling to their own opinions, which have no proper foundations at all.
They want to force us to give them all sorts of tests and therapies. But when children are feeling well and are normal there's no need to spend enormous amounts of money so they can't go to ballet anymore, for instance.

As a mom I know my girls are OK.
As a psychologist I can see they're OK.
But I'm told my girls are growing up in a wrong environment as they have to adjust their behaviour to their autistic brothers.

And even though they've heard I stated that I could cope with my family very well, I'm told straight in my face that I'm burned out and that dealing with autistic children and non-autistic children is too much.
They even told me that I wasn't able to spend enough time and give enough attention to the girls.

Well, intensive parenting of the boys is done suring the schooltime of the girls. Including visits to the psychiatrist and such.
When the girls arrive home from school I have all the time of the world for them untill they go to bed. It's not only my presence, it's quality time.
I'm a very good mom, and I know it.

As an autism ambassador and advocate I've helped many parents and families, handled many situations of injustice to gain wellbeing of the autistic children and their parents. Sometimes with the unexpected help of children's rights lawyers who worked for free and many others.

I never expected to be in the position to need that very same support.

We've been threatened with outplacement of the girls.
They've created a pile of reasons to do so.
It's like they copy them from a list.

We're trying to do all we can to prevent the girls from being taken away.

Their father is sleeping somewhere else so he can't be a threat. (They said they were afraid at school so they would be afraid at home, due to dad. He's a man, you know...)

Today I've been to our doc and he declares I'm not burned out and I have plenty of attention, good attention, for the girls. (And the boys).

But now we need your help.

When you're a parent of autistic children you know that it's a challenge, but it's also a very enriching experience to be an autism parent (and a sibling).
Especially when you have more than one autistic child and have non-autistic children too you know that both groups of children benefit from each other, and that dealing with two autistic children doesn't mean there's no time for other aspects of life or other children.

I've stated that taking the girls away from the family will disrupt the development of my classic autistic son.
His whole world will change and he can't cope with that, or will need so much time to get over it that he will lose faith in himself and give up trying to built his future.
But he's 18, so not a target for Child Services anymore. They don't care.

Please, please write down for us that autism moms are perfectly able to raise autistic children and have more time in a day to spend on other people. Tell them that being an autism sibling doesn't mean you're second in a row.
Tell them your examples of that an autism mom can cope.

Send your support and stories by using the contact button under the header here at my blog.
Please give your full name and address so I can take all your mails as legal support.
I won't use your data for anything else.
Also state I'm allowed to use your mail in court if necessary and/or for a book.
Thanks.

As I'm used to creating something positive out of the worst situations I want to do more than only help my own family.
I know that many autism families are subject of investigations of Child Protection Services all over the world. One autistic child having a meldown and a neighbour complaining to Child Protection Services suggesting child abuse is enough to cause much harm.

Maybe it's good we bring this all in the open.
Maybe we should join hands in one international organisation, maybe I should compile your stories in a book and show the world how people project their own ideas on our children and families without even asking how we live our lives and how we think and feel about parenting.
As parents of autistic children we need to develop certain skills to be able to raise them. And we need to think well about how we want to do things, and we need self reflection. But as our children grow, we grow as parents too.

We shouldn't be confronted with social workers and other professionals who tell us they care, but act on their own subjective opinions and on some bookknowledge without looking at individual people with care, understanding and knowledge.
We're not average families, so don't use statistics of regular families to proof we're not doing well.
Don't project your own incapabilities on our families.

Many organisations use wonderful names and job descriptions, but they don't make a diagnosis right, they don't make the outcome of an investigation right.
Our children shouldn't be subjected to organisations who have the power to change their lives without proper proof something is really, really very wrong.
When people are brought to court, the police needs to give the court proof beyond reasonable doubt.
When children and their parent's are brought to court in matters of parenting and development, some social workers can state whatever they want, without scientific proof beyond reasonable doubt, and families are ripped apart and children traumatised forever.
This needs to be changed too.

Thank you.

You can download the graphic and put it on your own blog and link to this page.

Thanks!!
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