I didn't go with him

A Fond Reunion

At the end of last week my sister and niece said they would like to get back in touch after a considerable gap of time and it was lovely to see them although also fairly stilted and superficial in a being strong kind of way. Being a single mum they were a big part of family life for many years, although we differ on parenting styles and incomes and so live completely different ways of life. Even so we really need each other and ought to have made the effort before. They came round unexpectedly on a different day and so I didn’t give them tea which later I felt I regretted, but their visit was at least a start and they saw my autistic son’s, S’s, fantastic collages that he did when home schooled.

Saturday’s moment of joy was when I escaped from my semi to travel to meet with some people who have similar interests in being peacemakers. However, it was not the peaceful peacemakers but a friendly well-tattooed young father and his partner picnicking on the moors who staved off a severe panic in me by assisting me out of a muddy patch and directing me away from potholes and ruts in the track whilst turning the car. The sun beat down and the loving thy neighbour was simplified and facilitated by the care and compassion I was feeling after a prayerful time. If it hadn’t been for them I might still be there now.

Sunday was a lovely church service with some hopeful words from the minister. The feedback from the choir members about my singing was nice to hear as I am new and don’t know the tunes as well as the others yet. They were positive, and the hymns were thoughtful and inspirational.

Then I almost completed the complex Sudoku from Saturday’s paper except for a couple of dodgy eights and nines after a long lie in on Bank Holiday Monday.

In recent months I have been struggling but today’s letter writing and response to emails has been easier and calmer which gives me hope that my opinions might be heard.

Greatest moment of joy this week was sharing a film with my autistic son, S, who now has a telly in his room. He appears to be slightly happier there at present.

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Glad to be Alive

As it’s nearly a fortnight since I visited him I am struggling to envisage him in my mind’s eye, but I need to think positive and so shall try to get involved with this link again to stretch out the hand of friendship to feel self-actualised and to persevere in what are difficult conditions.

Have just discovered it’s World Earth Day today and was fascinated, and fully taken up with for an hour, by watching this informative and beautifully done film about climate change. From what I learnt I am now feeling a little more hopeful that we can all solve the problem of global warming if we pull together and act quickly to reduce CO2 emissions. The scientists and oceanographers in this all bring together in an accessible way with beautiful backdrops and good music the facts and reasons behind what is happening to the earth and why it is important to stop global warming. Look at –

I am inspired to perhaps set up a bicycle/zero carbon emissions gadgets and services business.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

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Adapting Slowly

Have recently found this blog hop and link that I think you might like and I am going to follow it for a while to aid in my recuperation of the soul.


Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart


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Although it has been a tough week this week due to learning that my contact with my child is being reduced to fortnightly visits, I have to admit that there are one or two reasons to be cheerful.

1.  I have had two job interviews and this came quite suddenly and with little notice.  I have had my hope restored that things will turn round for me very soon.

2.  The weather had been atrocious for about three weeks until yesterday and I was overjoyed to feel the sun on my face and to know that I had got through the worst of the winter as temperatures crept back to 5 or 6 centigrade having been down to below freezing for what seemed like an eternity.  As I was going to my job interview about helping the homeless I was struck by the sight of a man sitting on the pavement looking pale and wan and as he asked me for some spare change I could not help but feel that he really had done very well to survive the dreadful weather and I gave him some money.   Did you know that it costs quite a lot for people to stay in hostel accommodation.  As I was preparing for my job interview I learnt a little more about housing problems and especially those of young people and teenagers.  I think that this man and I were both very glad to be alive and it felt life affirming to donate to him, something that I have not done for many years since I was in my early twenties.

3.  I saw my child on Tuesday and we watched an old favourite Sense and Sensibility together.  He remembered it so much and watched it and watched it. He loved the music and he was not pacing so much and had good attention to it.  Of course when he was at home he would sit and watch it for a whole afternoon without me and I would know that he was really content.  Where he is due to the noise he flits about and is distracted, there is a pack like mentality between the residents and staff where the very soul of him is distracted by the least little thing such as someone leaving a room or entering a room and he cannot sit through a whole meal in peace.  (Each resident sits on a separate table and the staff come and go all the time and he does not get a sense of community at meal times).

I really am trying not to be negative and do hope that some of this is uplifting to your soul and not too Dostoyevskyan or even Dickensian.

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Tough Love

If you are interested in helping to recover our valuable family life and the privacy and security that comes along with that which is so important to teenagers with autism I should be interested to hear from you.

I have been to a tribunal and managed to stay in the legal process, but when up against the might of the local authority and their legal team it is quite intimidating.  Especially when you are not supported by independent experts, a friend or relative, or even legal help and  have been told that you lack prospects of succeeding.   All the while I am visiting my autistic child who is fading before my eyes, due to the suffering he has endured whilst he has been away from home.  The techniques that they use are very harsh and not what I would have wished for his future.  As a student speech therapist it was fairly harrowing for me to go round large learning disability institutions and see the isolation and despair there.  And as an advocate for the ex-residents of these places now in care homes I was very critical of the methods used and the abusive regimes that were perpetuated.  This is why I planned ahead and wrote a will when he was about ten so that he would never have to go anywhere like that.  I wanted him cared for in my home, or another close relative’s.

Poor wee lad, he has really been through the mill this summer.  I have had cause to complain to the council on numerous occasions and the basic problem is that the  people are using very strong intonation and prosody with a ‘despicable’ quality to their speech which is designed to completely undermine the young people’s sense of self and self-worth.  They are using threats and physical intimidation and don’t understand that a feedback pattern is being set up.  The behaviours are all entirely involuntary and instead of easing their tensions by providing twirlies, chews, and relaxing music, or physical exercise they clamp down hard on behaviours which of course causes the autonomic , or is it fight or flight parasympathetic response, to be sent into overload.  There is absolutely no regard for the children’s dislike of chaos, auditory overload, or the fact that they are visually stimulated and need beautiful and fulfilling DVDs, picture books, or even boardmaker symbols.  This is so totally lacking from now compared to when he was at home, when we followed a little of the Steiner methods and he liked being outdoors in nature and the development of his soul, nature and character were of utmost importance.  He had begun to do conservation work and had enjoyed making campfires, and dens with his friends.

The only thing that could help is that we find the right kind of support.  An independent expert is what we need.   I am so proud of his work that he did when he was home educated, especially the artwork, and he came on in leaps and bounds.   But as I am a descriptive type of person, I found it hard to analyse what his achievements actually were.  Of course we had many times when progress was lost for valid reasons such as too much change, too many different observers through the house, and so on.  For instance, when he was first home educated he had been incontinent at school for much of the time in his last two years, and so it was one of  the first things we worked on.   Within about six weeks he was over his problems, so that when the continence nurse arrived and we had some pads delivered, he did not need to use them.   However, the progress was lost when the local authority space invaded our home for a fortnight which was highly disruptive.   I had to decide whether to get some bigger pads and lose all of the progress made at a crucial time in his development, or to persevere with changes of trousers and  a few more accidents.  My basic problem is that being a single parent I felt that I was the expert in my child and did not take kindly to being given advice from all and sundry.   We had had an educational psychologist’s visit early on, but she did not get back in touch, and I could not reach her.

By now there are mountains of letters, and paperwork to sort through and so only someone with a special interest in the field of home education would be bothered to wade through all this.   Of course, each time I look at it the time scales become closer together and so what actually happened becomes less meaningful.  It was extremely negligent of the council to put my child through all of this distress right in the middle of puberty.

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Where to complain next and how to keep up with the volume of problems

Hi dear reader,


There are so many different bodies and agencies involved with supervision and care providers that it gets very tough to navigate through all of them.  There are education departments, social services departments, charities, health providers and also the regulatory bodies.  It is so tough trying to wade one’s way through them.  My child’s life and my own have been thoroughly torn to shreds by the difficulties we have endured over the past two years.  It has not been possible to keep my head above water and so we have not found that our rights to private family life have been restored.


My autistic child, Charlie, used to give me so much pleasure.  I am sure that he felt the same way about me.  It is utterly unspeakable what has now happened and how our lives have been affected.  Admittedly we had had a few complaints to the environmental health and police departments about us, but I always had faith that in the end we would be able to get the recognition of our valuable place in the community and the progress made.   Although it was undoubtedly only harassment that was causing my neighbour to be so antagonistic.  It is a total travesty what has occurred and I don’t know if I have the ability to face the adversarial legal system ever again.

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Hello world!

There are many things I need to set down in this blog and it will mainly be about my life after my child went into care.  I loved home educating him and miss him terribly.  This is what it is like for me and him now.  He was an amazing young person and it is not the type of care that I had envisaged for him in his future that he is currently receiving.


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