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Sanctuary

Documentary on autism - "Help Save My Child"

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Sanctuary

If you have access to the BBC I-Player you may want to watch a half-hour documentary called "Help Save My Child":

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09zct6v/bbc-scotland-investigates-2018-2-help-me-save-my-child

It's about the problems of several youngsters with autism who have major behavioural problems and / or serious mental health difficulties and the problems they and their parents have in getting appropriate education, health care and support. 

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StarlessEclipse

My own experience seeking mental health support during a prolonged period of extreme depression and anxiety was not at all satisfactory. My parents made the initial inquiry in 2012/2013 but it wasn't until 2015 that I actually received any support, by which time the worst of my problems had passed. I suppose it was just lucky that I was able to fight through it myself, with the help of certain people on this forum. My counsellor was a lovely woman, but extremely overworked. The sessions were brief, she often forgot things that I had told her, and on one occasion was even crying from the stress of a previous patient at the start of my session which came immediately after with no break. Things just gradually came to an end with no official discharge, goodbye, etc.

It's popular to say that conditions such as autism are overdiagnosed but the examples featured in this documentary demonstrate precisely the opposite. I feel quite lucky to have been diagnosed at such a young age. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the documentary confronted the serious problems we face in mainstream education honestly and didn't try to push the usual "mainstream school integration" agenda which often has a whole lot more to do with the self-interested virtue-signalling of naive, middle-class parents and doctors with nothing to offer but inane platitudes about "diversity and inclusion" than the wellbeing of the child.

Another thing, I live not far from one of the young people featured in this documentary, and I can tell you that the "cash-strapped councils" excuse for this pitifully inadequate funding and service provision only goes so far. No matter which party is in control, the council here seems to have no trouble whatsoever finding the resources to spend millions each year on tourism-focused events in the town centre while ignoring the most basic needs of its constituents on the grounds that it's "unaffordable". All manner of public services, whether it's policing, street cleaning, public transport, special needs schools, bin collections, youth centres, social care, and of course mental health services, are scarcely functional as a result of spending cuts while pointless vanity projects and exclusive entertainment for middle-class tourists receive all the funding they need. We effectively have an absentee council. Frankly, I think a mass tax strike is long overdue, but it seems increasingly that we British are a weak and complacent people with no inclination to stand up for ourselves.

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Sanctuary

Very good analysis Sirius and I'm sorry to hear of your own difficult experiences. The experiences of the youngsters on the programme and their families are sadly far from unusual. We keep hearing politicians say that there should be "parity" in the treatment of mental health and physical health but we aren't remotely near that point and mental health services continue to be the poor relation. 

You also make good points re inclusion. It's a nice idea in practice and sometimes works extremely well but all too often it is code for "do nothing and save some money". Genuine, successful inclusion needs considerable planning and resources. All too often "inclusion" means that those with difficulties end up being more neglected, more left out and fall further and further behind. It doesn't have to be like that but it will be unless it's much better managed and supported.

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