James Pascoe’s parents reluctantly share their story of their autistic son’s plight. They asked for help but didn’t get what they asked for……
A child becomes an adult when they reach the age of typical maturity yet they will always remain a child in the eyes of the parent regardless of their age. A parent only hopes for the best for their child.
When a parent of an autistic child needs a rest from round the clock care, where does one turn? At what point to they admit that they need help? Does one have to reach desperation before asking? Or does one troop on stoically without complaint? Is it embarrassing to admit that one needs a break from family? Is equating needing a break admitting failure? Why is that? Why do we need to pretend that all is well all the time? We are human after all!
Who understands their child they way they do? Who will take the time to care, to find out the best way to approach and interact with their child? Anyone on the Autism Spectrum or anyone with a family member or friend on the Spectrum will know one person on the Spectrum. Each person will have different ways of interacting with the world, some will have special interests, some will be verbal, others not, some reject touch, some will crave it, and so on. Flexibility and understanding is paramount. What works well for one may not work for the next autistic person.
What is the answer for respite care for those on the Autism Spectrum and their families?
“James Pascoe, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was two years old, spent his 21st birthday chained to a bed after he was taken to The Northern Hospital, Victoria in Australia on 21 November…….”(1)
(1) 6 December 2014, New Zealand Herald
The comments section of the Daily Mail article is mixed from pro shackling to anti shackling….
Sydney, Australia, “There is funding for children but for autistic adults (there is a myth out there that children can grow out of autism – it is a myth) there is nothing and the parents are left to fight the cause. It is exhausting. I have been there and still am.”
[450 likes, 18 dislikes]
Melbourne, “As a nurse of 25 years experience I would assume that he is a danger to himself or others and that is the reason why he is shackled. If a person is shackled then there is a CPO (constant patient observer) that is assigned to 24 hours a day. Hourly checks are made regarding the condition and the shackles are not too tight etc. A doctor has to sign the form to state the reason why he needs to be shackled. So I would say that he is treated better than a prisoner! It just minimizes the assaults that we have to endure throughout our career.” [520 likes, 246 dislikes]
Sydney, “Prisoners have human rights. Disabled people don’t. State and federal governments are getting closer to treating disabled people like they were dealt with in ancient Sparta.” [270 likes, 67 dislikes]
Crowded House – Better Be Home Soon