SHARED LIVES

For issues specific to autism / Asperger Syndrome.
I think your gut feel about fostering is right.
Of the rest a quick Google check shows they all seem to have autism/asd specialism which is good.

My ASD relative in a National Autistic Society home of 4 which seems to be working and seems similar to what they have mentioned to you.

A few years ago he was in an ASD Home of 14 which was too many - they aren't particularly good at socialising in large groups so who ever came up with fine idea should be fired.

Take every opportuntiy to visit, but do remember to be realistic about availability and funding not coinciding.

Good luck
MrsA
Hi Janet, what's the situation now with your son? I was reading through this thread again and noticed that he was expecting to move out of CAMHS yesterday. I do hope something has been put in place that will be positive for him.

The organization that ran the two facilities where my daughter stayed was Autism Initiatives. Has that been considered?

Gilli
Hello,

Thank you for replying. My son is still at the CAMHS unit. I have contacted a group home run by Action 4 Care and they have invited me to look round two homes in our local area. They also need to do their own assessment on my son. Hopefully things will move quickly after that.

I am a bit worried because my son has a hatred for his diagnosis and all references to 'autism', but hopefully, he can see the homes as the sort of supported accommodation that he wants. Currently, is not helping himself on the unit because after an un-escorted walk out, he brought alcohol for other patients (all under 18) and a girl ended up in hospital. He is nearly 18 but sometimes he does some blooming stupid things. I really thought the unit was going to throw him out today!
Perhaps the unit realised there was a different instigator, folk with as ASC can be easily led.

Melly1
hello,

Yes, Melly, you are so right. The Head of the unit is a really compassionate man and he realises that my son is very very vulnerable. Added to that, my son fails to see the big picture e.g. that under parental pressure, the young girls could very well say that the older boy bought them alcohol for any number of reasons, and my son's forensic report would not help him at all! He was in tears when the possible consequences were spelled out to him.

Yet, I am afraid that he will not accept this new group home because it is primarily for individuals with autism and he has no other real alternatives.
Everyone is an individual, and lots of people with special needs don't fit comfortably into ANY "pigeon hole". My son, brain damaged at birth, certainly doesn't. How can he have a mental age of between 3 and 4 years, be unable to read, write or do any maths, yet understand the complexities of a 10 ton steam roller, firing it, oiling it, and even driving it, better than me!? The answer must be that the mechanical part of his brain is less damaged than other parts.
So you have to find the best available placement for your son, focussing on what he needs. Labelling somewhere as being for a particular type of problem is helpful in some ways, less so in others. Autism covers a huge spectrum of needs and abilities - can you look at the place beforehand, talk to the head/manager, explain the situation and find the bits your son needs, and would like, in advance, so you can sell it to him?
Hello,

I have just had a conversation with the consultant at my son's CAMHS unit. My son is going to be placed in emergency social services accommodation (I have no idea what or where) tomorrow, due to the fact that he smuggled an e-cigarette onto the unit and blatantly smoked it in front of staff and patients.

Apparently, he does not wish to come 'home' to me and the manager of Children's Social Care is searching for an emergency placement for him as I write. I have tried to contact CSC but they are all on answer machine (out of hours).

I feel so helpless. I do not know where he is going and I do not think my son knows the enormity of the situation. It will probably hit him when he is moved somewhere tomorrow. I have left messages asking CSC to tell me where he is going and who to contact.

We are viewing the two group homes tomorrow, but they cannot take people under 18 and my son is not 18 until April. I know he has behaved terribly, but he has been in the CAMHS unit on delayed discharge for four months and I am surprised non-one saw this coming.

I know I need to keep calm and do what I can to help him, but he has said to the Consultant that 'stuff' happened at home that he has not told anyone and I am scared that he will fabricate things so that he does not have to return home and a 'magical' place will be found for him I do not know how his mind operates, but I feel he is trying to make things happen because nothing is changing for him. I do not think he realises the consequences of false allegations.

He is on a Child Protection Plan because his brother sexually bullied him (I was not aware of what went on). The police dropped the case because my other son also has additional needs and it was impossible to make sense of what exactly went on.

So, I do not know where my very vulnerable and now rebellious eldest son will go. I do not know if he will make allegations that will result in renewed police inquiry with respect to my youngest or any other family members and we are seeing two group homes just as my son is taken into emergency care.

I just need to have a bit of a cathersis here because I cannot talk to anyone else about it.
Hi Janet
Please, please try and keep calm so that your son feels able to keep up communication with you. It sounds as if he's about to realise the consequences of his actions in smoking and the earlier alcohol incident. Yes he's pushing boundaries and feeling frustrated but he needs to learn that those type of actions are not going to change a whole system.
I don't know what constitutes emergency accomodation for an under 18 but I do know adult emergency accomodation is usually very unpleasant, often communal with other difficlut to place residents and maybe more or less anywhere. I say this so you won't be so surprised tomorrow and can keep yourself calm and available for your son whatever happens.

If possible, keep the plans to visit the homes. With luck they should contrast nicely against the emergency accomodation and he will see sense to work with people to get a place in one of them.

Let your son know you are there for him and love and support him but that you won't tolerate bad behaviour.

Hope this helps a little, thinking of you
MrsA
Hello,

My son is being discharged from the CAMHS unit at 10 am tomorrow morning. I have heard nothing from Children's Social Care and, as far as I know, no post-discharge plan is in place. Although I would love him to come home, even for just the three months until he may go into the group home we viewed earlier this week, I feel there are significant risks in the home environment. My eldest experienced what has been called sexual abuse from his brother and emotional abuse from his father who still visits us daily. Both my sons are under Child Protection Plans. In addition, I do not think I can structure the day with the rigour that would keep both boys occupied, separate and safe. My other son is totally opposed to my eldest coming home, even for a temporary stay (due to the allegations and police inquiry).

I feel like I am a total failure, but I just need to know there is somewhere safe for my eldest to go.
Hi Janet
Please don't call yourself a failure when it is the system and the professionals within it who are failing to keep you informed.

There's nothing you can do tonight so I'd be onto the unit where he is first thing tomorrow , in person if possible, assertively demanding answers.

I dont know what the process should be but this charity has a helpline that might. It opens at 9:30 tomorrow
http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents

Xx MrsA