More support needed for families with Autistic children say Lib Dems

A distraught mother tells Sky News about her autistic son’s struggle after he was put into residential care 17 years ago.

Some of the most vulnerable in society are being kept in hospitals miles from home and some say they are unable to leave, even when they are no longer ill.

Pam, from Brighton, tells Sky News about her autistic son Tony, 41, who has lived away from his family for more than 17 years.

Pam and Roy’s son is more than 120 miles away from their home

“Tony was a happy-go-lucky boy growing up. He went everywhere with us, and of course his autism was hard to cope with, but we had a lot of fun.”

“It all began to change when he was around 13-years-old.”

“We were advised by his school and the respite services we used that Tony needed to go on to medication. He was difficult to manage and the school didn’t help him.”

“That was when his personality began to change. Tony never had aggression, he was more aggravating. He was hard work, you had to be on call 24 hours a day. He was also going through puberty so it was a difficult combination”

North Derbyshire Liberal Democrats Health and Social Care Spokesperson, Cllr Pam Windley, who was a former foster carer for children in which some had special needs and currently offers respite to special needs adults said:

“Support for families with a child with disabilities and conditions needs to be given as soon as that child is diagnosed.”

“Adequate training should be provided to parents and family members to enable them to care for the child without having to learn the hard way or make it up as they go along. They need to be offered ongoing training and support to cope and handle with the challenges their child will face; and provide the option for short breaks to enable them to spend more quality time with their other children.”

“Care homes are an outdated resource. If a child’s family can no longer manage their care needs; houses should be made available with two or three compatible children, where support workers can live and/or do sleep-ins to provide a more stable and close-knit environment.”

“By tackling these issues early, we can prevent some of the problems many people face as they grow into adulthood, such as mental health issues, which are prevalent in people suffering with conditions such as Autism and Asperger’s.”

You can join the Liberal Democrats campaign to increase social care support by visiting www.libdems,org.uk/join

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