NHS - Failing children with Autism?

Recently I have read an interesting report detailing that, The NHS is 'failing children with Autism.'

It is believed that children with Autism are having unconnected mental health issues misdiagnosed as 'unfortunate or unavoidable side-effects of autism.'

Even when issues have been correctly identified often the help is unavailable or in some shocking cases so inappropriate that they in fact make the child's mental health worse.

What makes this all the more frustrating is that the large majority of these mental health issues are easily treatable with the correct understanding, something that seems surprisingly lacking in the NHS.

I have mixed feelings on this. As we all know the NHS is a largely underfunded and overstretched service which has the patients best interests mostly at it's heart but has it's hands tied with red tape and over worked staff forced to spread themselves too thinly.

I fought hard against the NHS for seven long years before someone would listen to my concerns about my daughter and I was no longer labelled an 'attention seeker' but once we got that diagnosis so much more help opened up for us. Without it Ana wouldn't be able to enjoy respite care once a fortnight, where she gets to mix with other children and be herself without the constraints of what society expects. For that we are very very grateful.

When the NHS get it right they do the most wonderful even miraculous job. But sadly when they get it wrong or fail to listen the effects reach far and deep into the lives of those that need their help and understanding the most.

What are your thoughts and what experiences have you had with the NHS and Autism?


Anonymous said...

My daughter is now 10 and was diagnosed when she was 3. It was an 18 month stream of assessments and meetings and letting strangers into my house to see Amy in the flesh. We have been very lucky. Amy received a good level of support from the outset and now gets an official 28 hours a week support at school (mainstream)even though the support worker is God's gift and stays with Amy all day. There have been times when I could have marched into the doctor's surgery and complained about this and that, but on the whole, she is doing well and we have been blessed with care. We have to remember that a GP is a clinician and mental health isn't top of their agenda.

For some people however, it is a constant battle. I wonder if those people have children who need much more care and support than the NHS is qualified to give, in that I mean actual experience and qualifications.

Keep at it. Email me if you want a chat anytime; I love meeting new parents of special needs children - crystal.jigsaw7@btinternet.com

Best wishes, CJ (Kathryn)

Rachel Nixon said...

Hi- I feel we've been fortunate in some ways in that i didn't have to fight anybody for a diagnosis....in fact the diagnosis was a shock.

As far as help goes, I think with autism, there's so much need that things will inevitably get missed. I can see how if a child or young adult was depressed, this would be easier to dismiss 'because they're autistic'...so we need to be vigilant on their behalf :)

Interesting post