There was a programme on the other day on Channel four called Born naughty. It was about 2 families with children with challanging behaviours. The parent/s believe that there were underlying medical issues/conditions such as Autism and ADHD which caused their child’s behaviour. There were 2 children in episode one, Theo with suspected Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder more commonly known as, ADHD and Honey with suspected Autistic Spectrum Disorder also known as ASD, which she was diagnosed with, along with the rare diagnosis of Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome shortened to PDA. I watched the show through the eyes of a Mother who’s son had recently been diagnosed with ASD. I could understand the pain, the frustration, the helplessness and the uncertainty that these parents felt.
The following day after I watched the show. I noticed there were some whispering a on Facebook, with regards to Katie Hopkins being very vocal about her opinion on one of the children and her family. Well as soon as I saw this, I could imagine the things she would say. I clicked on a link to see some of the comments she had written and felt saddened. Click here to see article. However reading all the outraged responses on Facebook and Twitter made me even sadder. Almost all of them resorted to name calling. I get it you are mad at Katie for her lack of Understanding, her lack of concern and her ability to appear to make very flippant remarks about something that is so close to many of our hearts. Unfortunately the name calling really didn’t sit well with me and I felt on some occasions it overrid the persons point.
I wish I could have put a response together to Katie, to explain to her what is is like and how it feels to read her comments. Unfortunately I had no idea how to articulate it, then a lovely mama I follow on Instagram, who’s young son Ned (what a wonderful name) has recently been diagnosed with ASD posted the most heart felt and articulate article I could only dream of writing. Plesase go on over to her blog Ned in the clouds and see her dignity and strength in action. Claire is a phenomal and inspiring woman. Her blog is a wonderful read filled with pictures of her gorgeous son. The way she writes is so honest and truthful but in no way self indulgent (as I fear mine may be at times). Then I came across the blog
Reprobatemum she speaks about why it’s a medical problem and why our children need these labels/diagnosis. It’s not a perfect system BUT you have to work with what you have.
This next bit I am going to write may irk some people, including some parents in the Autism community. This is not my intention, but I am just going to state how I feel.
“Honey’s mum is thrilled her daughter has pathological demand avoidance. Now a whole world of funding has opened up to her ” #bornnaughty – Katie Hopkins
Thrilled is not the word I would use when your child gets a diagnosis. Devestated, in denial, frustrated, angry and the feeling I believe Honey’s Mum felt relief.
You feel relief that
- You aren’t crazy.
- That there is help available
- You are not in it alone
- The first and possibly hardest part of the journey is over
- It’s not something you have/are doing wrong
- You can start to dream and hope again
- That with the right support progress can be made
Now Katie Hopkins would probably hate me and label me a shit Mum, Because I worked my butt off to get Zachary his diagnosis. It’s not something that happens over night. It took us almost a year, during that year we had appointments, assessments and reviews with Physiotherapy, Speech and Language,Educational Phychologists, Orthopedics, Occupational Therapy,Peadiatricians, Health VIsitors and this is not an extensive list. I collected video footage, started home therapies with him, attended Special Educational Needs groups, had someone come to my home to do play therapy and teach me how to play and communicate with my son. *On a side note, do you know how patronising it feels to have to have some one to teach you how to play and communicate with your child?
No matter how needed it is, you still feel like you should know how to do it instinctively and therefore you have failed. It’s only when you see that putting the stratigies into place results in small but remarkable changes, you swallow that feeling of failure (at least for a little while) and instead relish in your child’s achievements.
When it comes to funding, I am glad that he has a diagnosis (although I wish he didn’t need it). Funding opens doors, funding provides support, funding ultimately should lead to making your child’s life better. I am so thankful that Zachary gets additional funding for nursery, so he can do full days. It teaches him so much
- Opportunity to have different peers
The additional time means he won’t be shocked when he is suddenly expected to do a full day when he goes to school. It means he has more time to build relationships, more time to access the curriculum (so to speak). More time to work on his communication and language, play, education, personal and emotional care etc.
He also gets funding to have 1 to 1 support and again, I worked very hard to get him this. There are many, many loopholes to jump through (that Katie Hopkins has no idea about). Having his 1 to 1 support means he can get all the sensory input he needs, he has support during group activities, during lunch and if things should become too much for him. It means he gets time for someone to work on his mark making, his imaginary play skills, his ability to differentiate between numbers and letters, his ability to answer abstract questions (such as what did you do today) and recall information. I have worked to get his funding and I am proud to say he is funded and Katie do you know why? Because I am him Mum. I am his voice. I am his advocate. And I will shout from the rooftops until someone listens if it means it will get my boy what he needs. I may sound selfish or demanding. but wouldn’t you do the same if it was your child.
We are just about to start Pre school in September and I do so with my heart filled with happiness and hope. My boy has had so much input through various funding that I know he will do fine, he has the right support going in and I truly look forward to where that year will take us. So I will not be made to feel bad that my son is funded and that I wanted him funded and was happy he got his funding because having a diagnosis makes that easier to access. Because I have done NOTHING wrong and the thing is, if I had done the opposite and waited for the professionals to get it together and do something, I would probably still be somewhere in the system. I am pretty sure I know why Honey’s Mum did a fist pump, when she got the diagnosis. Because finally she had answers, help and support I know I felt that way after a mere ten months in the system. They had been going through this for FIVE YEARS. I think I would fist pump after FIVE YEARS. I believe she is entitled to it!
So there are my two cents. Do what you want with them, but Katie Hopkins, it is a little high a mighty for you to comment so harshly on a subject really you have no idea about. You know how annoying it is when people that don’t have kids try to tell you how to parent your kids… It’s kind of like that, but a bajillion times worse!!! I at least hope your tweets raise even more awareness for Autism and others causes so at least something positive can come out of all this negativity you produce.
OK, rant over. To my readers, thank you for your continued support. Feel free to comment.
*The t-shirts featured in this post can be purchased at Monkey and mole and the proceeds go to an Autism charity. I missed out on the first batch but am eagerly awaiting the next. It’s a great way to raise awareness and support the cause.
And just because…. here is a picture of my special man 😊
Thanks for reading