Child Protection for the Autistic Child - A Resource
Hide the Knives
2015, We had repeatedly been told that a home visit by a doctor for our teenage son would not be possible and it was a tremendous relief when we heard that our GP had organised that a psychiatrist from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services visit instead.
When the psychiatrist arrived I said to my son ’’There is someone here that you can talk with about what you want’’ and on that basis he agreed to participate.
Afterwards the psychiatrist had a brief word with me that included a stab at diagnosis, ‘’He is behaving on a number of fronts like someone with Asperger Syndrome’’. It was positive to have an explanation for our son’s difficulties, even if the explanation itself was an unwelcome shock. I asked "What happens next?’" and was told "He needs to attend for a multi-disciplinary assessment and there is a waiting list. We cannot make any more home visits. I’m sorry. We don’t have the resources for it’’. "But he won’t engage, how do I get him to engage?’ I pleaded. There was silence. I kept going "You must see this all the time. How does it normally play out? Does it come right and how?’’ That is when the doctor noticed a sharp knife on the kitchen worktop and said, ‘‘You should not leave knives out on display. You need to lock them away’’.
How could we as a society have stood by and let this happen without discussion? How can we now put it right? Can what is dismembered be re-formed over time with hard work, common purpose and commitment? I believe so, because in my son's case I've seen him and us come back from the terrible place and move on from that terrible time. We should all feel fear for what comes next if we don't engage because I believe with my own experience, there is a terrible cost to not looking, not caring and not engaging and few will not feel this cost in hereto now unimaginable ways.