Child Protection for the Autistic Child - A Resource
Just had a look at the recently issued National Institute for Clinical Excellence's (NICE) guidance Recognising Child Abuse and Neglect.It is addressed to all professionals and includes this statement:-
''As highlighted in the recommendations below, alerting features for child abuse and neglect can be similar to behaviours arising from other causes, such as other stressful life experiences or neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. However, practitioners should continue to consider the possibility of child abuse or neglect as a cause for behavioural and emotional alerting features, even if they are seemingly explained by another cause.''
So why wait for the referrals?
It might be more cost effective and less disruptive to have parents and their autistic children report to the authorities at six month intervals for an ‘’abuse and neglect’’ check or better still professionals could come en-masse to houses where there are autistic children for randomised ”abuse and neglect” spot-checks and them families could get a clean ‘’abuse and neglect’’ bill of health or not. Our children generally like predictability so the opportunity for regular visits is a positive in itself, although on reflection, the second option may be more suitable for children who will not leave their bedroom. After all there is nothing people like more than choice and I guess it could be one way to get the GP to make a home visit.
I realise it is going to be difficult to get the ”abuse and neglect checkers’’ trained up at short notice but there might be some trainee sock puppet ‘therapists’ who’d be up for it – a lot cheaper and more accessible than the fabled clinical expertise that we are told exists somewhere if we could only just navigate to it. ''Abuse and neglect checkers" could be trained up on a Friday afternoon and ready for action on the Monday.
is a real shame NICE guidance has no statutory force as I was advised by NICE when I asked why their guidance for autistic children is so comprehensively ignored, so that must be why it was’ent referred to in NICE’s own guidance on abuse and neglect.
This really is a bad country for children with SEN-D and their families.
( A hint to NICE, most recorded cases of neglect and abuse of autistic children occurs in residential or clinical settings by 'professionals'. The use of unsuitable restraint, most frequently carried out by untrained professionals, in any setting is abuse. Over-medication, most frequently carried out in secure settings by professionals, in any setting is abuse)