One cold winter’s day, Stephen’s father succumbed to the flu. Genuine flu – you don’t suffer from ‘Man Flu’ when you are a full time single parent carer. He rang his local authority’s respite centre, where Stephen had been once before, to ask if they could look after him for three days. They could.
At the end of that first day in respite, despite the fact that Stephen had been there many times before, the staff felt themselves ‘unable to cope with Stephen’. He was aware that his Father was ill and upset at being separated from him. The respite centre transferred him to the ominously named ‘Positive Behaviour Unit’.
Now the Positive Behaviour Unit is a mighty politically correct place. Tap someone on the shoulder to attract their attention, and they don’t think ‘that is how Stephen has always attracted my attention since he was a child’ – they say – ‘he touched me, that is an assault’ and promptly record it in their daily log…..
When Stephen’s Father went to collect him after three days, they had logged many such ‘assaults’ – and announced that they were retaining Stephen for ‘assessment’. No! His Father couldn’t take him home.
I hate bone-headed theories about treating autism. It seems the only party upset with Stephen is the State.