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Oliver’s story

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I was shocked to learn recently that Adult Psychiatrists apparently receive no training in autism. It is only the Psychiatrists who choose to specialise in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry after their initial course who receive training in autism. No wonder that there is so little awareness in Adult Services! I strongly believe that training in autism should be made compulsory for Psychiatrists as well as other healthcare professionals.

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Oliver’s petition will be debated in parliament on Monday 22 October. We will be asking for the GMC and deans to take ownership of the training as doctors are the decision makers. Most doctors and nurses never receive any training in autism and learning disability awareness. Culture has to change. 

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I’ve been thinking about you all all over the weekend. How did it go today, Primrose? x

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I think it was a very powerful emotional debate. They did say that autism would form part of the mandatory training which is excellent 

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Just seen on BBC breakfast that mandatory autistic training has been announced by the government for NHS staff. @primrose has fought hard for this in memory of her son and others who have not had their needs heard and responded to. 

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It was good to see this on BBC breakfast today. I hope that Primrose and family are proud of their great achievement to support those with autism. I hope the training makes a difference to the treatment of young people who cannot always speak up for themselves. 

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My eldest daughter has recently asked to go back on ADHD medication as she is certain that ADHD is at the bottom of her constant depression. Her G.P. can’t prescribe ADHD medication without a consultant referral and and a diagnosis of adult ADHD. Okay, please refer her. There was a nine month wait. We’re actually lucky that there is a new adult ADHD clinic in Lincolnshire. She finally saw the consultant a fortnight ago. She wanted my daughter off all meds and anything containing caffeine. She can barely function at the moment. Hopefully it will be long before she is back on ADHD medication as the 1995 diagnosis was confirmed. The consultant also says my daughter has a degree of PTSD - from school! I didn’t know until much later how appallingly her so called peers had treated her at a mainstream school because she was on ADHD medication. She never had a proper psychiatric evaluation because “she is clever” - their words. Anyway, all this and Oliver’s tragedy have made her decide that when she finally gets back on ADHD medication she is definitely going to push to go into mental health nursing or counselling. The recent disclosure of how a teenage girl with autism has been treated, also a local suicidal teen and the various stories of young friends or friends with teenagers has convinced me that this country does not have proper mental health care for its patients. 

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It was very good news indeed to hear that all Primrose’s campaigning has led to the introduction of mandatory training.

 

Best wishes to your daughter Fiz.

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Oh Fiz :(  This country's mental health system sucks in so many respects.  Not only in the length of time it takes to get seen, by which time the situation may be so much worse, but I've seen so many instances of people's benefit applications being turned down or limited because they happen to be intelligent or well-educated or whatever - this certainly counts against you in an assessment, in the same way that being "kempt" (the opposite of unkempt) and well-presented do - and the assessor therefore assumes they don't have a problem.  My heart goes out to your whole family - my former downstairs neighbour had a child with ADHD, so I have some idea of what you go through in such cases.

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We recently contacted our GP about some difficulties ds was having (he is autistic and severe anxiety was causing alarming behaviours).  The GP said if it happens again call the police and they will arrest him!!!!  Ds is 15 years old!

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Sending very best wishes to your whole family, Fiz, as you are all going through this together.  I do hope your daughter gets the help and care that she needs in order to bring about recovery or amelioration.  xx

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Pictures, it sounds as though your GP should be one of the first targets of the new policy :(  If GPs don't understand, who will?

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55 minutes ago, Picturesinthefirelight said:

We recently contacted our GP about some difficulties ds was having (he is autistic and severe anxiety was causing alarming behaviours).  The GP said if it happens again call the police and they will arrest him!!!!  Ds is 15 years old!

Sadly this is all too common. A friends husband who’s a police officer regularly has to ‘arrest’ a minor having psychotic episodes as it’s the only way to get him some immediate help. 

We had to pay for private consultation to get the help my dc needed. It was a struggle but our concern was he wouldn’t survive GP inactivity or NHS waiting lists. It was worth every penny although GP wasn’t keen to read the 3 page report from psychiatrist that detailed diagnosis and treatment. We ended up paying for the recommended therapy too. 

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1 hour ago, Picturesinthefirelight said:

We recently contacted our GP about some difficulties ds was having (he is autistic and severe anxiety was causing alarming behaviours).  The GP said if it happens again call the police and they will arrest him!!!!  Ds is 15 years old!

 

That is absolutely dreadful Pictures.  Best wishes to you all.

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3 hours ago, Picturesinthefirelight said:

We recently contacted our GP about some difficulties ds was having (he is autistic and severe anxiety was causing alarming behaviours).  The GP said if it happens again call the police and they will arrest him!!!!  Ds is 15 years old!

I think this is common advice to get the young person into the system. We have family experience of a teenager with out of control behaviour related to autism and despite there being clear evidence that he needed help for some time, the GP and Camhs failed him badly. His family were told to call the police when he had a meltdown as he would have to be taken to a place of safety and assessed. He was, and then entered the mental health system and after quite a long time, including a period of over a year where he was sectioned under the mental health act, help has been forthcoming. It is so sad that it had to get to that point as it was distressing for all and could have been avoided if he had been given when asked for. Best wishes to your son, Pictures. Happy for you to pm me if I can help with more information. 

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Oiver's story on BBC breakfast

 

This link takes you to a report on the announcement about the training.  Somewhere there is a clip of Primrose being interviewed today, I have seen it on facebook, but can't find it on the BBC right now.  I don't know if she is likely to log on here, but her tireless campaigning will raise awareness and hopefully make a difference for some vulnerable people. 

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8 hours ago, alison said:

Pictures, it sounds as though your GP should be one of the first targets of the new policy :(  If GPs don't understand, who will?

 

Okay, I may possibly have misjudged the GP.  Or maybe not.

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A huge congratulations to Primrose for fighting tirelessly to get this campaign firstly to parliament which is an almost impossible challenge and now the law has been passed that all NHS professionals must have mandatory training in autism, this is all in Oliver’s name. 

Primrose has fought so hard so no other vulnerable child or adult suffers in the horrific way that Oliver did. If you haven’t read his story, then please do. Primrose and her family are in so much pain to have lost such a kind and vibrant young boy, who had everything to live for. 

A huge congratulations to Primrose, I am so very proud of you. 

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