Autistic Masking and Professionals Disbelieving Parents
Nov 12, 2016 — Dear Supporters,
one of the things I am being 'accused' of, is reporting difficulties our children have, that professionals 'don't see' (of course with the implication being that I am making things up). So professional ignorance of autistic children masking in school (https://help4psychology.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/children-who-mask-or-camouflage-their.html?showComment=1478807359748#c615428107062272974), automatically becomes disbelieve the parent? There are many articles and official sources of information about masking, especially in autistic females. So even if professionals are untrained in it, it's free for the taking. Disrespect for parents, is also very convenient when professionals want to avoid providing resources. If the child isn't disrupting the classroom, if they are suffering in silence and misery, bottling it up until they go home where they feel safe with parents to let it all out, and suffering declining mental health, the school doesn't care because the child isn't causing them problems. Especially when the child is "high-functioning" and academically able.
Many autistic children are rule-bound and will diligently do their school work because they are 'supposed to'. That does not mean their mental health is fine, or they aren't having sensory and socialising difficulties and by the time anyone listens and believes parents, it is often already too late. What happened to early intervention to stop problems escalating?
It's convenient to label a parent as difficult, because once you label someone that way, it makes everyone ignore what they have to say. It undermines their voice and makes them out a liar without further ado. I thought when I left school, that I left the playground behind. I was wrong. Professionals gather together in their cliques, with a goal in common, to bad-mouth someone who has challenged or questioned their errors and failings. Doesn't anyone have pride in their work or care about the impact they cause on our children and us parents? Isn't a job helping children, meant to mean you actually help children?
Autistics often don't recognise heirarchies, we have a strong sense of justice and a need for accuracy. We also follow processes and rules to the letter. We do not realise how our communication will be taken by the other side because we follow logic. So if something goes wrong, we politely raise it without compunction. We may ask for reports with errors in to be corrected. We may utilise complaints processes when things go wrong – isn't that what they are there for? So why do we get punished for wanting professionals to do a good job for our children? If what's written down is wrong, how can the correct support be generated from that? Doesn't the Government say that parents are the experts in our own children? Our children are tomorrow's adults, isn't there a problem for everyone, if a significant number of tomorrow's adults have poor outcomes and cannot contribute well to society?
"Parents on the autism continuum: Links with parenting efficacy
Our experience is that mothers of children with ASD are often more accepting of the personal impact of ASD, are frequently highly active in pursuing resources and support for their child ("The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome" Attwood, 2007), and more open to studying and developing their skills as parents."
Are all LAs going to target all autistic mothers (or non-autistic autism mothers) who are 'highly active in pursuing resources' their child needs? If so, where will this end? Please help stamp out this discrimination and unlawfulness. This petition can be a bench mark for * all * misbehaving authorities across the UK and even further afield.
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