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Hi all,

I hope you won't mind me posting this here even though I've only joined the forum today.

I have an adopted son of 20 with autism. He is called Steven. I was ill after Christmas and arranged for him to go to his regular respite unit for three days. I was told the following day that he had been moved to a "Positive Behaviour Unit" and was pesuaded to let him stay there for two weeks "to get myself back on my feet". A Week later, I was told he was being kept there for an indefinate period to work on his challenging behaviour. He hasnt been allowed to return home since.

He is in a terrible double bind. In the four months prior to him going away, we had 14 incidents of "challenging behaviour" at home. If you understand about autism and what an "autistic meltdown" is like, then the figure of 14 isn't too bad. In the seven months Steven has been at the "Positive Behaviour Unit", they have recorded 306 "incidents". Lots of experts in the autism field have contacted me to confirm that greater levels of aggression = greater levels of anxiety but social services are refusing to acknowledge this. Earlier this year, Steven was left unsupervised in the care home (and there were only 2 other residents), left the house and met a vicar whose glasses he removed. As a consequence of this, the local authority served Steven with a Deprivation of Liberty order.

On that afternoon, Steven was left unsupervised and left the premises on his own. I've never been able to find out exactly how long he was on his own. To this day, the Authority havent acknowledged they failed in their duty of care that afternoon. I'm not into blame at all but it seems that to cover up their own failure, Steven is to some extent, carrying the can. The vicars glasses incident happened on 16th April. On 17th April, I met with the manager to discuss and agree the next phase of Steven's transition home programme. On 19th April, Steven was served an emergency Deprivation of Liberty Order, which is still in place. The order wasnt mentioned during the meeting on 17th April and on the 18th April, Steven went swimming without incident and came for a home visit without incident. I've never received an answer as to why the order was served, and why was it served at that particular time.

The latest bombshell is that they want to move Steven to an out of borough specialist unit to work on his "extreme challenging behaviour". This will cause untold damage as he will lose his normal support workers, his friends and all the places he goes to that are so important in helping him feel secure.

There is a money angle to this case. It is becoming increasingly clear to me and Steven's supporters that the Local Authority are trying to shift the cost of Steven's support package on to the PCT and the only way they can do that is by exagerating the challenging behaviour because that will score him more points and move him into PCT funding category.

I could write reams on this story but really came here to ask if you would be willing to a) find out more about this case and b) if you agree, sign the petition to allow Steven to return home.

You can find the petition http://www.Petitiononline.com/Steven/petition.html
There is a Facebook group - Get Steven Home which you can find at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=134345726596848 and gives lots more information, including links to newspaper and radio articles.

Thanks for reading this and if you feel you can, please pass this on to family and friends. Steven just wants to be home with his family and friends who he has lived with quite happily and successfully for the last 15 years.
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I saw this ages ago on facebook and have supported with emails and petition signing since, it is an absolute political mess with only innocents suffering.The sooner they sort it out the better!
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Hello Mark,
Its a story that has been posted by another member here before and i also signed the petition back then.
Its the most unusual case on the basis that we have so many parents begging for help and social services simply say they dont have the funding yet your boy wants to be home and you want him home and yet they insist on wasting the money looking after him when there appears to be no need.

There is a good radio interview here about the case:

If the above does not work in your browser it can also be viewed on the following link:
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Well, this morning we visited the psychiatrist for Steven's second mental capacity assessment. The good thing was that it was with the psychiatrist Steven has been under since he was 18, so he had some knowledge of the background. We were in the room 1 hour and 10 minutes and Steven did remarkably well to sit calmly all that time because there were a few occassions when it got quite heated.

It became clear in the first ten minutes that the psychiatrist had been given an untrue picture of why Steven was at the positive behaviour unit in the first place. He had been told that it was because I had been struggling with Steven's challenging behaviour. he was quite shocked when I told him the real reason!He clearly hadnt been told that Steven left his home for three days normal respite. It made something that happened back in January fall into place. Steven had a normal appointment with the psychiatrist at the end of January. I arranged to meet them there at 2pm. I got there about 20 minutes early and waited outside. I'd been waiting for about five minutes when Steven, the manager of the unit and Steven's support workers emerged from the hospital. I was told that Steven's appointment had been brought forward but nobody had told me. Just think how different that appointment would have been if I had been there and told them how Steven came to be at the Positive behaviour unit. More and more, it becomes obvious that things were set up from the start.

It was also awkward when the psychiatrist asked Steven why he was at the unit. He was looking to hear Steven say something about his challenging behaviour but Steven said it was "cos Dad was not well next Wednesday" (i.e. the day he went to the respite unit). As I have never been able to fully answer why Steven is at the unit, it's not suprising he has no answer either.

Back to the assessment - Steven made it quite clear that he wanted to live at the uxbridge house. Now matter how the question was phrased, he always came up with that answer.

There were two times he got stuck and started to get agitated. The first time the psychiatrist asked if him "Merchiston was better than......" I could see Steven was getting confused by this because to him "better" is what happens to you after you have been unwell!When one of his support workers rephrased it to, "which do you like best?", he was back to choosing the Uxbridge house.

The other occassion was when the psychiatrist asked him waht he liked to do at Merchiston. Steven replied: "Watch telly". He was asked the question a further three times and each time, he answered "watch telly". The psychiatrist took this as Steven not understanding the question but I said that was all he could answer because that was pretty much all he did. When asked the same question about the Uxbridge house, he came up with five things he liked to do. 5-1 to the Uxbridge House!

Needless to say the psychiatrist announced at the end that he was going to recommend that Steven does not have the mental capacity to decide where he wants to live. In his opinion, Steven cannot make an informed decision about the matter.

So, that's that. It just proves what an uphill struggle its going to be in court when such blatant lies are put before the people making these life changing decisions.
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Hi Mark,

I too have been following this story.
Have you been in touch with IMCA to get them involved?

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