Autistic Mum At Crisis Point

Hi,

I really need some help and don’t know who to ask any more.

I am a 50 year old recently diagnosed autistic Mum of two young children. My son is aged 9 and is diagnosed with an autistic spectrum condition and ADHD and my daughter who is aged 6 has not been diagnosed as yet but displays many autistic traits - even starting the ball rolling for an assessment for her fills me with dread so we just assume she is autistic, and try to support her as best we can.

My biggest challenge this far has been that, like everything else these days, you have to be absolutely broken before anyone even looks your way. I have spent my whole life trying to shave off the edges of my square peg and make it fit into the round hole that is life and now, it would appear that I have done it too well.

I have always been at ‘capacity’ in terms of daily living as I had managed to secure a full time professional job which used up a lot of my capacity but i was able to ‘manage’ that when it was just me and a job that I had to cope with. Add a relationship and two small children to that mix and gradually my little snowball has been set off down a massive hill, gathering speed, getting bigger and bigger and it’s just about to smash into a brick wall and explode into a million tiny pieces that will never go back together again.

I have subtly asked for help through various avenues over the last eight years but because everything ‘appears’ okay and the children have two parents, a roof over their head, are getting fed and not being mistreated then we just have to be okay. There are no resources anywhere and there are so many other children and families in a much worse position who need any resource that is available.

However, I am now at absolute crisis point where I’m not able to get myself through a day, never mind look after my children properly and turn up for my job. The knock on effect of everything that has happened has eventually caused our family unit to break down, which is the worst thing that could have happened to two young autistic children, I have been off work so often now that my employers are making it very difficult for me to hold onto my job, but I need my job in order to pay my mortgage.

I don’t know who to turn to to get some help - there doesn’t seem to be anyone who can help me with the whole picture. I can attend my local One Stop Shop and can talk about my autism, which is great, but there are obviously no solutions and they can’t really help me to get help with my children. CHIP+ and The Pines can’t really help me with my own autism as they deal with the children’s side of things and you have to proactively seek out their help in terms of attending workshops etc. I have had no personal help or support at all for my children either at home or in school as we all appear to be coping. Occupational Health Doctors and GP’s don’t seem to know enough about autism and deem me fit for work (although I haven’t been able to get a referral to OH for months now) and my employers are only interested in the business and want me to carry out my job the way I did before, and if I can’t, then I should leave.

This year my relationship has broken down, the family house out in the country was sold, we moved into two separate houses in the city, we changed the children’s school, I was diagnosed autistic, my public body employer has treated me disgracefully so I have had to have dealings with Union Representatives, Union Lawyers, ACAS lawyers, and all to no avail. My children have recently been put on the 'at risk' list by the school and I have lost all my pride and dignity altogether now.  I feel like a pawn in a game where I haven’t a clue what the rules are, what the objective of the game is, who is on ‘my side’, but that the game is going ahead regardless…. I am totally lost and feel like my whole life is out of control and that nobody has a clue what is really going on for me….and if they do, they don’t know how to help or don’t have the resources to help.

I feel that there is no good way for this all to end….I will either end up in the local psychiatric hospital, not be allowed to look after my children any more, have no job and no house or I won’t be here at all…..there is no money to allow any public services to be proactive nowadays….it’s all reactive….and sometimes the reaction comes too late.

I am proud of everything I have achieved in my life but it has been a massive struggle and I’ve got nothing left to give any more. There is a part of me that still wants to fight, not for me, but for my children and the younger autistic population and I would want to shame my employer and prevent similar things from happening again, but the odds seem to be stacked against me and Employment Law tends to protect the Employer and not the Employee.

If I could somehow get out of my job without committing financial suicide or at least with my pension then I would slowly be able to pick up the pieces of my life and concentrate on getting myself better so that I can at least be there for my children and try and set them on the right path before it’s too late for them as well, but I have no idea how to do that.

If anyone can help me at all, can suggest a good employment lawyer who knows something about autism, or can give me any ideas on what to do next I would be extremely grateful.

Thank you.