I am an autistic adult who is a parent. Since having my daughter I went through a terrible time with social services who set me up to fail and removed my daughter from me because I have a diagnosis of autism. It took me two years to fight for my daughter back and through this time social services and Cafcass used the so called deficits of my autism to justify the removal and to stop the return of my daughter. Thankfully the judge saw through this and returned my daughter concluding in her judgment that I parent my daughter to a high standard.
I want to know how many my adults will autism who are parents have been through a similar situation. How many parents with ASD and other disabilities and or impairments are being targeted by social services and having their children removed? If you have experienced this please tell your story because the current system is outrageously discriminative against parents who have a disability and or impairment and I would like to raise awareness of the current failures within the current child protection system which is targeting parents with disabilities and or impairments so that change can happen.
Wow that's terrible. I hope, now reunited, you are able to find some happiness together. Best of luck
Hi yes thank you,
we have been reunited for almost a year now and social services have admitted that I am a good Mother. We are now persuing a claim for Violation of human rights against social services.
I really believe that what happened to me and my daughter is happening to many parents as the current system is very discriminatory against parents who have disabilities and or impairments it needs to change.
How do social services even get involved or find out a parent is autistic to start with??
So glad you have your daughter back. So wrong it ever had to be something you had to go through.
Before I gave birth to my daughter I had a lot of anxiety about becoming a Mom. I had nothing to compare it to because this was my first baby and I was scared and worried about what it was going to be like so I sort help and support from social services thinking that they would support me. It was the worst decision I made in my life and social services certainly did not help or support me. In fact they set me up to fail and by the time my daughter was 7 weeks old they had taken her.
I also had really poor legal representation and they decided that because I had a diagnosis of autism, I didn't have capacity despite medical records making it clear that I had full capacity. Social services cherry picked evidence to make it appear that I could not parent my daughter. They withheld from the court all the positive evidence so the judge was deceived and because I had majorly poor representation my solicitor at the time did not make enquiries to collate the positive evidence which was readily available at the time.
I did change solicitors and went to a solicitor who helped me show the court how underhanded social services had been. The judge also ruled that the evidence should not have been withheld and the judge at the time should have seen all the evidence and had that happened my daughter would not have been removed.
I'm glad you got your daughter back.
"Cherry picking evidence" that's the phrase I was looking for earlier. I'm glad you said it. Because that's what was used to fire me from my last job.
That's a terrible story and I'm glad it all worked out. I'm not a parent so haven't specifically had the experience of witnessing something specifically related to autism, but I have witnessed social services in action using their power to steamroll ahead with their own agenda without full evidence of the situation so I'm well aware of the inadequacies of the system.
My sister's first child, my oldest nephew, was almost adopted out of the family. As a baby at the time, he was rushed to hospital one day from the home of the child minder. I don't want to go into too much detail as it's not my story to tell, but I'll state the basics. In Hospital he was found to have suffered some brain injuries that could only have happened from intentional physical abuse so the Hospital was right to contact social services. The problem was that before social services had done any investigating their immediate response was "We're taking him away from the family and putting him up for adoption because statistics say it's most likely the parents. Therefore, in this individual circumstance it must be the parents."
In the first instance, my sister believed that the system would be fair, so her initial response was to state her innocence believing social services would investigate and find her innocent. Therefore, she took no action to get legal professionals to act for her. In that short space of time social services had the power to do anything they wanted. My initial response was to get legal professionals on board as quickly as possible because I didn't trust them. We had some lucky factors in our circumstances, but when social services and the police are failing to do their jobs properly while operating from a very biased perspective that my sister and her husband were the abusers you can understand how easily things could have gone so wrong for our family. So, the system wasn't fair on my sister and her husband, the lives of all our family got so disrupted, but in the end the judge, who acted very fairly and listened with an open mind found my sister and her husband innocent while finding the child minder guilty.
At the end of it all, social services and the police never apologised for their failings or their bias from the beginning. If some of our circumstances may have been different we may not have been so lucky. I have no doubts that there are people who have been let down and failed by the system so I feel a great deal of sadness for any family that gets broken up simply because the system decrees it without proper evidence or investigation.
It might be a good idea to contact some local disability rights groups and get involved with them for a while to find out how you can support social workers to better understand autism and to maybe help them to be able to help autistic parents to better overcome their difficulties.
You weren't clear who you would like to bring awareness to but I'm guessing that you're talking about social workers. Maybe you could go into social work departments and give talks and information on autism?
Whatever approach you take or however you decide to contribute, I'm sure the disability rights groups would be able to help you to device a plan of what steps you will need to take.
Good luck. I think it's very honourable for you to do this. I know when I was a parent, it was all I could do just to keep it together as a parent, without working, paid or unpaid. I think it's great you can do that. We need more people like you. Thank you and good luck because I know I could have used some help with raising my son when he was still a child.