Help! My son was badly bullied a few years ago away at university and has been suffering from depression and anxiety. He has also been diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder. We live in the North of Scotland and have found it difficult to get him help and his mental health has deteriated. A few weeks he got into a black hole and had a meltdown, he had a knife and we feared for his life so called 999. The police came and son lost all reason and ended up being pepper sprayed, spent the night in the cells and is now facing three charges and court appearances. A week after he was also diagnosed with Autism. As you can imagine his mood is even lower after this. We need help to explain that it was his mental health conditions that caused the meltdown. Is there any advice out there that can help a struggling family.
You could get advice from Disability Law Service dls.org.uk/.../
It sounds like you have all had a very difficult and troubling time.
I see you've got a good contact in the Disability Law Service from DragonCat16.
Our NAS Criminal Justice page might be helpful for you, there are lots of links for people dealing with the criminal justice system from both sides. This page includes a link to a list of law firms which have experience of working with, and representing, autistic people: http://www.autism.org.uk/professionals/others/criminal-justice.aspx
I am also going to give you a link to our Post Diagnosis page - You may find the following leaflet which you can download from our website useful: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis/whats-next-information-campaign.aspx
Please contact our Autism Helpline team who might be able to help. They can provide you with information and advice on your issue. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor.
Please see the following link for further information: http://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/main.aspx
Hope this information helps,
I don't know if it's any consolation to you, but I was in trouble back in 2010. At the time, I was off work following a suicidal breakdown. This was before I'd been diagnosed with autism, and at a time when it was suspected by my therapist that I had BPD. I was living in an apartment block where a young neighbour in an adjoining flat had just died in mysterious circumstances. The police visited us and told us that they suspected it was carbon monoxide poisoning, and the boiler in the block (which was old and hadn't been properly serviced by the landlord) was to blame. I completely lost the plot on that news. I hadn't been drinking for a while... but I got drunk that night and smashed up the boiler room. I broke all the windows, kicked down some doors and destroyed the boiler chimney. Bear in mind that I had never been violent before in my life. I was arrested and spent a night locked up. I lost my home as a result.
No charges were pressed against me, though, because of the extenuating circumstances, and in view of my mental health.
Hopefully, all of your son's history and his diagnosis will similarly be taken into account, and the charges will be thrown out. I sincerely hope so - but follow the other advice you've been given.
Hi, you must request a Psychiatric Assessment report done for the court hearing. I've been through a terrible time with the court and my son in a different situation. The solicitor can arrange this at the first hearing for Assesment. The legal aid will pay for the assesment or the court can pay for it as they did in our situation.
I hope you can get the support you need and a decent solicitor for your son if need be.
Please get a solicitor to get a Psychiatric Assesment done. We've been through this stage and going back to court with the final report.
Hi Angel, Thanks for replying. Yes our solicitor suggested he plead guilty and then we try to mitigate at a later date. We were not happy with that and have said we would want an assessment done before we get to that stage. I will need to stand firm and possibly change solicitor! Who would do that assessment is it someone independent? or our GP? any ideas. Thanks very much.
This is what my son's solicitor did, made him plead guilty, to get Psychiatric Assessment done. I don't get that either. The rules to change solicitor today is you can't change them if you have already applied and signed Legal Aid form with them. It's no longer transferable. Your solicitor can apply for an assessment and ask for consent form for G.P records. You can also write to the court to change solicitor and find new one, but the court Refused us! I think it's rotten we can't change useless solicitors! All we can do is find organisations to intervene as we did. We got a fab Autism Advocate coming to meetings and speaking with solicitor. Being a parent/carer, solicitors don't take us seriously, and always use capacity against us to exclude me! And we have an unqualified solicitor in the field of medical! Very rude person we have. We just have to write down mitigation and hand deliver it to court, send a copy to solicitor to be heard these days! Look for local Autistic Advocate in your area and normally have to register with them first as we did. This solicitor will be given the tool kit from NAS from me!