Am I a bad parent?:(

My son is 5 and going through the process of diagnosis, he’s got a great school who do one to one support and meditation/ nurture sessions. 

There was an incident whilst he was at a family members home where an older relative, primary school age nearing secondary and also autistic had asked my son to pull his trousers down and photograph his genitals. He’d then asked my son to photograph him. This happened allegedly when their grandmother had left the children unattended for around 10 minutes. 

I spoke to the older boys father about this and spoke to the headteacher at my sons school. Not in a derogatory way about any children involved, purely as the older children had been studying sex Ed I thought this might have made it a primary focus in this child’s mind and he was exploring it in an inappropriate way. I was also worried about the risk of images ending up on social media and in the wrong hands.

since this my family have completely ostracised my son, they have told their children to ignore him and have been ‘telling tales on him’ constantly to try and get him into trouble. They’re insulting me to him and have even contacted social services etc to make false allegations. All this is breaking his heart and sending him into meltdown:( is this my fault? I feel if I hadn’t of done anything he wouldn’t be suffering now. I don’t know if I should move schools, which in itself would be a huge upheaval? 

  • This must be heart breaking and I can't imagine what you are going through, I don't think you are a bad parent, you had concerns and raised them in an appropriate manner. 

    Hopefully social services will look at this matter sensibly and since you highlighted your concerns to the school after the incident it should help them to see from your perspective. 

    Families can be very strange things, it may be that they are embarrassed and trying to shift focus and blame from their child to yours instead of having an adult discussion about how or why this happened and how to stop it happening again 

    I would also suggest calling the helpline for some advice 

    Best wishes 

  • Dear NAS50318,

    I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with this distressing situation.  Following on from NAS39248's suggestion, there are two helplines that you might like to contact:

    You will find details about our Parent to Parent service here:  You can call free of charge on 0808 800 4106, or if you would prefer there is an online enquiry form which you can complete here:

    Alternatively you may like to contact our Autism Helpline team who can provide you with information and advice . You can contact the team via telephone 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. Alternatively, should you prefer to send a message, you can do so via their webform:

    I hope that helps.



  • This is a heartbreaking situation. Two autistic families falling out in this way. They may be reacting this way as they are worried and under pressure from school and social services, as parents of autistic children often are, so they are basically terrified and desperate.

    From a practical point of view, you absolutely want to complete the diagnosis and get some progress towards EHCP without changing the school, otherwise you might be faced with delays, which are always detrimental, while the new school gets their head around your son. The 10 years old will leave the school very soon anyway, so just hang on.