Get Steven home

Mark Neary is raising awareness of the situation his family find themselves in. Read his story and then please sign his petition. Help him get Steven home.

Get Steven Home

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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