We can’t help if he won’t engage…

I would like to turn the premise of this reblogged post around, I agree with every single thing this blog post has said. But I think it’s the CAMHS practitioners (et al) that are not engaging! They are clueless and I think in many cases it’s more than learned helplessness, I think it’s that they couldn’t give a crap. They just want to parrot what they have learned from training and manuals, which is clearly inadequate as it’s theoretical and doesn’t take real people into account, their individual personalities, circumstances and what works for them. Ironically people with ASD are supposed to be rigid but I would say CAMHS staff are way more rigid, perhaps they have an autistic collective attitude. Inability to perceive what others need and refusal to deviate from their preferred modus operandi. For children with ASD and most especially PDA, going to CAMHS appointments can be almost impossible. Or they manage to get there but find that the person they are faced with doesn’t have the competence to help them or persist in working with them in a way that’s right for them. It’s a complete failure in duty of care to discharge a child from the service because they are struggling to engage.

Psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists should have the will to see that person as an individual and put down the rule book and keep going until they are successful. They should be flexible enough to provide home visits or meet at a place that the child feels is neutral. Sometimes autistic children don’t like the way the building looks or feels. CAMHS staff should also be prepared to change to a different practitioner when the child has a personal aversion to them, whether it’s the way they look, speak or smell. CAMHS should be prepared to offer female staff to female children, because many females feel intimidated or uncomfortable with male practitioners. It’s appalling what a failure CAMHS are, yes there are isolated successes where good practice has been evident, but as an entity CAMHS is the worst and fails so many children. Considering 1 in 10 children who use CAMHS are autistic, it’s beyond the pale that they get away with it. 4 years ago the Parliamentary inquiry into CAMHS reports on widespread failings, since then there have been NAS reports etc. and widespread media articles about mental health services failing children with mental ill-health. Why has nothing changed all this time later?!

“CAMHS and autism: A story in pictures…”

“CAMHS and Autism – A Story in Pictures” Episode 2”

It Must Be Mum

What does that really mean?

It means that if you can fit into the one-size-fits-all service that was designed for neurotypical people with an ordinary upbringing and a lifestyle that means you can drop everything and travel to a destination of our choice…

Then, and only then, will we consider you engaged enough to help you.

To everyone else, well, you should have engaged.

That is, of course, only the first step to satisfying the rules of engagement.  The next step is that you must interact with us in a way that we would like you to.  In a way that we can understand and relate to.  In a way that fits our rigid models and frameworks that have been designed around the needs of people like us.  That you will be able to cooperate and receive help in a way that suits our narrow outlook and ‘one-size-fits-all’ service.

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