My son benefited so much from Aspirations all those years ago as a child, and he thought he could live independently as a young adult, but now as an adult, he is really struggling. Particularly through the COVID lockdown, he’s had three separate serious crisis moments. Even in the days before he came to you, he was in bed for 36 hours straight saying he didn’t see the point in ever getting out again. I was deeply concerned again as I’m sure you can imagine.
Unfortunately, Social Services have proved to be unfit for purpose. Since December 2020 when things got serious he’s had 6 social workers all seeming capable of ticking boxes but not actually “doing” anything to support him.
I had said to them from the beginning what he needed is a service that understands autism but as he’s on benefits he couldn’t afford it.
He’s suffered greatly while the system failed him repeatedly. Unfortunately, because I’m not working I can’t afford to pay for his extra care. He’s also fallen into debt because of mismanaging the money that he was given and being taken advantage of by so-called friends. His vulnerability is clearly evident even if he’d like to think he’s streetwise.
Then to hear from you that he could have a couple of sessions at IAM Celebrating Autism Greater Manchester was just wonderful. So getting him up and out he went last Wednesday where we stayed for a couple of hours but then went back on Thursday and stayed for the full session.
It’s hard to put into words the difference between Mondays depression and his enthusiasm and clarity in which he told me about everything to do with a level 17 Elvin something (a Dungeons and Dragon game he had joined) and speaking to a new friend who was deaf and so he googled some words so we could say hello properly.
Just writing this down in words brings tears to the back of my eyes. If only this support was available more freely, but with him being on benefits and social services so incapable of providing support, it may be impossible to continue.
For me, I AM Autistic Support Service is quite literally the difference between him up and engaging in Society in a healthy way so he can actually get a job and move on in life and as has been the case in the last 2 years just trying to keep him alive from him not killing himself.
I’d like to say just because he’s autistic doesn’t mean he hasn’t significant capabilities which will be wasted if he didn’t have that little extra support. He has done his A levels, and access to university qualification and given the rights support he could be an active member in society but without such he’s either going to be dead or trying not to end up on the streets, or in jail or just suffering unnecessarily.
I’ve kept this email sort of anonymised so you may wish to use it or share it with people who could provide funding to your essential service. Maybe they don’t understand you save lives, quite literally.
Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. Even in these few sessions, you’ve provided a light that he thought didn’t exist and had gone out forever.
To find out about how I AM can offer support contact us at admin@i-am autism.org.uk or give us a call on 0161 866 8483