In January 2011, Issy was taken to her local GP about her periods.
We weren’t informed she was going.
She was kept waiting in the GP’s reception.
That evening, NAS rang and told us there had then been an incident.
Issy had tried to leave the surgery, and ‘back up’ had been summoned by her care worker, Issy retrained, and taken back to her NAS home.
Issy returned home three days later, with bruises, all over her body.
Horrified, we asked how she got them, but received no explanation.
My husband noticed a copy of the body map, completed the same day, as her restraint at the GPs.
It was kept in a separate incident book.
Yet, an OFSTED report had recommended, it not be kept separately.
It recorded 48 bruises.
But there was no paediatric assessment, or any medical examination.
A meeting was not held until 10 th May 2011.
A strategy discussion between Isabel’s independent reviewing officer, safe guarding services Barnsley, social worker, and head master.
Notes from this meeting state;
‘They (parents) had enjoyed a really good Christmas holiday with her (Isabel). However on her return to Robert Ogden things had been very concerning. On 11 January Isabel had attempted to abscond from the GP surgery appointment and they strongly felt that the GP should have been asked to visit her at Clayton Croft in the light of her difficulties with strange environments. When she returned home for the following weekend a total of 48 bruises had been documented on a body map. There was no discussion of these bruises at the looked after review meeting held the same day. The Easter holiday had been spent in Ireland and Isabel had been fine within the apartment but had tried to abscond when in town. There had been two incidents when she had exhibited signs of distress but there had been no need to restrain her and she had no bruises during this period’.
When I asked what they meant by ‘restraint’, the NAS head teacher said they took hold of her arms, either side, and walked briskly.
Disturbed by this horrific whitewash, of the infliction of 48 bruises on a vulnerable child, I pointed out, that blaming injuries on ‘self harm’, would hide, and therefore, encourage abuse.
I received silent, patronising nods.
Any bruises received at home, would not have been regarded as ‘self-harm’.
On returning from our care. Issy was always checked by NAS, for marks, despite no reported incidents.
If there had been any, Issy would have been made subject to a s47 Childrens Act paediatric assessment, paid for by the LA, so not independent, us prosecuted, our jobs lost, made social pariah’s, and worse still never allowed alone with Issy again.
Such was, and is, the terror of the State’s Damocles sword, that hangs over ours, and every parent’s heads.
In stark contrast, what can, anyone, do about state abuse?
We could not go to the police.
Who could they prosecute, in the extremely unlikely event, they decided it was not ‘self harm’.
And the Care Quality Commission, and OFSTED, do not consider individual’s complaints.
No one can, or will, even acknowledge state abuse.
The notes, show the meeting recommended the following actions;
-Any use of restraint will be notified to Mr and Mrs X as well as to Social Care.
-Body Maps will be made available .
-Wherever possible medical appointments will be arranged at Clayton Croft
-The referral to CAMHS to be progressed
None of these actions were ever taken, or implemented.
A follow up strategy meeting was set for 28 th June, as far as I am aware, it did not take place.
On Isabel’s return home in 2013, we complained about NAS’s abuse of Issy .
Her different social worker, attended a similar meeting in May 2013, we were not invited.
She fed back, the meeting had concluded, all bruises were self-harm.
This is now accepted, as the truth, by the LA, and will be used as the excuse to encage, and drug her.
Ofsted report for Robert Ogden 2010-11 was ‘outstanding’.
After this incident, poor Issy was a changed girl.
As her restraint had been whitewashed, its likely effect on Issy,- poo impaction, loss of trust , and post traumatic stress disorder, could not be considered.
Instead, the ever present, corporate self- preservation, kicked in; her risk assessment level was, no doubt, raised, and she was rarely taken out, and when she was, was reluctant to get out of the NAS van.
She now, totally, refused to go into her classroom. And spent her time, mainly in her bedroom.
And above, is a page from that File, Science 2, Making Choices, dated 2/5/12.
It states, Isabel did a cooking activity where she observed the ingredients changing texture. When the buns had cooked, staff showed Isabel the buns and explained that the runny buns had set to create a solid bun.
Such is education costing £200,000 per annum.
She went from 12 to 7 stones, her periods stopped, and she became poo incontinent.
But despite frequent requests, no GP would visit Issy to examine her in her NAS home, and, after the incident on her last visit to the GP they would not take her.
Instead Issy was fed build up drinks, and vitamin tablets, both, exacerbate impactions.
The independent reviewing officer, repeatedly claimed medical care, was our responsibility, even though she was registered with their home’s GP, 25 miles away.
We rang this GP, but only a locum was prepared to go out, and she never did.
One of our recent agency workers, had worked shifts at that time in the NAS home.
She told us Issy’s meals were put into her room via the window. And she had been the only person, who had got her to eat a filled nachos, by taking the filling out.
In October 2012, whilst driving home for the weekend, Isabel attacked me in the back of our car.
We were forced to stop at the side of a very busy A road, 5 miles from her NAS home.
I got out with Eleanor, and stood on the grass verge, whilst Issy wrestled with Seamus in the drivers seat.
I rang for help from her NAS home, they sent their van out, and drove behind with Issy.
Despite warning of such an incident for months, we could not secure transport, so I had videoed the struggle on my mobile.
On Monday, our social worker emailed that the NAS workers had noticed bruising on Isabel’s arms, and the social services were considering a s47 paediatric examination.
NAS knew of the incident, and the bruising, as they had driven her home, but the incident was not mentioned.
We were beside ourselves, thinking we could be prosecuted, and, cut out of Issy life, for ever.
I showed him the video. Thank God I’d taken it.
The bruises now became indicative of defensive action, and to prevent Issy getting of the car.
And we got a van, and a harness.
The wonders of irrefutable evidence.
In November CAMHS became involved.
We met up with their psychiatrist in Issy’s NAS home, she visited Isabel in her bedroom.
We were not allowed to.
The psychiatrist looked visibly shocked.
And agreed that it would be better for Issy, if she could live at home, but this was not possible.
She prescribed antidepressants.
We were not happy with this, but relieved it was not risperidone.
My constant pleas, that she had all the signs of a second faecal impaction were ignored.
Issy received no physical examination.
No GP ever visited her.
As ever, her physical problems were ignored.
The National Autistic Society were being paid, at this time, just under £6000 per week for Isabel’s care, factoring in her time with us, equal to an unbelievable £9,000, as tax free.
For which they provided minimum wage care staff, and agency carers, to sit outside her room, attempt to wash and dress her, but not apparently to feed her.
She did not go out, or, to school.
Issy’s behaviour worsened on the antidepressants.
She became more aggressive and agitated.
Over our two weeks Christmas holiday in Ireland, she would not go out, so we thought the only thing to do, was to see if her behaviour improved without the antidepressants.
Immediately she became less aggressive, and we were then able to take her out in our hire car on trips to the sea, for walks and café lunches.
Isabel at Christmas in Ireland.