Ouch…

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I haven’t written for a while, so I thought I’d write a quick post explaining where I’ve been…

9th September, in the afternoon, I was going to visit my friends at their house for a girly pamper session. Instead of going to the crossing, I decided to take the risk and run across the road, and as the cars had stopped, I assumed it would be safe. I didn’t think that there would be cars driving the other direction. I didn’t hear or see the car properly until it was too late, when a silver car hit me at 20mph, and sent me spinning into the road. I was rushed to A&E, where it was revealed that I’d smashed my tibia and fibula, and needed to be operated on. I was in hospital for five days, as I was operated on in the afternoon after the accident. I have a metal rod holding the bones together, and I’ll be on crutches for 6-8 weeks whilst it heals.

Because of my injury, social services decided it would be safer for me to go and stay with my foster mum in Hampshire for a little bit, so I can get used to my crutches and they can sort out some proper domestic support for me to come back to on Monday. It’s been nice to spend time with the children, and seeing people down here, but at least I’ll be back in time for Fresher’s Week, although I won’t be able to lug stuff around as I’m meant to as an Angel, I should still be able to help out!

And I’m getting the chance to start reading through some of my reading list for university, as I’ve ordered some to be delivered to my foster mum’s. I’ll miss my little foster brother constantly making tea for me as I’m working, and the bustle of family life, but it will also be nice to return to a reasonably normal academic life.

So, what a start to my academic year! Hopefully the rest of the year will be considerably less manic!

Save Clare Dyer – What the Hell?

A month or so ago, Kevin Healey, a campaigner on autism issues who is very active on Twitter, mentioned that a young 20 year old woman with severe autism and challenging behaviour has ended up being separated from her family in Swansea, Wales, and placed in a mental institution in Brighton. Yes, you read that right, in Brighton. Why?

Because the professionals decided that was the best course of action.

Clare Dyer was detained under Section 3 of The Mental Health Act 1983 (c. 2007), on 9th September of last year. Since then, she’d been able to carry on taking part in community and family life in Swansea, her home, and where she felt comfortable and safe, all whilst receiving the care that she needed for her severe autism, which would sometimes cause outbursts when sensory overload took place. The troubles started when her hospital was changed to Northampton, she struggled to cope with the huge change to her routine. Add an incident when she managed to escape from her safety harness on a bus, this caused the professionals to detain her, and not let her out. She hasn’t been out on proper walks since October 2013.

Section 3’s grounds for detaining a patient is on the basis of the severity of the patient’s mental disorder. However, one of the exemptions to the act involves learning difficulties, someone with a learning disability can only be detained under the act if the disability causes ‘abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct, including mental health disorder compulsions alongside the learning disability’. Clare was probably detained under the act on these grounds, due to her challenging behaviour caused by her struggle to survive in the outside world, with a debilitating disability.

To try and combat the professional’s decision to send Clare away, her family took the case to high court. On August 1st of this year, however, the judge overruled their concerns, and Clare was whisked away to Brighton Mental Health Hospital that same day, without giving her family the opportunity to say goodbye. This action was against both Clare and her family, although Clare is severely autistic, she could still use her voice to say ‘no, I want to stay home’.

In Brighton (a five hour drive away from Swansea), Clare is only permitted two hours a week of outsider contact. This is a nightmare for her family, who have to make the drive down just to see their daughter and sister. Forbidden from using her iPad to facetime her deaf sister, as she is only allowed to make phone calls, she cannot communicate with members of her family in a way that is suitable for all parties. Skype is meant to be set up, but as far as the family and campaigners are aware, this hasn’t happened as of yet. She is bored and lonely, in a place that she never wanted to be in, after being promised in February 2013 that she’d be placed in a care home close to home, so she can have regular access with her family.

This is unacceptable. There are notes from the Clare Dyer website, set up by Kevin, that talk about the fact that she was getting better with her family at home, all this move has done is made everything go backwards. More harm than good. Her family even asked for her to be removed from the act, but the professionals refused. Yes, it’s tricky to live with severe autism, and the challenges it brings. But shouldn’t someone be with their family, no matter the circumstances? People made that mistake with me, and I’m not going to sit by and allow this to happen to someone else.

 https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/abertawe-bro-morgannwg-health-board-keep-claire-who-has-autism-and-challenging-behaviour-in-wales-where-she-wants-to-be-close-to-us-her-family

Please sign the petition, and get the professionals to finally listen to Clare and her family and bring her home!

http://www.saveclairedyer.net/#!Our-Story-so-far/c218b/4A466E40-112A-44CC-93AB-80E70A7C26D2

Here’s a link to the website that Kevin has set up. Hoping that things go better from here on in.

Been Busy!

Today has been another busy one!

First, I had another quick tidy up, and found two of the books I bought at Kelmarsh, and tidied up my bedside table. Then I grabbed my stuff, I had some shoes to exchange, and that bag of clothes to donate to charity.

I spotted a Sue Ryder van on my way to the councillor’s office, and ditched the bag in the open door, and scampered off like a mother dumping a child outside the founding hospital (back in those goddamn awful days). Had a rather emotional session going over my relationship with my mother, before heading into town to run some errands. Picked up a portable DVD player (a sort out of my DVD collection is in order at some point), two skirts, some hair stripper, and a couple of books.

Then my carer texted me to inform me of an opportunity involving a bookcase costing £14.99 at a local charity shop. I therefore decided to take a look, as I was under the impression of it being waist high and unable to store much in the way of books (fitting my book mountain only), not to mention potentially being battered and in not so good condition. I went in, and saw it right away.

What a beautiful sight beheld my eyes!

It is taller than I am, with about six shelves, that are very deep indeed, and actually has two drawers in the bottom that are also rather deep. I bought it right away, as it is also in excellent condition, practically brand new! It will be delivered to me on 15th August, and a post with photos will be published, almost like the birth of that baby was announced! All very exciting indeed.

The day ended with a trip to the pub, and an email from Radio Haslar about an interview to become one of the volunteer DJs for the radio! It is only hospital radio, but it is something else to do as well as the museum. My interview will be on Friday! Am rather excited!

There will be a World According To Fred tomorrow, he has had a bit of writer’s block this week, but I am sure he will come up with something eventually…