Such a full on week again and can’t believe it’s blog day today. As I finally got to sit down ( on the ferry to work!) and reflect I remembered I had the picture at least – my big boy in the garden on one of the recent very windy days. If only more people got the picture about autism, unpaid carers and the worsening lack of supports.
In desperation at the plight of so many autism carers locally in Argyll and beyond across the country I have recently been having a good hard look at policies and how they are developed in Scotland. I have for the last six months or more been trying to actively engage with policy makers and service providers because I know what the problems are. They do to but they keep quiet unless there is a benefit to them personally or politically. I have come to the conclusion that I am possibly better qualified than many to contribute meaningfully and honestly to this process because I care, really, really care. Guess what ? Every door I go to is banged shut in my face. Autism Strategy – locally and nationally, Autism Network, Local Authority, Scottish Government…….. you are lucky to even get a reply. Having scraped below the surface a little and looked at what is going on behind these doors locked to meaningful scrutiny I have discovered a lack of carer involvement, lots and lots of fancy titles, meaningless care speak and many cosy wee arrangements with the same old faces popping up again and again. None of the policy coming from our Parliament is actually enforceable it seems and so the local authorities thumb their noses at it. The deliberations of the various “experts” sitting in various strategies, forums and committees take years and then require further forums when the original ones fail to deliver. Then we have the blame came from the various political factions – it’s the Scottish Government, it’s cuts to the block grants. Meanwhile lives of affected children go by , experts and professionals retire and new ones line up to cream off the next layer of an inadequate budget.
We held a carer organised local autism support group in Dunoon last week and it was well attended by many decent, hard working and dedicated parents and carers. They find themselves in such difficult positions with little or no help. They’ve got the picture. They could share the picture if asked. Got the picture yet?