A mother and campaigner warned parliamentarians about the dangers cuts to care budgets pose to adults with autism.Oh..?
Mary Langan, from campaign group Save Autism Services Haringey, spoke to a cross party delegation at the All Party Parliamentary Group about her son James and his difficult transition into adulthood.
Ms Langan described the difficulties the family faced as James, 23, moved from residential schooling to supported community living. James became increasingly violent towards others and himself, which she claims is due to a lack of structured support and skilled personnel.
This resulted in him being arrested on one occasion, being removed from a college placement and banned from public transport, his local pub, a swimming pool and a supermarket.Ah. Right.
This is, of course, very little to do with ‘austerity’ – if he’s a danger to himself and to others, then he needs to be cared for appropriately.
Maybe ‘living in the community’ isn’t the best option?
The problem, according to Ms Langan and her fellow campaigners, is the move from school into the community, where there is a lack of structure and too little support for people like James.
Ms Langan said: “Here we encounter the major current crisis of care in the community; the head on collision between the aspirations of the Autism Act and the Care Act and the harsh realities of austerity, particularly the drastic cuts in local government spending on adult social care.
“Our message for parliamentarians is this: It is impossible to reconcile the interests of people with autism and the current scale of cuts in adult social care.
“Current policies will inevitably result in more scandals and horror stories, but the real burden will be borne by people like James and families like ours.”Yes, when James saws the head off an innocent woman in the street, he’ll be the real victim…