The Yorkshire version of Wembley Stadium. Can you spot the pet trying to once again sneak into the photo.

Even comes with a discerning crowd.

If Aspergers Parenting was a football game, well today feels like we have had a key player sent off….

I always naively assumed that if and when son got an official diagnosis then a support package would be out in place to help with his life chances. How silly of me. I didn’t count on year after year, having to fight the system. Trying to prize just the hints of support from a system which has been hammered into the ground by a Government which only looks after itself and it’s friends. To summarise

  • A school system repeatedly fails kids who do not fit into the factory production line which is the UK school system. Two options, either fight for a place in one of the few special schools or accept your child being bracketed as ‘low attainment’ and consigned to the bottom set. The school will then forget about the child and then pat itself on the back if the child gets just one certificate.
  • Letter after letter, call after call trying to find a clinician who is prepared to look at your child’s case.
  • Passed from specialist to specialist who don’t have the time or resources to add your child onto their case load.
  • Service after service cut by a Government which believes that only the rich should be able to buy access to essential healthcare. A Government that sees Mental Health as no more than an excuse to avoid work. Let’s not forget they described a child taking time off from school after a bereavement as an extended holiday.
  • When you do finally get access to a service you then join the growing waiting list. Finally when your child is seen it’s virtually always by someone new, with no understanding of the back story.
  • Finally your child starts to get older and the few services he has had access to are withdrawn as he is now above the age threshold. You see the Government likes to think that after 13, services are pointless and far too expensive. Adults have to sort themselves out.

We have had three brilliant exceptions to this.

  • A Clinical Psychologist who worked with out son consistently for three years. She even delayed her retirement to ensure son’s diagnosis was officially approved.
  • An Occupational Therapy service that worked with him every few months to help with things like coordination. A service which was cut when he reached 13.
  • A wonderful Nurse Counsellor who worked with our son for 3 years helping with his anxieties and joining the fight for additional help.

We entered June 2020 with just the Nurse Counsellor left from his entire care package. And now the player is sent off.

The Nurse phoned today to let us know that she had been reassigned. She is great and some other kids are really going to really benefit from her time. We are eternally grateful for everything she has done. She is going to desperately try to find another clinician to take over from her. I know she will really try. We may get a replacement. The Nurse was the only clinician he really has connected with. Those connections are rare for him. Making a new connection is going to be tough and most certainly not guaranteed. As the Nurse said it feels like we have lost the progress made over the last few years.

Today feels like one of those tough parenting days. As a friend wrote recently we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and start again. We most certainly do. But it feels like it’s a much depleted team taking on the struggle. Forgive me I’ve not used a Lord of the Rings metaphor for a while. It feels like the heavens have opened. The hordes are massed outside the walls and I’m stood alone on the Battlements of Helms Deep. Just me protecting our son now. Doesn’t feel like Gandalf is riding over the horizon in the morning. I’m going to have to just find a way of doing this myself.

I’m off now to kick the ball into the net a few times. Maybe with a bit more force than usual. Then the fight starts again.


I’ve lost my Idiots Guide to Parenting book again. Just when I really need it.

Dad so the options are Man & Woman, Man & Man, Woman & Woman, Genetically Created, No defined sexual orientation, weird different species options…. are there any other options. I guess Guardians of the Galaxy opens up the Man & Alien option.”

This is not the first time I’ve faced this question. Since the last time he’s added at least one other option. My stock answer can’t be used now. Why don’t you ask your Mum, she’s good at that sort of thing….

So how do I answer this. Thinking back to my childhood doesn’t really provide much help. At school we had one lesson about the birds and the bees. The teacher said watch this video and went outside for a smoke. The video started with a couple holding hands. We then got a cartoon description of some of the body parts then finished with footage of an actual birth. Unfortunately a lad called Martin was sick at the sight of the birth and the video had to be stopped. After Martin’s mess had been cleaned up the teacher finished with the immortal line.

I’m not going to bother restarting the video now as we can start the Games lesson early. Surely you get the picture now. Remember you can’t start having babies until your 18. Any questions go and see the school nurse…

My parents approach was very much – well that’s schools job. So that was it for my birds and the bees education.

So having quickly reviewed my extensive memory banks I was pretty confident with my answer to today’s question. I think that probably covers it really. I decided to gloss over the Man & Android option you get in some Sci Fi movies. It’s amusing how even after all these years I still get hot under the collar with this type of question. It feels way easier answering questions like what is a magnetic field and what’s the French for hairdressers. Maybe after society finally gets round to completing my birds and the bees education, then I will feel so much more relaxed with this question.