Welcome to my Warrior Mums, a collection of family journeys from parents of children/adults with special needs. Some of our mums are advocates or established campaigners, one is a midwife, then we have two nurses, three teachers, two solicitors and a GP....

We've had to adapt to so many government cuts and policies in the last few years and it's taken its toll on families. A major concern is when a young person reaches the age of 18, regardless of whether they have autism or a severe learning disability, legally, they are classed as an adult. As a parent you can no longer make decisions on their behalf. Some Councils are more humane than others and continue to include the family, but for others... and this seems to be a familiar complaint - if your loved one is in Care and you upset the care staff - or social workers -then the chances are they will stop you from visiting. I know one parent who was notified her son had split his head open and was rushed to hospital to have his wound stitched, a week after it happened. Staff didn’t notify her at the time of the emergency because they didn’t have to! Some parents have no contact or information regarding medication or any other health issues about their loved one's welfare, all under the guise of 'best interest'.

The misuse of the Mental Capacity Act has brought a huge increase in applications for Deprivation of Liberty safeguards through the courts. It's hard to believe that in 2017 this government are advocating locking up (and Sectioning) people with special needs in NHS Units and depriving them of family contact. These vulnerable people who are being unfairly punished because this government are unable to meet their care needs, would have had more freedom in the 70s living in large 'institutions' than they do in community care and independent 'of family' living' today...

This blog has given parents the opportunity to share the experience of their unforseen life with a special needs son/daughter. Some have had great support and professional guidance whilst others, sadly, have been lied about and deceived, blamed for their child's 'problems' by some who have no understanding of the disability. Facts about their family life have been distorted and manipulated into many untruths, making parents only too aware that their reputation precedes them in every meeting they attend. They feel judged, disrespected and ganged up on. Telling THEIR story in Warrior Mums puts THEIR truth 'out there' for all to see.
These stories are not only a means of support for parents but also a learning curve for our learning disability nurse following and other professionals.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to get in touch on the contact form below if you would like me to write your story or I can be of any help.

Take care

Michelle

25 November 2012

WHAT TO WEAR FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH A PUBLISHER


  

   Just what do you wear for an interview with a publisher? Oh my goodness, I was stumped! It was the early 90s in Ireland and I was living in County Mayo; a time when the late great Gerry Ryan was entertaining the nation with his RTE radio programme, the Emerald Isle’s football team made it to the World Cup and Mary Robinson was the first female to be elected President.       
Arriving home from a weekend at my friend Anne’s, and where I'd left the children for an extra overnight stay, I had the contents of my wardrobe strewn across the bed. Blue and black – black and blue - were the only colours I ever wore. Should I look smart? Casual? Smart-casual? Then again did it really matter? Yes, I decided, it did, but I needed to wear clothes I felt comfortable in so I could relax and be myself. Not too relaxed though because I had to try and convince this publisher that my story deserved to be published. Yikes, it was a scary thought.
I settled on a light-blue top and gypsy skirt with navy sandals. I thought ‘bright and breezy’ was the best option and reminded myself the most important thing to wear was a smile.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I hoped the weather remained dry. Rain would be disastrous for my curly hair. I only had to go near a boiling kettle and it frizzed up. My biggest nightmare would be arriving at the publisher’s office like a drowned rat or worse still, like I’d had an electric shock.
I arrived in Dublin in plenty of time and strolled up O’Connell Street weaving in and out of the lunchtime crowd, up past the famous Floozy in the Jacuzzi and the Gresham Hotel.
I was excited about meeting the publisher, and pleased too that the sun was shining. So far so good; all was going to plan. 


8 November 2012

A HIDDEN WORLD


            
    My bedroom at the mansion was on top floor in nurses home - 2nd window on the right. 

Sandhill Park Hospital, in Bishop’s Lydeard, Somerset, was built as a country house around 1720. It was later used as a prisoner of war camp, a home for handicapped children and later as a military and civilian hospital.
During World War 1, it was used as a prisoner of war camp for German and Austrian Officers. In 1919 it was converted by Somerset County Council into a home for handicapped children.
It was requisitioned by the military in August 1940 and became the 41st General Military Hospital, providing accommodation in tents and huts. From 1941 the hospital was leased to the Americans as a neurological hospital for over 1,000 patients in 32 new wards which were completed in 1942 serving as the 185th General Hospital. The hospital remained in military use until 1944. The psychiatric hospital reopened under the National Health Service in 1948 and further buildings were constructed. And, this was where a social worker and I were accompanying this little five-year-old mentally handicapped girl; a child I had looked after in Nazareth House in Bristol, until the home closed down and she had nowhere to go. The hospital was 30 miles away.
It was still raining heavy as we drove through Taunton and out into the counrtyside. We arrived in Bishops Lydeard which to me seemed bleak and isolated, left the main road and turned onto a lane which ran through an expanse of green fields onto the 141 acres of hospital grounds. A mansion stood out in the distance. I felt so sad.