Lamb Chiropractic Clinic Ltd
Howard Lamb D.C.
The Surgery, 48 Marsh Road, Pinner, Middlesex, HA5 5NQ
28th March 2012
To whom it may concern.
My first involvement with the X family was in September 2010. The mother (M) started a research trial at my clinic, as a wellness coach. She worked originally with all 12 staff members. My reception team lost nearly 6 stone between them in 3 months. She changed their diets to better nutritional balance, advised on exercise and changed their mindset. By October 2010, I started to introduce her to appropriate patients.
M at this time, even though on a part-time basis, with totally flexible hours with much of her work done at home on the phone, was unable to continue effectively due to home circumstances.
After several long conversations I had been told an unbelievable story. I asked if she had any evidence to back up her statements and she produced several large boxes of well-organised notes. In fact, she had kept virtually every document on the child (C) since he was born.
I had my first experiences with C and he was undoubtedly everything I had been told and had read about; obviously, a very traumatised and complex young man who was depressed, suicidal, isolated and spiralling out of control. He had just left his 4th Hemel school within a year of starting and in a more traumatised state. Over the next period I realised that the whole family had been severely traumatised by the previous four years in Hemel. I had already offered respite care on an occasional basis but as trust and a bond with C had been formed, I offered Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night and often all day Sunday, on a permanent basis.
Structure and routine in a controlled environment is vital to this type of Autistic child. I had set ground rules and boundaries for C, at a level he understood, at my 3 bedroom cottage with a large garden, detached garage and other buildings in an isolated area of Sarratt. Here I could offer him a calm and active environment which was stress-free and above all, safe.
My relationship with C is based on patient confidentiality and only on that basis he has opened up to me. I am on Oath with him not to discuss him or any of our conversations without his permission and then not all the information, only that which had been agreed.
Around this time, M had a meeting at her home with A and B, a social services manager and C’s new social worker. The meeting did not go well. The social workers only seemed interested in M, closing the case on the grounds that M would not work with them. I told them of an incident where C had not coped well with a social and emotional situation and had gone into a complete meltdown which culminated in him cycling head-on into traffic moving at 30mph to kill himself. I was stunned when B suggested that M should just increase his medication. I asked if she had a qualification which allowed her to increase his dosage and I asked about C’s diagnosis and she gave me no confidence that she knew much about his case.
By this stage, C had 7 different social workers. Only one spent any time with him. She wrote a report that went missing for 6 months and then was not acted on. Three social workers never actually got around to meeting him or the family. B seemed to feel that the Social Services had no responsibility for respite care or any other form of help as it was Educational and Dr W’s problem. I had explained to them that C was destructive in the home, self harming, out of emotional control with suicidal tendencies and was at risk. I also explained I had 20 years experience in working with other children like C and he was clearly far more extreme than his diagnosis and that he was clearly on the spectrum and over medicated.
At the end of the meeting, it was very clear that C’s case is a 1st page syndrome, i.e., due to the vast amount of paperwork involved, you have to rely on other people’s synopsis. Often if this is wrong, nothing will ever change because nobody has the time or the authority to change it. It was clear from the meeting’s minutes which M contested for lack of text and accuracy and most certainly did not portray the meeting that I attended. Social Services had no help for C and offered Arc. We explained that Arc was far too little, far too late and that C needed to go away to a specialised school in Autism that could look after him 24/7 and 365 days of the year and that Arc would not have the expertise to deal with C but to no avail.
I have had a busy few months from September 2010 to January 2011. Much progress had been made. I had mentored for C with solicitors, the Police, Council officials and Social Services. I was in daily and often lengthy contact by phone or in person with M and C.
M and I slowly put a structure in place which worked so well previously when she had left Hemel and gone to Kettering. I had gradually scanned through thousands of pages and with M’s help, started to put a case history together. C, up until he went to Rossgate, could not speak, was not potty-trained, was over active and could not join in at play group. Physically and verbally dyspraxic, he needed one-on-one which could not be given. Often frustrated because he could not communicate, did not know cause and consequence and had no fear. He was a danger to himself and others. At Rossgate, he would not sit with other children, he would strip to go to the toilet and he would lose his pants and socks (he didn’t like the feel of the clothes texture on his skin). He did not take part in any of the normal school structure, taunted as ‘Loopy C’, he spent much time alone or one-on-one when the teachers could or at times with the dinner ladies. He wore a coat with a hood and would zip it up to his face and would not take it off and carried a hand sized bean bag toy which he squeezed constantly to give him something to do. After his experience with this school, he was a complex Autistic child in traumatic shock.
Mr Finch and his team did a magnificent job, the main weight of dealing with C fell on M’s shoulders and over a long four years, she made large strides in stabilising C, improving his confidence and emotional control, speaking and starting to put sentences together and safe interaction with other children. Medication needed constant revision, as he grew his body chemistry seemed to change and the medication would have to be adapted. C understood this well as he has had paranoia, depression and self harming as side effects. He’d also been so over medicated that he constantly fell asleep in and outside the classroom.
When C came back to Hemel, his medication was changed, he was put into normal school and he ended up having a nervous breakdown.
At Pixie’s Hill School, he was left in a corner of the library because he could not interact with other children or work in the classroom. Not statemented, so no funding again. Please refer to my letter to C’s MP regarding C’s Autism and his problems at Rossgate School (Appendix 1). The head teachers at both schools were very supportive but were not listened to, so no extra funding was made available. Police were involved at Pixie’s because C was bullied again and the MP was involved in getting C to an EBD school.
Unfortunately they used restraining techniques which most certainly aggravated C much further, to the point where C constantly did not want to go to school and when he was at school, he was looking for every chance to run away. He would come home from school very unsettled and have to bash and break things to get it out of his system. By May he was left blocked in M’s hands, hugely traumatised once again.
During this process a pattern could be seen. If he had a good day and no frustration there were no problems at home except for the 24/7 trying to keep up with and contain him. On a bad day just getting him to take his medication, go to school and trying to keep him there caused real stress. Then when home he would smash up the house, fallout with friends and behave badly.
I had fire doors and locks put throughout the X’s house to protect the other family members and limit C’s area of destruction. This often happened after a bad day at school or in the world at large.
C was not interacting well in the community, mainly ducking and diving as someone always had an issue with him. I have talked C through, and so has his mother, virtually all of these daily and sometimes multiple daily events, which leave C confused, frustrated and angry. From previous experience we know that since his breakdown at Pixie’s too much of the wrong sort of pressure will cause C to crash into depression and possible suicidal tendencies(post traumatic stress). So diffusing and communicating all day with C and trying to stop problems for him before they start and solve them when they happen is the daily routine.
Over the next few months M applied for notes from all the relevant parties to understand what and how this case could have gone so wrong. As more and more paperwork turned up, this pattern continued throughout his short career at Haley Hall and Falconers. He started in January, out of school by May and October respectively, and again M was left with full 24/7 control of a child who had crashed again for the 4th time. M had been fined for poor attendance whilst C was at Falconers but it was only down to her dedication to keep C in some form of structure that she managed to get him there at all after April 2010.
During the first four months of 2011 C settled into a good routine at my cottage and we did several projects where C built Moto bikes and much else. He slept well and unwound even after traumatic incidents. He has never damaged or broken any part of my home.
Steady progress was made. I had a good understanding of what I was dealing with. I mentored for C with Dr W who was happy with his diagnosis and felt a 2nd opinion was not necessary. I had exhausted all avenues to have C’s diagnosis upgraded to ADHD and Autistic spectrum with secondary social and emotional problems due to post traumatic stress syndrome.
The first Arc worker, Arc1, had not been a success. More and more case notes turned up and it became clear that a totally wrong picture of C had been portrayed to them. C had been accused by social services of being part of the gang of children who had been harassing elderly, disabled people in the street. As usual he behaved poorly at a meeting with PCSO J and two ladies from the council who were investigating the incident. A bit of “Round up all the usual suspects” I’m afraid.
I mentored for C at this meeting and had to remove C due to the no-nonsense type questioning that he received from the council official- obviously being stern to a naughty boy was going to get her answers. C blocked, as Autistic children do, especially when it’s by an authority figure when put on the spot like that, C goes blank and will say or do anything just to get out of the room. Hence his constant abuse of Dr W during our meeting with him where C called him a “Wanker” until he was asked to leave. Being Autistic and having very limited vocabulary or good understanding of the structure of the English language, C felt he was being ignored and over-drugged and not listened to and that made Dr W a “Wanker”. C is obviously a ‘heart-sink patient’. These patients have got to you so much that your heart sinks when you see them and you do your job until you can refer them. Unfortunately the buck stopped with Dr W.
Once C and I rejoined the meeting with the council officials after about ten minutes of coaching, it was decided that C had not been involved, he had either been with myself or his mother for most of the incidents. We explained how the same children and others had made C’s life miserable and that he too was at risk in the community. The children responsible were caught and dealt with via ASBOS and banning orders. Social Services also felt that he had been originally traumatised at home and that M was not a good parent. At the end of Arc1’s tenure social services were claiming that C was downloading child porn (unsubstantiated). The Police reviewed and searched for any such evidence and none was found.
Yet the sad truth was that C had been let down by yet more professionals who received him in a stable condition and left him with at least two obsessive projects that we could have done without, over model cars and fishing. When you promise C something he will expect you to do what you say. If you don’t he can’t wait so he will try to do it himself which then leads into another destructive obsessive cycle. I had a long talk with Steve Gentry and I believe that M talked to him and subsequently others from Arc as well as Arc2.
From May until August we did a lot of work with C so we could alter his medication and during August Bank Holiday we helped C detoxify and cope with withdrawal symptoms from removing the majority of his medication.
Arc2 from Arc took a long time to bond with C. As a result of C being so upset at Arc1, and Social Services, he hated anything to do with Arc. It took more time to get him to see Steve than the time he was actually with him. By September much of the hard work to settle C at Roman Fields had been ruined by C not being able to go to the 4am project. I believe C was the victim of internal politics. C doesn’t bond easily however Trevor from 4am and C were fishing buddies and his loss unsettled C. His workshop had been partially removed from him and he really did feel unloved.
Hence, the school show a 91% attendance yet C’s full day attendance was less than 40% and dropping. This has also coincided with persistent verbal abuse and harassment from specific neighbours which had been escalating over a period of time since C was called into the council for a meeting I mentored at. As his name was not cleared, these neighbours obviously felt they had the right to pay C back as he had got away with another offence.
I have worked with and counselled C on many occasions. One particularly comes to mind which occurred recently. C had just been assaulted by a 17 year old youth. His mother had gone to the station to pick up his sister. C could not access the house. He went to a good neighbour, still in tears and shock, to get the spare key but she was not at home either. His anger, frustration and pain got the better of him and he started to meltdown. He managed to get into his garden and then vented his rage as he had been taught. He was hitting the garden table with an old handle bar, sobbing and yelling, when a young man in his 20’s peered over the fence and started laughing at C and yelling “He’s psycho, look at this mental little fucker”. With taunts and laughter in his ears he ran off down the road with the handlebar still in his hands.
M and his sister arrived home to witness C in a highly emotional state rushing up the road. The neighbours and their friends by this time were peering out of their front windows. M tracked C down and found out what had happened. I was phoned soon after and talked to both of them. Later I went to their house and got to the bottom of why C was punched and sorted out that situation. C has been hit very hard by older youths on several occasions whilst I have been involved. He is not safe in the outside world and he does not feel safe in his home anymore. Since he was restrained at school, then excluded and other factors mentioned, C has no interest in Roman Fields, same pattern, school number 5. The only place C has been safe is Sarratt.
M has found a school who will be able to replicate the work that we have structured for C and hope we can integrate him into it. C has been to a few schools and has decided it’s the one he wants to go to.
I have mentioned C’s tendencies in the past when he melts down to have the odd suicidal moment. M had C back at home within 15 minutes of the incident and was debriefing him when the Police turned up looking for an unidentified 15 year old boy who had been seen causing damage with a crow bar. M explained to the officers that C had mental health issues (Autism) and complained once again about the neighbours. C now had the police in his house who he usually tries to hide from. He is always being stopped.
His diagnosis in September even though Education, Social Services, Dr W, Police and through M’s lawyers, Council and the MP have been informed of C’s diagnosis yet not updated the information which leaves C open to harassment and in some cases a stern lecture about him being a naughty boy. This was the last humiliation for C, he had just been assaulted, verbally abused and humiliated in public and then his inner space invaded by the Police, when all he wanted was to be safe whilst out in the fields at the back of his house playing.
During the past year these incidents have been common place, intimidation, harassment, false accusation and allegations and now a threat to their home. This comes in the guise of the Council on information received have decided to charge M I believe over £4,000 on earnings that are accepted as Normal Business Costs by the Inland Revenue and not the council. This, if she loses, means prosecution for Benefit Fraud and probable eviction.
I had long discussions with both M about her predicament and coached and counselled C after he was I believe inappropriately talked to by a Police officer who had not received the update on C’s diagnosis. Both the Council’s notice of tribunal and C’s incident happened on Christmas Eve which ruined Christmas for C and made him start back at school with an attitude.
I refer you to my update to the MP on 23-12-2011 (Appendix 1) where I asked for his help in getting C into the right environment.
January 2010 until now:
C has lost Arc. Steve had become an important part of family life. Letting M download to someone who was, at last, not there to judge. Even C learnt to respect Steve and he was a sad loss. It had taken Steve a year to start to get close to C, now C has to start again. More loss of structure, Steve has gone, not loved at school, constant harassment of one form or another in the outside world.
I have tried to keep this statement brief. However, I am putting together a full case study to be published through the College of Chiropractors which will be full and in-depth.
Opinion- from the case notes and over 1,500 hours of professional time. In this case I believe that the Council’s policy of non-diagnosis of mental health issues in children under 7 means they have no children with these issues so there is no budget for them, so when a child does have these issues, as there is no diagnosis, they can’t exist.
Education have not kept C safe or educated him (he still has a reading and maths age of a 6 year old) and have not learnt from their mistakes.
Social Services have carried out what can only be described as a vendetta against the family (well documented and contested).
Medicine-No proper medical facilities and expertise and back up staff with appropriate training to deal appropriately with these children because they are not diagnosed.
Diagnosis- ADHD and Autistic spectrum with secondary social and emotional problems due to post traumatic stress syndrome.
Prognosis- I believe that with the right help and support C could do well, having seen the changes in him in the past 18 months. It will be hard work but C has the capability.
I will be able to answer any further questions regarding C or related issues at the tribunal.
Howard Lamb, DC