Date: 6 February 2015 09:00
Subject: Appropriate services for James Pascoe
Dear Mr. Foley,
I was delighted when the Department of Human Services agreed to free James from being shackled to a hospital bed and to support him with expertise and care.
I am horrified to hear now that the agreement has not been kept. James’ parents are so alienated by James’ house staff that they have had to make the heartbreaking decision not to visit him. The expert agreed to has not been paid in six weeks and must withdraw. A special programme to allow James to recover from weeks of being shackled to a hospital bed, and from the preceding trauma that led to his admission, has never been put in place.
James was taken back to hospital because he became so distressed that he was hitting his own head to the point of an ambulance being called. He went into the emergency department at the hospital on Thursday 29th January 2015 and is once again being subjected to the degrading treatment of being shackled to his bed while no attempt is made to rectify the underlying cause of his problem: that his accommodation takes no account of, and does not support, his autism-related needs.
His parents have asked Brendan Fogarty of DHS Northern Region to let them manage James’ funds and hire their own staff, pay the expert and get James the help he needs. Mr Fogarty will not change the status quo.
Please do what is needed to protect James from further inhumane treatment. Autism is a developmental condition, not a mental illness, and coercive mental-health approaches are likely only to escalate James’ stress and reduce his chances of recovery. He needs to live in a way that allows him to be what he is and what he is supposed to be – an autistic young man – in an environment that supports him instead of presenting him with unmanageable challenges at every turn. James needs to be helped by people who understand autism and don’t try to force him to comply with non-autistic ways of being.
Please allow James’ funding to be self managed so his family can try to break this terrible pattern.
With thanks in advance
Date: 6 February 2015 09:01
Subject: Re: Appropriate services for James Pascoe
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from the Office of Martin Foley MP
Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing
Minister for Mental Health
Minister for Equality
Minister for Creative Industries
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