A mum of five children who have all been diagnosed with the autistic disorder spectrum is pleading to the council to please get some respite care she desperately needs.
The Collier Row mum is on the verge of a complete breakdown as she struggles to bring up her five children alone and with no support from others around.
The single mum who does not wish to be named spoke exclusively to the Havering Daily about her endless daily struggle to keep her family going on her own.
“I have five children. My eldest is 13 years old and suffers with autism and endocrinology, which means he has accelerated growth.
“My 10 year old is autistic, my 9 year old has a social communication disorder and my 6 year old twins are just about to be diagnosed with autism and Pica. Pica is where they eat everything and anything that is not food.”
The single mum is now begging the council to please help provide her with some respite care she so desperately needs.
“On the 27th of February I went through an assessment and was told I would be able to receive respite care.
“My 13 year old son knows how to unlock my door and on one occasion he got out in the night, without any clothes on and walked around Harold Hill where we were living then. He tried to break into Lidl to get some cookies as he was hungry. That’s when social services became involved and I was told I could get respite.
“I started to get some support, some respite workers came and told me they were taking my children on a trip to Hainault forest. I paid for them to go but I discovered that they had walked my children from Collier Row all the way to the forest in the cold and the rain. When they reached the forest one of my children ran off as he was so distressed. My children are special needs, why would you walk them in the wind and the cold?
“I’ve jumped every hoop possible and done every assessment possible. I’ve been verbally insulted by people telling me things like, you’ve had one child with special needs why didn’t you stop? Why keep having children if they are all special needs?
“I was married so my children have all been bought up in a stable home but now i’m single and doing the best I can for my children.
“After my son got out on his own, I now don’t really sleep at night. I sit with my back against the front door every night to stop him from going out. I lock all the doors in my house so securely to stop further issues.
“I can’t go on as I am, I’m struggling to keep going, I’m passing out through sheer exhaustion. I sleep 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there in case my son gets out on his own again.
“I‘ve had no heating or hot water in this house for the last five weeks. It takes me three hours every night to bath all my children by using endless kettles of hot water.
“I’ve just got a tumble dryer now so I can dry the children’s school uniforms. Before I was using a hair dryer daily to dry them.
“I can’t go on like this, I’m running on empty. I desperately need some respite care to help me before I break down completely.“