Going into an ATU, as a last resort – what did you expect?

At our Stronger Together event, we asked the parents there what they had expected when their child went into the Assessement and Treatment Unit (ATU).

If you are a parent of a younger child, you’ve possibly had a battle to get your child into the right school.  As you read this, you will realise that many of the responses below could be a reply to “what did you expect (or hope for) when your child went into the school you were told could meet their needs?”

None of the parents were asking for much and none of them were expecting anything that isn’t possible.  Here’s what they told us.

What do parents hope for when their child goes into an ATUWhen, as a last resort, your child went into an ATU – what did you expect to happen?

  • That they would realise it was the lack of support/poor support that was the problem, not him
  • That they would be person centred and autism friendly
  • That he would NOT be traumatised by the experience
  • That he would get therapy and it would be short term (as I was told)
  • That he would be assessed and treated (as I was told)
  • He would get the help he needed and the self injurious behaviour would stop
  • That he would get the right support
  • To find out why he had seemed to change so much
  • That they would keep him safe whilst he was assessed
  • The Cavalry!
  • A proper informal assessment so we could get him home quickly
  • Short term stay and therapy and to come home asap
  • In depth analysis of incidences by service provider
  • Treatment of anxiety and emotional regulation
  • Intense therapeutic input
  • Development and progress with intense support
  • Support close to home
  • Accountability – and responsibility (No accountability – when will they actually do the job they are paid to do)
  • Service level agreement
  • Observation of the problems we were describing
  • Being believed
  • Support to help him leave
  • That we would get our boy back

Can you relate?

  • He would get the right support
  • They would keep him safe
  • Development and progress
  • Accountability – and responsibility
  • They would be person centred
  • Therapeutic input
  • Being believed

All of the above are hopes and expectations we hear daily from parents – irrelevant of age.

We will be sharing the truth of what actually happened to these families in another post tomorrow.

Let’s just say if you were writing an appraisal form or completing a report on these ATUs, the one comment throughout it would be “did not meet expectations”

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7 days of Action

For many with younger children, you may not be aware of the “7 days of Action Campaign”.  7 Days of Action is a UK campaign that was started on Monday 18th April 2016 by seven parents whose children were detained in Assessment and Treatment Units.  The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the lives lived by the 3,000 people with learning disabilities and autism who are currently trapped in these Assessment & Treatment Units.  Ultimately, the campaign would like to see everyone out of units and living in a home of their own.

The next 7 Days Action Week, ‘A Trade In People’, will start on Monday 19th June.

You can follow the campaign on Twitter or you can join their Facebook group

Debs is one of the co-founders and Directors of Bringing Us Together. She is mum to three child with a variety of SEND and has a great husband.

BuT Site Admin

Debs is one of the co-founders and Directors of Bringing Us Together. She is mum to three child with a variety of SEND and has a great husband.

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