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(UK) Kent: Desperate mom can't handle out-of-control autistic 10 y-o daughter

Sept 26, 2022, Kent Online: Maidstone mum desperate for Kent County Council to put autistic daughter in Sussex boarding school

S. coast of England

A mother fears she may have to put her autistic daughter into the foster-care system if she can't get her in a specialist boarding school.
Liz Lindenbauer is desperate for Kent County Council (KCC) help to place 10-year-old Eva, who has Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in the Sussex facility.

The 34-year-old Maidstone resident said: "Lockdown unfortunately ruined our family.

"We had things stable for a long time, and every day I managed to keep Eva stimulated during that time.

"But over the past 10 months it has become clear that it was not going to be possible for her to just go back as if lockdown never happened....

Eva's diagnoses means she has a severe disregard for her own or other people's safety. She also has severe violent outbursts and panic attacks which result in her violently vomiting.Liz has also been randomly attacked by her daughter and it is not uncommon for Eva to attempt to runaway from her mum.

Last December Liz was left having to call the out-of-hours social services line in tears after Eva had suddenly tried to push her into a busy main road in the dark.

The young girl also has a lack of emotional control.

She can be hyperactive, then angry before suddenly crying hysterically.....

Because of her behaviour, Liz has been trying to arrange a specialist ASD boarding school placement through KCC.

The full-time carer said: "Eva currently attends Five Acre Wood School in Loose, a district special school for children and young people with profound, severe and complex learning difficulties.

"KCC currently pays for her transport to and from the school five days a week.

"However, due to her age and the new severity of her ASD the placement just isn't right for her any more.

Eva's mum, Liz Lindenbauer, is desperate for her daughter to go to a specialist boarding school

"The school, which has been great, acknowledged this and supported us in looking for a new placement for Eva that will help her find a new routine and get more specialist therapist support that can help her calm her outbursts."

To suit the family's needs it was decided that a boarding school would best fit in with Eva's requirements....

However, after discovering the special education New Barn School in West Sussex, which costs tens of thousands of pounds to attend, Liz and a very excited Eva finally felt they had found the perfect boarding school.

Liz said: "We discussed with the school about Eva attending the provision for 38 weeks, this means she would come home at weekends and during half terms.

"This way the council would only have to pay for her placement and a trip to the school and back twice a week.

"All going well I'd even discussed moving to the area myself, this means I would be nearby."

Eva was allowed to have a trial stay at the boarding school.

During this time staff helped deal with her panic attacks in less than 20 minutes, and ensured she was happy while staying with them.

Liz added: "Eva's very difficult, severe behaviours, have gotten to the point that my family cannot deal with them....
It is like all of a sudden the plans for her education haven't been agreed to...'

Following the trial stay and meetings with social workers and KCC, Liz believed the transfer of Eva's school was to go ahead smoothly.

Her place at New Barn was on hold until the end of this month or early October.

However, the mum says there was then confusion over the council's support with officers saying they had not given the green light for Eva to attend the school.

She said: "I have an email and paper trail with a signed witness statement, basically proving her new school placement was agreed to.

"But it seems the final meeting minutes of our last video call with the council have been scrubbed.

"It is like all of a sudden the plans for her education haven't been agreed to.

"At the last hurdle KCC has turned around and said 'no' and the minutes which were recorded in prior meetings do not reflect the outcome I actually discussed.

"In those meetings and in all those emails I have, it basically states the social worker will help us find the best outcome for my daughter, including emails about references for Eva to attend New Barn.

"I just don't understand why KCC has now gone back on their word.

"They are essentially saying they can't help my daughter and she will not be attending this school."
Liz fears that if Eva does not attend a specialist school like New Barn her behaviour will not only get worse but also uncontrollable.
She said: "Unfortunately without this school, I should say this rehabilitative school, she may not end up living with me, she may have to go into foster care.

"Right now she's only 10, but as Eva gets older, if she doesn't go to this special school, if she doesn't get help from therapists, her behaviour is only going to get worse.

"My family just aren't going to be in a position to cope with her and this is why I'd have to look at placing her into the foster system."

With Eva's placement only available for the next two weeks Liz feels KCC is dragging its heels in giving her a final response.

She said: "I just want my daughter happy, New Barn School will give her that happiness.

"If something isn't sorted soon it is going to be too late for her."

KCC declined to be drawn on what had been agreed between the different parties, with a spokesman only saying: “We have every sympathy for Mrs Lindenbauer and her situation and are currently carrying out a further assessment to see how the council can support her and her family.”

Eva Lindenbauer, has ASD


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