In April 2022, I got together with Alice Running (author of Helping Your Child with PDA Live a Happier Life) to work on a very important issue.
Our research into ‘parental blame and the PDA profile of autism’ was born from our combined personal experiences. You see, we have both been subjected to misaligned scrutiny and blame by our respective local authorities, in respect of our children’s autistic presentations.
We desperately wanted to do something about it and so our project to survey the community on this issue was disseminated.
We were blown away by the response and we took the decision to cap numbers after three days as we had an overwhelming number to sift through. The reaction was unprecedented – I mean Alice and I knew we had our hypothesis on parent blame being a problem – but we never estimated that the numbers would be so high that quick.
This was only the tip of the iceberg. I fear that we only touched the surface of the issue because the research was bigger than we had capacity to work with.
To say that it is shocking and alarming is an understatement.
As a parent or carer, being blamed for some aspect of your child’s disability by professionals working with your child is a frightening and isolating experience. Families with autistic children fear losing their children to the care system, and the associated stigma around this fear can render sources of help as inaccessible.
So here is the full report with all our findings:
You will see that there is strong evidence from our findings that lone mothers and/or neurodivergent parents are more susceptible to being blamed. In many cases some of those have even been subjected to safeguarding measures.
Parent blame and the PDA profile seems to be charged by misogynistic and ableist views that are embedded in our society at present.
Please help us today as this report launches.
Share as much as you can experiences of parent blame online and let’s try to get the hashtag #parentblame trending today!!
By doing this you will help media coverage so that we can shine a light on this issue.
My Mum was almost made to feel guilty by my headmaster, 1969. Called in because as he put it, I’d such a high IQ but bottom marks in everything but English. Can remember him saying it was my fault and my Mum pointing out that the style of teaching, the rush to gain high marks at the expense of pupils was perhaps the reason. He shut up. No-one thought about mental health or neurodivergence in those days. Wonder how many parents who couldn’t speak up, felt blame.