My son, Richard, is nearly 40 years old, is diagnosed with severe autism, and sometimes displays challenging behaviour. He currently lives with two other young men in our community, in a shared home.
I first contacted the CBF several years ago. I was desperate for answers about Richard’s living situation – he was depressed and his behaviour was deteriorating day by day. When I had contacted organisations previously, I found they didn’t understand Richard’s specific needs. Their judgemental and sarcastic comments made me feel awkward, and information they sent me had nothing to do with what we had spoken about.
The CBF listened to my anxieties and worries without judgement. They sent me information about challenging behaviour, including DVDs which I found very helpful, as I realised that my emotions were ‘normal’. I became aware that there was a reason behind Richard’s behaviour – he was trying to communicate that his needs were not being met. The CBF helped me to contact different people to improve the situation, including social services.
Through the CBF I have found a network of support. I have been able to meet other parents who had similar experiences. When I first contacted the CBF I was rejecting my son as I didn’t see a way out. Now I have become close to him again; I understand his needs and have the energy to fight for them!
Maria, Richard's mother