Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Friday, August 03, 2007

'Catalogue of failures led to death'

This from today's Bromley Times

THE mother of an autistic boy who committed suicide claims that a catalogue of service failures led to her son's death.

Elizabeth Whattler, of The Grove, West Wickham, says that Bromley council was 'dreadful' when it came to children's psychiatric services.

She spoke out after her complaints to Bromley council's social services found that there was 'no case to answer' for her son Tim's death last February.

Branding its investigation a 'whitewash' she said: "There are many things they should have done. He should never have been out of education and he should have received proper psychiatric care. There were so many failings."

Tim was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism that affects the ability to communicate, at the age of eight.

A bright child, with an IQ of 140, he wanted to learn but from the age of 10 he began suffering from chronic depression. Mrs Whattler and her husband, Dean, wanted Tim to live at home and be educated in Bromley but there were no special schools nearby so he had to be sent to Somerset.

Mrs Whattler said: "Depression in Asperger's is not uncommon but I think him being so far away from home didn't help. He wanted to live at home, but there have never been special needs schools in the borough. A suitable local unit didn't exist, there were limited places in Langley Park but all the Asperger's places were taken."

Tim attempted suicide several times and for years was taken out of education to live with his parents. He was prescribed with Seroxat, which is believed in some cases to increase suicidal tendencies.

Mrs Whattler said: "I wanted help. I was visited by two psychiatric nurses who told me he was suicidal and 'never leave him on his own - Cheerio!' I had to keep him with me while trying to work part time. I was on my own and got no help at all."

Read story in full HERE