Mother’s misery as wait goes on for ‘autistic’ son
A seven-year-old boy has been excluded from school four times in five months as his mother faces an agonising wait for confirmation he is autistic – and access to help she says he desperately needs.
Two years ago, Kayleigh Parnham took her son Alex Watson to specialists when he began to show traits of Asperger’s syndrome.
The 29-year-old has tried countless times to have him tested following violent outbursts and toddler-like behaviour which has seen him excluded from North Borough Junior School in Maidstone for two days at a time and banned from an after-school club.
Mrs Parnham, a trainee teacher from Vinters Park, said he found life difficult after moving from St Paul’s Infant School.
She said: “There are not enough staff to do tests because of cuts and the children are being left to their own devices. There are lots of parents having this problem.
“Alex’s nursery brushed it off as being a phase and said he would grow out of it.” At St Paul’s, he struggled to adapt during the transition between reception and Year 1.
Sessions with a school psychologist helped until Alex’s behaviour deteriorated.
He was referred to a paediatrician in October and assessed but, this month, the mother-of-three was told she might have to wait another year for the results.
A full diagnosis of autism would allow the school to gain funding to help educate Alex, said Mrs Parnham.
She added: “He could throw chairs and objects. I remember he tried to catch a teacher with a pair of scissors.
“He comes home crying. He knows his behaviour makes others sad but he just can’t stop it.
“Without a diagnosis there is nothing the school can do.
“I was warned I could be waiting between six and 12 months for results.
“The school has done its best. The NHS system means it has just taken far too long.
“There isn’t enough funding for them to be able to provide these children with what they need.
“It affects the whole class. Other children are getting scared of him but, actually, he is a lovely boy.”
Kayleigh Parnham is anxious for a diagnosis for her son, Alex Watson