Adam has spent almost half his life in mental health hospitals. When Adam was first admitted, he was only supposed to be there for six months. I was told he needed an assessment of his needs. But this was 16 years ago. Today he’s still detained in hospital, and seems no closer to coming out, instead he has gone deeper and deeper into the system. He has a learning disability , autism and ADHD but no mental health condition. 

The longer he has been in mental health hospitals the more traumatised he has become. Right now, Adam is detained in Rampton, a high security psychiatric hospital. He was moved there in a van with a cage from another mental health hospital. He said he could see nothing through the windows. I didn't know he was being moved there. He didn't either.  

Staff said he was so upset when he found out he was being moved there that he got onto a mattress on the floor and just stayed there. I couldn't believe my son was going to Rampton. I asked myself why was this happening to my son who has a learning disability, autism and ADHD and needs support? He is no threat to the public or himself. In fact, 5 weeks before he had been at home with me on a 6-hour home visit. 

The reason why he was moved there was because he had been traumatised by being kept in isolation at the other hospital. Everyone realised it was not the right place for him. But he should have been given the right support package in the community instead, not sent to a high secure hospital.  

I cannot get over that he has been sent to this place. He can’t either. My son is so upset about this. He has been put on high doses of medication and he's losing his hair and has tremors and has also lost weight – his clothes are now hanging off him.  

Adam has spent half his life in hospital. He has deteriorated in this environment. It is the wrong place to meet his needs. He will become anxious if something on the ward environment isn’t going right for him. This can be noise, staff shift change, banging on doors, bright lights. The whole environment of a hospital is a trigger for his sensory processing issues. My son can be sent into isolation as punishment for minor things, where he can be left for days. The problem is staff are not trained in my son’s needs and there is no support for sensory or communication difficulties which creates difficulties coming out of hospital. 

Staff don't understand his autism, ADHD and sensory issues. They just see him as having ‘ challenging behaviour ’ rather than that he is communicating he is upset. This goes on reports and professionals see this and they decide to keep him detained in hospital.  

Rampton don't involve me properly in my son’s care. They don’t allow me to have information about him. All his phone calls are recorded, but my son doesn't call me now. He's been in trouble a few times for saying the wrong thing, like asking me what I'm doing to get him out of hospital. There are no family-only visits; they are supervised with members of staff present.  

I’ve spoken out in the media about Adam’s treatment as I don’t see any other option. It’s very difficult, and as a parent it’s difficult getting on with my life day to day knowing what Adam is going through.  

He can be locked in his room day and night. I recently was able to visit him and learned that he’d thrown his stereo across the room because he was so frustrated at being locked up. “I don’t want to be locked in my room, mum” he said, but there’s nothing I can do. It’s as if they’ve taken my son, and I constantly think about how I’m going to manage to get him out.

I fear for what might happen next.

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