Father diagnosed with Asperger’s ‘failed by system’

Gazette: Upset – Robert Joyce, who has only just been diagnosed, and his wife Annie Upset – Robert Joyce, who has only just been diagnosed, and his wife Annie

A FATHER who spent most of his childhood in care says he has been let down by the system after only just being diagnosed with a series of severe behavioural disorders.

Robert Joyce, 47, of Buntingford Road, in Monkwick, Colchester, was taken into foster care at five because his parents couldn’t cope with his behaviour.

In trouble at school and with the police, he ended up committing crime and spent much of his young life in and out of youth detention centres.

As an adult, he struggled with personal relationships and was unable to hold down a job because of difficulty interacting and overcoming his temper.

But only recently he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.

The father-of-three only went to see a psychiatrist because his wife, Annie, spotted similar patterns of behaviour in her 18- year-old son, Michael, who also suffers from ADHD. Mr Joyce said: “I feel so cheated by the whole system.

“I am even considering legal action.

“I don’t understand why not one of the social workers, teachers or carers that dealt with me during my childhood was able to spot the symptoms and help me.

“Everyone failed me. If I had been diagnosed 40 years ago, I could have taken medication to help deal with my condition and get on with my life.

“But because no one bothered, my life has been a disaster.”

He added: “I just feel bad for the way I have behaved towards other people.

“But I didn’t know how to deal with certain situations properly.”

Mrs Joyce, the full-time carer for her son, said: “If my husband had been given more help, things could have been very different for him.

“Medication would have helped him a million per cent.

“Without any help, his condition has been much worse.

“We want to get the message out there that if any parents have a child who is not complying at school and is hyperactive, they should fight tooth and nail to get the help they need.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:32pm Tue 30 Aug 11

jut1972 says...

Totally agree with pushing for kids with autism to get the help they need and kudos to Bob Russell he wrote to Michael Gove on this issue after we contacted him.

...but to blame the authorities from 40 years ago shows a lack of understanding. Diagnoses have improved and ADHD etc weren't recognized then. Threatening legal action isn't helpful either put that energy into supporting your son, best of luck with that
Totally agree with pushing for kids with autism to get the help they need and kudos to Bob Russell he wrote to Michael Gove on this issue after we contacted him. ...but to blame the authorities from 40 years ago shows a lack of understanding. Diagnoses have improved and ADHD etc weren't recognized then. Threatening legal action isn't helpful either put that energy into supporting your son, best of luck with that jut1972
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Tue 30 Aug 11

Citizen 139 says...

He had my sympathy until I read the legal action part then it was lost.
He had my sympathy until I read the legal action part then it was lost. Citizen 139
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Tue 30 Aug 11

wasthatthatguy says...

Some personality characteristics can't be changed by taking pills. I don't know what the situation is with the various conditions mentioned in the article. I wouldn't be surprised if none of the many mental illness and or mental disorder pills are much use. Well, useful to pharaceutical companies for profits. As regards taking "the professionals", medics and social workers etc, to court. The Government will pay the professionals' legal fees and any private individual claimant will have to pay his or her own legal fees. It is also worth bearing in mind that the judge, although allegedly entirely impartial, is also employed by the Government.
Some personality characteristics can't be changed by taking pills. I don't know what the situation is with the various conditions mentioned in the article. I wouldn't be surprised if none of the many mental illness and or mental disorder pills are much use. Well, useful to pharaceutical companies for profits. As regards taking "the professionals", medics and social workers etc, to court. The Government will pay the professionals' legal fees and any private individual claimant will have to pay his or her own legal fees. It is also worth bearing in mind that the judge, although allegedly entirely impartial, is also employed by the Government. wasthatthatguy
  • Score: 0

10:17pm Tue 30 Aug 11

NewTownOldie says...

I am glad that Robert cannot be that bad at relationships as he has a very long-term relationship with his wife and his 3 children. This must mean he cannot be that violent in the home as surely she would put her children and herself through domestic violence for over 18 years. Most asperger adults I know do not have any close personal relationships so the Joyce's are blessed and should appreciate that and move forward.
I am glad that Robert cannot be that bad at relationships as he has a very long-term relationship with his wife and his 3 children. This must mean he cannot be that violent in the home as surely she would put her children and herself through domestic violence for over 18 years. Most asperger adults I know do not have any close personal relationships so the Joyce's are blessed and should appreciate that and move forward. NewTownOldie
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Tue 6 Sep 11

Claire71uk says...

Citizen 139 wrote:
He had my sympathy until I read the legal action part then it was lost.
I am 40, female and diagnosed with ASD. I would like to get in touch with this man, as I too am considering legal action against my Community Mental Health Team for their atrocious treatment. For 459 days I have been without any level of care. Despite numerous referrals from GPs, Consultants and Link Nurses. They have passed the buck, refused to acknowlede my needs or provide NHS mental health care, as I have Autism Spectrum Disorder with co-morbid mental health, behavioural and social issues. I have been told to pay for CBT on my own and vet people myself (a recognised Vulnerable, Disabled). Even the Pshycologists just shunned me, and referred me to someone she googled...who is not recognised by NHS, National Autistic Society, Mind, Counsellors register or even British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), as they are not commissioned for on going care for adult patients with ASD ... which is totally against the Autism Act 2010. The CMHT has mis-diagnosed and mis-treated me for years. My complaint filed in April 2011 has not been escalated to the Parlimentary Health Service Ombudsman. My Advocates & NAS have suggested legal action too...as I tried everything to get help. May be CLASS ACTION suit would be better heard and understood.
[quote][p][bold]Citizen 139[/bold] wrote: He had my sympathy until I read the legal action part then it was lost.[/p][/quote]I am 40, female and diagnosed with ASD. I would like to get in touch with this man, as I too am considering legal action against my Community Mental Health Team for their atrocious treatment. For 459 days I have been without any level of care. Despite numerous referrals from GPs, Consultants and Link Nurses. They have passed the buck, refused to acknowlede my needs or provide NHS mental health care, as I have Autism Spectrum Disorder with co-morbid mental health, behavioural and social issues. I have been told to pay for CBT on my own and vet people myself (a recognised Vulnerable, Disabled). Even the Pshycologists just shunned me, and referred me to someone she googled...who is not recognised by NHS, National Autistic Society, Mind, Counsellors register or even British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), as they are not commissioned for on going care for adult patients with ASD ... which is totally against the Autism Act 2010. The CMHT has mis-diagnosed and mis-treated me for years. My complaint filed in April 2011 has not been escalated to the Parlimentary Health Service Ombudsman. My Advocates & NAS have suggested legal action too...as I tried everything to get help. May be CLASS ACTION suit would be better heard and understood. Claire71uk
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree