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The arrogance of the Autism Treatment Trust

Posted Nov 26 2010 8:52am

Earlier this week, Anthony wrote about the and their arrogance in assuming that association with a Nobel prize winner meant their untested therapies were suddenly OK to use.

Today I discovered that their arrogance extended to ignoring the law in the services they offer.

According to their website :

...if you are in need of respite, please contact us and send us a short outline of what your needs are.

The provision of Respite care in Scotland is taken very seriously by the government. So seriously that it set up something called the Care Commission . The Care Commission is there to:

The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 (the Act) established a system of care regulation in Scotland. The Act‘s purpose is to provide greater protection for people in need of care services. We are required by the Act to regulate certain care services.

with one of those service being ‘Short breaks and respite care services’ .

One of the great services on the Care Commission website is the ability to check whether a service is registered with them or not. I invite you to do it now – why not check to see if the Autism Treatment Trust is registered?

In fact, I’ll save you some time. They’re not.

Before I blogged this I wanted to be absolutely sure of two things:

1) That the Autism Treatment Trust were definitely not registered with the Care Commission
2) That the Autism Treatment Trust were definitely offering respite.

I tackled the second point first. As members of the Autism Treatment Trust know who I am I decided to assume a false identity and email them. I asked Autism Treatment Trust if they could offer me respite care. The response was:

Thank you for your interest in the Autism Treatment Trust. We have respite care by some of our professional volunteers. This is free of charge, however you would have to cover the travel costs of the volunteer. Some of the respite is offered at the clinic after school or on a Saturday.

So that took care of that – Autism Treatment Trust were definitely offering respite.

To tackle the first point I contacted the Care Commission and asked them if the Autism Treatment Trust were registered with them, as they must be by law. They were not.

Autism Treatment Trust are flouting the law in Scotland. As a autism parent I went on to report them to the Care Commission. The Duty Officer I spoke to was very interested and confirmed that Autism Treatment Trust were definitely breaking the law and that steps would be taken. These steps would include an investigation of Autism Treatment Trust and the forced cessation of offering respite care.


I recieved this email from the Care Commission earlier:

Following your enquiry regarding Autism Treatment Trust I have spoke with the organisation’s President and a doctor working in the clinic. They have confirmed that the respte on offer is where a volunteer (Disclosure Scotland checked) provides activities in the young person’s home while the parent is in the home. The volunteer does not carry out any personal care or administration of medication. Given these circumstances the organisation would not be required to register as a care service.

I have advised them that if they develop their respite to enable the parent to leave the home then they would need to apply to the Care Commission for registration

My response

Dear ******,

That is not what the service was described to me as. The email I received clearly states:

“Some of the respite is offered at the clinic after school or on a Saturday.”

Are parents present during this activity?

Update No.2

The relavent page on the ATT website has now changed from its content this morning. This morning the content was as this screenshot (click for bigger):

The content now reads (click for bigger):

  1. Catherina:
    WOW - I really want parents here to have the chance for respite care, but not completely unlicensed!
  2. Tweets that mention Autism Blog - The arrogance of the Autism Treatment Trust « Left Brain/Right Brain --
    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kev, Catherina+ScienceMom. Catherina+ScienceMom said: RT @kevleitch The arrogance of the Autism Treatment Trust [...]
  3. Lorene is not a Doctor:
    I would urge all Scottish based parents (or any parent really) to add your voice to this and speak to the care commission yourself. There number is 0845 603 0890 It would also be really interesting to find out how many of their 'professional volunteers' had actually been CRB checked and what level of training they had been given.... Some training from a so called 'ABA consultant' does not merit leaving a person with a very complex child on their own either at a centre or at the family home... even sitter services are vetted better than this and their staff undergo lengthy training. Don't children with a diagnosis of autism deserve better than what these cowboys are willing to provide? Arrogance is dangerous at the best of times- but thankfully this time their arrogance may have finally got the better of them instead of continually putting children at risk for the sake of so called 'science'.....
  4. daedalus2u:
    Good, very well done.
  5. k:
    So, the crime here is offering free baby sitting services? Oh, the horror! Flouting the law? What exactly are they gaining by offering free respite? I fail to see the outrage here.

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