'We will have to move out of Wales to get specialist care for our autistic son|
TORFAEN, Wales: A family from Torfaen say they will have to move out of Wales to get specialist care for their autistic son.
Jordan Evans, 14, from Pontypool, has violent outbursts which his parents say they cannot control. hillip and Joy Evans want specialist residential care for their son, but say it is not available in Wales.
The Welsh Assembly Government said it had provided an extra £1.7m this year to meet the special educational needs of children with autism.
The developmental disability affects the way a person communicates and interacts with other people. Last week, six police officers were at the family home for five hours helping Mr and Mrs Evans to control Jordan, who is 6ft 2in and weighs 20 stone (127kg).
To help keep him calm, Mrs Evans makes up a dose of sedatives four times a day, and Mr Evans says he keeps close to his son's side at all times - sometimes having to restrain him.
The family say they will find out in the next few days if Jordan has been accepted at a residential home in Norfolk - a seven hour drive away from the family home.
Mrs Evans said the family would "more than likely" have to move.
She said: "There are absolutely no facilities at all, which is absolutely disgusting. Most parents are going to be batting their heads against a brick wall to get any help whatsoever, because there's none there."
Mr Evans added: "Now he's starting to walk around a bit, but for the first six days we were just coming down here sitting in the room and then going to bed and every now and again I was having to restrain him until the medicine kicked in. I was left here to carry on while he was still damaging stuff with no assistance, and as you can see, he's not the smallest lad in the world for 14, he's very large."
A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly Government said a consultation into services for adult and children with autism in Wales was under way.
He said: "We are unable to comment on individual cases. However, the number of similar cases [to the Evans'] is extremely small. There are no plans at present to develop a specialist centre in Wales."
In addition to the extra £1.7m funding for 2007-08 for education services, the Assembly Government would be funding a new post for someone to take forward the action plan set out following the consultation, he added.
(Source: BBC News Online, May 14, 2007)