Three words: diagnosis, treatment, and cure. Associated with the medical industry predominantly. Identify the problem, conclude the reason, and venture down a path of action, hopefully to a cure. Autism fits nicely into the first two terms but falls agonisingly short of the final stage. However, let us not fool ourselves that a course of action does not reward with many successes, nor that Autism holds the exclusive rights to incurable ailments and conditions.
Medicine, or the practice of medicine to be specific, is a profession followed throughout the world. Through the ages, the study of medicine has made many wonderful advances, and crucially, no single country the sole pioneer. All nations contributing towards the common goal. Knowledge shared, gains made, and the masses benefitted.
National Health Service. Another three words that reverberate around the world. Renowned as a pioneer and an institution held dear to the hearts of many. Election time, and the protagonists using NHS (along with the usual triumvirate friends of tax and education) to embellish their manifestos is nothing new. Perhaps a lack of faith in politics, the timing, and personal cynicism plants a firm wedge between potential goals of the health service, politicians, and Lucky’s predicament.
SEN, or Special Educational Needs to provide the full grandiose title, is a UK government initiative to assist the young with respect to education, as its name implies. Those deemed to require SEN might receive funding through an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC). Funding the operative word in the preceding sentence. SEN to EHC means taxpayers money. In addition, more importantly, a diagnosis from the NHS must form the basis of this pyramid.
Early intervention is a common term amongst Autism community. Consensus from medical experts is the earlier a treatment program begins the better the chance of a positivity outcome. Hence, one hopes to commence therapy as soon as possible. Conversely, delayed intervention and assistance reckoned to cost the taxpayer millions of Pounds in the long term.
Facts laid bare. Throw in a diagnosis for Lucky and you think we have our proverbial ducks in a row. Apparently, and rather disappointingly, no. Not even close. Why the question begs. Simple. South African doctors can never be trusted, right? Surely, the purveyors of witchcraft, black magic and all things non-Western do not deserve credit in comparison to the mighty brilliance of NHS doctors (the slate here against government policy and not the actual medical profession). Do lions still roam the streets, electricity remain a figment of imagination, and all things medical based upon hearsay and leaches? Just maybe, and I venture a very tentative maybe, the doctors from other lands could well know their respective stuff! Lest we not mention who performed the first heart transplant for example.
Our mistake is to hold a diagnosis from South African medical fraternity. Along with any private opinion, NHS views such hocus pocus in dim light. Two-to-three years to diagnose. Teams of experts required. No foreign start-up acceptable. Perhaps not. Perhaps the cynic in me sees another viewpoint. Diagnosis leads to SEN, which leads to EHC, which in turn means money. Still, the longer we play this game the further behind the early intervention curve one falls, and so in the end, the taxpayer burden far greater.
Electric shock treatment and other bizarre teachings. Sure. Keep the children safe from such madness. But an Autism diagnosis brings not such radical theories into play. Thus, do not hide behind misdiagnosis as a major delaying tactic. Call for honesty, call from some sense.