Islington, UK – We have been following the case of Stephen Andrade very closely, we last reported on this story in July, ‘Petition by Leonor Andrade-Martinez to bring Stephen Home‘ can be read by clicking here.
We recently learned that Stephen, aged 19 and who has severe autism has been transferred from the psychiatric unit at St Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton, 60 miles away from his home, to a specialist autism unit situated within a secure hospital in Colchester.
Stephen’s mother, Leo, launched a petition that gained over 10,000 signatures as well as appearing on Channel 4 News and in the national media in her fight to bring Stephen home.
Leo stated in her change.org petition:
“Stephen is locked up 24:7. If my son is not having a good day or is unsettled they won’t take him out into the grounds, this is a huge space which Stephen would love. He goes for weeks and months without going outside into the grounds. For the past 15 months he has not been taken out into the community.
His social life is non-existent. If Stephen has a meltdown 4 to 5 people jump on him to restrain him. Sometimes this is up to 5 hours.”
However, it could still take over a year before Stephen is eventually allowed home.
Oak Tree Manor in Colchester, where Stephen is now residing, will have a settling in period of a month before his parents and other family members are allowed to visit.
Leo told the Islington Gazette:
“Islington social services have said that before he can have 24 hour care at home they have to see that he can be helped and improve so we have to agree to these terms.
“Anything has to be better than what he had before, we know that Oak Tree Manor will keep him busy and they have an excellent occupational therapy team.
“We’re quite optimistic but the fight doesn’t end here.”