Mum who asked school to support autistic son accused of having Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Solihull, West Midlands UK – Jenny Lockley was suspected of having Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) after she asked school staff to give more support to her son Sam who has autism.

Staff at Lady Katherine Leveson Church of England Primary School accused Jenny of making up Sam’s autism after she demanded that Sam needed more help in the classroom.

The Mail Online reports that nursery school teachers dismissed 3 diagnoses of autism, one by a world-renowned doctor and that Jenny described the whole experience as being that of a ‘witch hunt’.

The article also reports that almost 800 people have signed an internet petition calling on the National Autistic Society (NAS) to act against accusations being used as a ‘bullying tactic’ by schools and local authorities.

Jenny said:

“This scandal has to be exposed before more damage is done.”

Jenny only found out that she was being investigated as a ‘Münchausen’s mum’ after she demanded to see council documents about herself using the Freedom of Information Act.

She found that staff at the school secretly watched her coming into school with Sam and her older daughter Laura, now 18, so as to prove their case.

The Mail Online also reports that they also held a secret meeting about her parenting skills during which ‘child protection issues’ were raised.

Jenny said:

“I was gutted to find out what they had engaged in, which was basically a witch hunt. My world fell apart.”

Jenny told that problems started when she tried to get Sam, now 12, assessed for special needs, but was told he was fine.

She has spent £10,000 on private medical reports proving that her son needs extra help, and has spent £14,000 on lawyers’ fees. Solihull Council finally funded a place at a private school for autistic children in 2010.

Carol Povey from the National Autistic Society said:

“Many families across the country struggle to get a diagnosis of autism for their child, and report that local authorities and professionals can lack the necessary understanding of the lifelong developmental condition.”

A spokesman for Solihull Borough Council said:

“We do not comment about the circumstances of individual cases.”

The full article by Stephen Adams in the Mail Online can be read here

A more in-depth analysis of this issue will be available in the March edition of Autistic Spectrum Digest, available on February 25