A* grade pupil hanged herself after being diagnosed with mild autism

The Mirror is reporting that a star pupil who scored a string of top GCSE grades hanged herself after being diagnosed with Asperger’s…

Elspeth McKendrick, 16, killed herself just weeks after she scored a string of A* grades at GCSE because she couldn’t come to terms with her diagnosis, an inquest heard.

The school prefect desperately wanted to fit in at school and had built up a circle of friends – but felt alone after doctors told her she had Asperger’s syndrome in 2012.

The inquest in Heywood, Greater Manchester, heard that Miss McKendrick was ”happy to be odd and eccentric” and struggled to tell people how she felt about her diagnosis.

Just a week after going on a school trip as part of the National Citizen Service, the teenager was found hanged in her bedroom after leaving a note apologising to her family and telling how she wished she could open up to friends.

The Dr Who and Sherlock fan was upset at the diagnosis and felt unable to tell anyone of her feelings about it…

Miss McKendrick’s father Euan, 43, told the inquest: “She was not happy about her diagnosis and she wanted to be Elspeth and felt the diagnosis was a waste of time. CAMHS she saw as toxic and not about her and more about her mother’s needs and not her needs…

“She did feel an awful lot of pressure. She felt she was being observed. I am afraid she did not like being watched or observed. Part of the CAMHS problem was that she was convinced they were taking notes about her and sharing it with her mother…”

More at: A* grade pupil hanged herself after being diagnosed with mild autism


Very sad story and interesting comments about the role of CAMHS – any feedback or insights on this? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Health and Secondary.


  1. Nor_edu

    SchoolsImprove very sad. Not much info but also seems to have issues with mother? I hope CAMHS have been able to take something from case

  2. BehaviourA

    Tragic – I have had concerns for some time about about ‘post diagnosis’ care and information, or rather complete lack of it. Not just for Autism but for ADHD/ ODD/ PDA etc etc
    For info – Autism is a spectrum – no such thing as ‘mild Autism’ and Asberger’s as a diagnosis is being phased out. Asberger’s used to be the term given to describe high functioning Autism without associated language impairments.

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