How Can this Happen?


The scenario below is true.  The client was 14 at the time.  He has a rare genetic syndrome which causes a global developmental delay, early onset pediatric dementia (his brain is shrinking), behavior problems coupled with manic and psychotic episodes.  This was after his 5th hospital admission in 1 1/2 years.

He was on a Home and Community Based Service Waiver at the time.

12/2008 – Admitted to Seattle Children’s – 2 week admission (4th Admission for this child to Inpatient Psychiatric Unit)

12/2008 – readmit (5th Admission) – Psychiatrist recommended out-of-home placement for safety and health of child and his family. RSN stated “would not approve” readmission again

1/2009 – DDD Region 4 Children’s Manager told client’s DDD caseworker – “Do not offer them anything”

1/2009 – Discharge meeting at Seattle Children’s, DDD Psychologist, DDD caseworker, MD, Teacher, Nurse  and discharge planner present.  No respite or residential availability in DDD system.  Mental Health Residential placement would not be appropriate for him. MD solution was to medically restrain him with high doses of Thorazine.  Parents objected, had medications changed and took him home.

When asked about next crisis due to readmission being denied, only solution offered to parents by this group was to



It got worse before it got better:

He now lives at Fircrest, an RHC.  He’s actively involved in his community and family life.  He’s safe, happy, well cared for and healthy.  He is only on two medications and not “medically restrained” at all.  Why does DDD want to deny a safe and healthy life to those they are supposed to help?




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