A mother who sought help for her son was taken under the wing of a local Arc Chapter. They promised her that he could be moved from the RHC to a community home near their home community. This mom believed them, because why wouldn’t one believe that The Arc would advocate for her son with developmental disabilities – isn’t that what they are supposed to do?
Margaret believed and The Arc provided. Margaret testified to our legislature that she supported SB 5459 and at the time, she did and believed it was about choice. Then, she started to see some inconsistencies during a retreat for advocacy training. She said that she would not testify again because she didn’t believe them anymore. These “advocates” stopped supporting her, turned their backs on her and her son and her life has become a living hell.
She was not allowed to visit her teenage son without giving at least an hour’s notice to the home. Then she noticed that her already thin son was losing weight, his skin ashen and his eyes dull. She complained that the written menus were not being followed and there was not adequate food in the home. There were other problems too – not only with her son but with the other residents. The mom took her son to the pediatrician that he had seen almost his whole life and then the boy was taken to the hospital.
This is where the story takes an even more sinister turn – CPS was called – not to investigate the allegations that she had against the group home but against her. Her son was removed from her and taken to an undisclosed location. She had to go to court and lost total custody and is only allowed supervised visits. Last night the CPS case worker “forgot” to take the son to meet his mom, she tried to call the home, the CPS worker and DDD. No one answered the phone and she had no idea where her son was.
We have written letters to all legislators in Washington and to MaryAnne Lindeblad. Ms. Lindeblad immediately responded and told me that this would be investigated. I attempted to get through to Disability Rights Washington but they were not responsive. I filed a complaint with the Office of Family and Child Ombudsmen regarding alleged false accusations against this mom.
I am very glad to say that we do have some extremely strong legislators who have integrity and they are working to help this family reunite. We can not thank them enough for their continued support and work for our most vulnerable citizens: Representative Sherry Appleton, Senator Maralyn Chase, Representative Maureen Walsh and Senator Pam Roach are heroes in our eyes tonight.
This is very unfortunate that The Arc will not support anyone that does not agree with their platform. Not only will they not support you, but in this case they have actually done great harm. This mom now knows that community is not always best and she wishes she had never listened to their “lies and trickery.”
This is not ADVOCACY at all – this is abuse and it needs to stop.