Missing Teens with Developmental Disabilities near Seattle

What is happening to our youth?  They are not safe and are disappearing.

Just this week there have been at least 2 teens who have disappeared from their group homes.  One girl, age 14 was found but that was after she was tortured and sexually assaulted.  (they removed the story which described where she was found, the condition she was found in) She had only lived at her group home for about 4 days.

Malika, a 17 year old, has been missing since yesterday morning.  I do not know the circumstances but I know Malika.  She had lived at the same supportive community as my son and participated in the Special Olympics the past few years with him.  I would also frequently see her out walking and tending to the garden.  I had not seen her recently and now I know why.  She had been moved to a group home near Seattle.

Malika is still missing.  She has a history of elopement and the alarm at the group home did not work when she decided to leave.  Alarms useless if they do not work or if there is not a responsible person to respond to it.  Apparently neither of those things were working in this case and Malika is the one who is suffering.

I hear these stories and it confirms my thinking that a supportive community with active and alert staff is the safest environment for many of our loved ones.  This would not have happened if Malika had been living at Fircrest.

When I talk with my friend, the mother of another 19 year old at Fircrest who the state is trying to evict due to our age discrimination law of not allowing those under 21 access to the care of the supportive community, the fear and anxiety in my heart come to a full boil.  I cannot imagine fearing that my child would be evicted from his safe community home only to satisfy those who know nothing about caring for our loved ones.  Why must we be subjected to this brutality and have to fight to keep our kids safe?


One comment on “Missing Teens with Developmental Disabilities near Seattle

  1. ddexchanges says:

    Many years ago, at a Friends of Fircrest meeting, a state official, in charge of our District at the time, was promoting moving residents into “community” placements. Many parents offered reasons why their children needed to be where they were: at Fircrest School. One said, “My son would be too vulnerable out in the “community”. He would wander away and then be vulnerable to other youth who would take advantage of him. That already happened before we brought him here.” To this the official responded, “This is a revolution. Some people will have to be sacrificed for the changes that must take place.” (Close, but not exact quotes.)

    I think this is the attitude of many of the ideologues and zealots who promote “independence” and “integration” into “community” life, especially those paid to espouse that point of view. They have a vision that they imagine will be met if only they can be successful in moving everyone out of residential habilitation centers and “free up” all that lovely money they imagine will become available for all the people with dd living such fine and happy lives in the “community.” If some people are lost in the process, what is that to them?

    I pray Malika is found unharmed. May she then be returned to the safety of her former home at Fircrest School.


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