Way back in 2011 and 2012 when Washington State was “researching” issues related to caring for our DD population, there was a DD Task Force which met several times. The goal was to discuss the future of DD Care in our state with emphasis on the consolidation and closure of the close the Intermediate Care Centers.
Several of the predictions I had and tried to communicate to other DD Advocates and legislators have come to fruition. Please listen to the families who are the real experts and survivors. Advocacy Agencies such as The Arc, Disability Rights Washington and other similar agencies which receive public funds to provide advocacy must abide by their policies – policies which may not be in the best interest of those actually involved.
- SL Start and client neglect/abuse – I reported issues in August 2012 to the legislature. Senator Adam Kline only provided ridicule and sarcasm in his response to me –
“But I suspect this won’t happen. I could be wrong, but I suspect that this story’s real value to the RHC advocates is in its expected political effect. It portrays the RHC families—even the residents—as pawns in a game in which the malevolent community advocates are the operators. SL Start is the villain in this instance, maybe the Arc the next time, maybe the Governor. And you are “silenced” by these conspirators. The victims are rendered mute, while only the conspirators may speak. The conspirators “manipulate some of our community members.” Oh, please!”
Obviously, this Senator believes this situation is fabricated to make an issue. I wish it was but it’s not. This Senator goes on to berate me for being an advocate for safe and appropriate care and categorizes me into the “pro RHC” side. When will he and others realize that it’s not about sides – it’s about safe and appropriate care for each individual.
April 2018 Headline – Apparently I had some real information that needed some attention. If only people had taken the time to listen, trauma could have been alleviated.
Below is an excerpt from the blog post dated September 8, 2012. I address the issue that DDA did not even consider the issue of DD clients using the hospital and ER as crisis care.
That comes from a different budget so it’s not a factor to DDA. Well it should be because it greatly affects the PEOPLE involved in addition to adding overall cost to our state’s budget.
While the concept of the crisis team is good, why not use the facilities and services we already have in place to run this program out of? We have the space and expertise to do this already and it seems ridiculous to start a whole new program for something that we have which already works very well.
I believe this was also part of Julianne’s testimony and she is 100% correct in her assessments of the situation.
As a parent who has survived crisis after crisis, I can also tell you that you should look to the hospital emergency room data on how many people are taken there for crisis. I believe you will find a lot more information regarding where folks with developmental disabilities go when they have a crisis. I also know this is the case from working with other families and hearing their stories. Talk to the ER nurses at Seattle Children’s and ask them how many families bring their kids with DD (particularly autism) there for crisis intervention. Talk to the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit doctors, nurses, and staff and Seattle Children’s. I believe you will find staggering numbers. You will see a much different picture than one you may hear from DDD. DDD is not aware of many of these crisis admissions to the hospitals because they are not notified.
What about connecting the crisis care team with the local hospitals and emergency medical response systems? What about connecting with the Crisis Line? I know that not only in our family’s case but in many, many others, these are the systems which we accessed in times of crisis. These are the places in which we will be able to realize the extent of the crisis situation with people with DD.
Please read the report the DD Ombuds published and consider the tasks outlined to address this critical problem.
Provide appropriate funding to community residential providers and support the ICF to provide appropriate care for DD clients in crisis.