Have you been persecuted because of your disabled child?

Our autistic daughter Erin at about age 5 - Erin is a beautiful and loving person, but profoundly autistic.
@cognigen (121)
Mexico
January 12, 2007 2:12am CST
Please post your stories of persecution by police and other government agencies as a result of your efforts to raise a disabled child. We have many stories, but for just one example, my autistic daughter Erin likes to disrobe and smear poop. Once, I had Erin strapped into her car seat, and I got out of the car to fill it with gas. After I filled the tank, I checked on Erin, made sure the child safe locks were set so she could not get out, then I ran inside to pay. I was out within 2-3 minutes, by which time Erin was naked and smeared with poop, and a bystander had called the police on her cellphone. The police arrived within a minute and handcuffed me just as I had started to try to clean up Erin and her mess. They were SURE I was involved in some kind of bizarre form of child abuse or neglect.
6 people like this
16 responses
• United States
12 Jan 07
My daughter is seven. She has ADHD and mild retardation is how the doctor puts things. The only real problem I have had is with the school. I had to call the school board several times to contact teachers or someone involved with my child. My daughter still has some problems with sitting still or waiting her turn. At first, the school told me she had to do like everyone else. That's when I got mad. My daughter tries very hard, but isn't like everyone else. I finally got the school board involved after threatening to take them to court over how they treated her. One teacher even yelled at her constantly which freaked my daughter out since she also has a sensitivity disorder. People just don't understand until they are in the situation. Hang in there. Maybe the world one day will educate these stupid people on different children's abilities.
4 people like this
• United States
12 Jan 07
Hopefully 2007 will be a better year for you too! Sorry that you went throught that! YES hopefully the world will be better educated!
1 person likes this
@MrNiceGuy (4148)
• United States
12 Jan 07
Autism is just coming into the forefront of society. It used to be something that was shut away, they used to send autistic people to insane asylums. It's terrible, but more and more people are becoming aware of it now, there are news specials and education that are focusing on enlightening people to better understand. Good luck, you must be a very strong person.
3 people like this
• United States
13 Jan 07
Autism is becoming more well known in society now because the rate of autism in society is dramatically increasing. As the rate of childhood vaccinations has gone up, the rate of autism has gone up. When our son became autistic at age 12 a few years ago, it was hard to find an autistic. Now you find autistic children in grocery stores and in line at the post office. I think the rate of autism in the United States is now up to something like one child for every 68 families.
@clownfish (3278)
• United States
14 Jan 07
Hi! The exact rate is 1 in 166 children will be autistic. Actually, they don't really know if Austism is occurring more frequently or if diagnostic methods are just better. There are a lot of people with austistic-like symptoms who have never been diagnosed. :-)
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
12 Jan 07
Wow Erin is beautiful. How lucky she is to have you two as parents. I don't have any children of my own but have worked with disabled children and adults since I was 14. I have many funny stories. Here is a really funny one..About my new assistant and the police. I was driving a transportation van full of disabled adults. They all were at the same workshop together. Now out of the 10 most dangerous, I drove 7 of them. One of the women I drove needed a Monitor to keep her, the passengers and me the driver safe should she tantrum. Well she tried to bite the aide while I was driving. The aid was new and was hysterical. Now the woman, Lori was climbing over seats and biting, pulling hair and sceaming the whole time. I was just getting on the hiqhway and pulled over. The aide jumped off the bus, I couldn't get my car radio to work, no one would respond. Everyone on the van was now screaming, crying, head banging, kicking seats, rocking... you name it. I finally got a hold of her and restrained her on one of the seats. Now I was stuck there. So my little helper, Marc got on the microphone.."D D DDriver Down, DDD DDDDriver down, help mmmmmmeeee my god. I tried so hard not to laugh. He was putting all he had into it, calm as a cucumber. Meanwhile the aide is outside and won't get on the van and help me. Finally the police come by and stopped. I thought I would be greatful..Oh no they tell me you can't hold her there it's against her rights. I explained and asked them to call the workshop that was only a couple of miles away. Oh no they wanted to argue about me restraining her. I finally said amidst all the screaming and carrying on, If I let go of her, you are responsible for what happens next. They quickly changed thier minds while everyone started screaming no don't let go. The workshop sent someone and we safely got lori off the bus. I got everyone calmed down and the aide back on the bus...for her last time. I was so proud of Marc I made him a Hero Certificate.
@cognigen (121)
• Mexico
12 Jan 07
Thank you. That is a great story. The legal issues regarding seriously mentally disabled people in the USA are complex, and often not helpful to either the disabled or to those who take care of them.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
12 Jan 07
You have to be an amazing person to do work like that. I'm glad that there are people out there like you!
1 person likes this
@wolflvr (336)
• United States
12 Jan 07
I have a special needs son. He has always had a tough time in school. When we moved to a different city things got worse. The first thing the school system always wants to do is blame the parents for all the behaviors. Even though my son has been working with the special ed department since he was 4. It is a battle everyday if it is not one thing it is another. People say how parents with special needs children must be strong to handle a special child. In my experience it is all I know and just becomes part of your day to day living.
3 people like this
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
12 Jan 07
Wow! That is horrible. I guess as a bystander, you wouldn't notice that she was fine just minutes before, but it's amazing that the police don't have to ask some sort of questions before assuming you did something to her. I agree with other posters that your daughter is beautiful and lucky to have you.
2 people like this
• United States
13 Jan 07
My best friend works with autistic children and I have heard of this before. ,ost people have not. try to take some relief in the fact that omeone tried to help a child nstread of idely sitting by and doing nothing. most people would do nothing. i am sorry you have to go through this. good luck in life, and know they are making great strides with autism these days.
1 person likes this
@smbilalshah (1318)
• Pakistan
12 Jan 07
whoa i never knew that kind of problems ppla had to face sometimes as if bringing up a disabled chil wasnt hard enough and now police and other agencies also givin em hard time instead of helping
1 person likes this
@locolady (375)
• Canada
12 Jan 07
I know the feeling al too well,my eldest daughter was diagnosed ADHD with LD,but not before child services hauled me in to proclaim me as a bad parent,because I as a single parent busted my butt at work 45-60 hrs a week to support my children...My daughter takes a 3.00 pill a day just to stay tuned to the real world some days it works some days it doesnt...Well after 5 yrs in court,the loss of a 35 000 a yr min. job,and a really really hefty laywers bill I still have my children,and some gained words of wisdom for those who don't have or work with special needs children,they need to MIND there own business.
@Tatsuya (1150)
• United States
12 Jan 07
I personally do not have a child with a disbility, that I know of. Both of my girls are under school age, and my youngest is only 7 months old. Growing up, though, my best friends brother was autistic. He used to like to watch things spin, he would spin batteries all the time! When he got upset he would put one hand in his mouth, with the knuckles facing his teeth, and hit his hand with his other one. He has red marks on his hand all the time from doing that. He had to have surgery so he could walk, and I don't believe he is potty trained still. I can't recall anytime when Child Protective Services was called on her and her family, but I know when we went out everyone would stare at him. It always upset me, and I'd yell at the people who were gawking. When people see someone different they either stare or act like that person isn't there. They need to come to grips and understand that not everyone is the same. It doesn't matter if someone has a disability, they shouldn't be treated like they are in a side-show. But back to the matter at hand, I know that when he went to school, he had special classes and stuff. I still love that little boy to this day! I hope the world will open their eyes and learn.
1 person likes this
@albert2412 (1782)
• United States
12 Jan 07
We have definitely had these experiences. Our autistic son used to disrobe and smear poop on the walls. He stopped doing this a long time ago. He is much better now. We also have had a bad experience with the cops. I came home from work one day and it seemed like half the police force was parked in front of our house. My wife was waiting for me to get home before she would open the door, inspite of their very persistent and loud knocking. The cops called Children's Protective Service. CPS cleared us any wrong doing, but this event left a bad taste in our mouths and was very traumatic for us. I have lost respect for the cops ever since this event.
@Pekachu (1114)
• United States
13 Jan 07
i have been through it all i have a son with prader-willi syndrome with this comes lots of behavior issues the schools have called child protective services saying im torturing my son that he has burn marks all over him for 1 they wernt burn marks they were skin pickings he picks his skin all the time the schools are always told about this but they dont liston oh ya lifes a joy isnt it
@locolady (375)
• Canada
14 Jan 07
oh yes isin't it great being hauled out of work and interogated about self-inflicted wounds-one of the other things my daughter likes to do when she gets mad is chews her fingers and toes till they bleed,rips clothing,and anything else she can destroy..life ain't cheap thats for sure ...
@itsjustmeb (1213)
• Canada
15 Jan 07
I haven't been persecuted by the police, but we have child protection involved in regards to my oldest son. It feels like they are punishing me, because of his many deficits (autism, adhd, odcd, non verbal learning disorder) because they won't allow him to be left alone (hes almost 13!) and they expect me to quit my job and just live off of nothing so he can be supervised. HE has proven to them he can be left alone, but they won't allow me to leave him alone.
@Sawsen (795)
• United States
13 Jan 07
That is just extremely sad. And I'm extremely angered by the actions of that stranger. I understand that that person probably didn't know what was going on, and decided to be safe just in case, but that person should have mentioned something before calling the cops. I think we live in a day and age where people are frightened by everything. And everyone seems to be a suspect and a criminal. I think your daughter is extremely beautiful, and she is blessed to have wonderful parents, as you are blessed to have a wonderful daughter.
@123mosco (630)
• Nigeria
12 Jan 07
yes so may time.
• Nigeria
12 Jan 07
NO i have not been i do not have a child yet.
• India
12 Jan 07
hmm.......no