Showing posts from February, 2011

Thoughts from this week

When you are the parent of a developmentally disabled adult, you measure successes in increments. Last week, Alan called on Sunday to find out when we were coming to get him for Sunday dinner. We discussed a time, and I was getting ready to remind him to shower, shave, and have on clean clothes when he said, "I prepared. I can use the word 'prepared' because it means ready. I am using a new word, 'prepared.'" It made me happy all day because he is still trying to do new things, however small.

Thinking back over the last 30 years with our son, I see this ebb and flow of emotion. I have written many times about the ups and downs as a special needs parent. My mother and I were reminiscing this week about the intense nature of our parenting journey. I had a few episodes of deep depression - the kind where you cry all the time and can't stop - as a result of dealing with the constant difficulties in raising a young man who can't control h…

Human Development Centers - Part 3

The Justice Department of the United States had filed a lawsuit against the state of Arkansas last year. In that lawsuit, the USJD had alleged that the Human Development Centers in Arkansas violated the rights of individuals with disabilities because the residents of these HDC's were essentially kept out of the community.

This last month, the lawsuit was dismissed, without prejudice, essentially because the Justice Department had violated its own rules by filing the lawsuit before the state had a chance to rectify the problems cited. This does not mean that it is over, since the merits of the case will be reviewed soon, and the suit may be refiled.

Today in our state paper, it was reported that one of the oldest and largest HDC's was going to move their children to private facilities throughout the state. This HDC serves 460+ adults, and 50 children under the age of 18. The thinking of the state is that these children are deprived of an education by being housed in the HDC…