Saturday, January 24, 2009


We have heard a autistic family in the area is falling victim to ignorance. The child is a "runner" and managed to escape the house. A neighbor spotted the child and called police. The police have locked up a parent and have the child in the custody of social services. Such appalling ignorance on the part of the police and social services should not be tolerated.

I do not have the family's permission to release any details or identifying information, because I have not spoken with them directly. However, please join me in praying hard, and working towards educating our public servants so that this kind of ignorance does not tear apart other families.


Niksmom said...

Adding my prayers and good thoughts for them. Is there a disability law division of your state's legal aid program? They might be able to get some representation through them (at no cost to the family b/c of the child's "disability").

Susan from the Pacific Northwest said...

We had an interaction with the police department when my daughter got violent. In this case the officers were wonderful and bent over backward to help us. This included calls to their superior officer to get permission to not treat her as a the law requires you treat a domestic violence situation. It was a close call, but she was able to stay at home. At their recommendation we got a letter from my daughter's psychologist and doctor. It was there to show the police/social workers if at sometime in the future there was a similar problem. This explained the disability, the possible consequences, and recommended solutions - which in her case DID NOT include going to juvenile court.

We never had to use it, but felt much more secure having it.

Without that letter the police officers would required by the letter of the law to take her away from our home and treat her as a regular offender. The officers, by law, were given no leeway.

I don't know if such a letter would have helped in this situation you mention.


Christine said...

I'm not sure I've ever commented here before but I read your blog all the time.

I'm coming out of lurking mode now because this is something that we've always been afraid of. My son Oliver isn't a "runner", but if we don't keep a constant eye on him he will wander off. This has happened a couple of times and it is the most frightening thing in the world. My husband actually went to talk to the police chief in our town to find out what would happen if we ever had to call them. It was very instructive. Our police chief confided that his mother has alzheimers and so he has great sympathy for us but we know that not everyone does.

I will keep this family in my prayers.

kristi said...

I will pray for this family. How scary.

Stimey said...

That's so terrible. It gives me chills.

Club 166 said...

Our Buddy Boy used to be a runner (at festivals in the park, Disneyland, wherever and whenever he could get away). He's only run away twice during the last 2 summers, though. Both times the police had to be called. Once he was hiding in a neighbor's bushes, and once he made it about 3/4 of a mile to the park. We also had the police at the door once when someone (!!) in the house had called 911 to see what would happen, then didn't talk to them. And then didn't answer the phone when they called back. Nothing like opening your front door to a nervous cop with his hand on his gun.

Fortunately there hasn't been any progression to having to go to court. But I always think when I read these stories that "There but for the grace of G_d go I".

We'll keep them in our prayers.