A letter to a parent in Georgia

106561979_dcfcd1c07f_oI imagine that right now you are feeling a little anxious.  Maybe you aren’t feeling anything at all.

I don’t know your situation, but chances are that if you are reading the things that I write, you have some experience with what I write about.  Maybe not at the depths that we are dealing with, and maybe at a much deeper level than what we are dealing with.  At any rate, it is my hope that you know that you are not alone in your struggles.

Never have I claimed to know everything about every situation, and most of the time, I fly by the seat of my pants when dealing with David, however no matter how difficult his behaviors are, no matter how scared I am, we have never, and I mean never locked him in a cage.

Now I don’t know the situation that you are dealing with, I don’t know what led you to this decision, I can’t fathom the thought process behind it.  All that comes to mind is  “what in the sam hell were you thinking?”  At what point is this a good idea?  Surely you could have asked for help?  How could you lock your own children in a cage?

A few months ago I wrote about the recommendations of two psychiatrists to give our son up to the state to get him the help that he needs.  I, no we, as a family decided that this was not the path for our family to take in regards to David’s care.

If I ever get to the point where I feel that the only option available to me is to lock my son in a cage, I hope to hell that someone steps in and does something to help us resolve the situation.

So here you are experiencing some of what your children felt, except that your children had to experience this not from a legal standpoint, but from their own family. What must they be feeling? What must they be thinking?

Granted, I don’t have all of the facts in the case.  All that I know is what has been reported in the news.  But, you aren’t the only parents who seem to think that the only option available to deal with the needs of your child is to lock them in a cage of some sort.  Years ago we had these things called institutions where people placed their children, and often those children grew into adulthood with no idea that there was a world outside of the institution that encompassed their whole existence.

We are actively seeking a facility for our son.  I will temper that with this thought.  He will not be in a place with hundreds of other kids.  He will get to leave campus with staff.  He will get to accomplish things in the community outside of the facility.  Will it be better for him?  Yes, I think so.  The number one key component of his care is this:  He will NOT be in a cage.  I won’t place him in one unless ordered to do so by a court of law.

For the sake of your children, I hope that they find safe homes with families that will fight for them. That will fight to get them the help that they might need.  Most of all, a family that will love them unconditionally regardless of their level of need.

There may be times when we don’t like our son very much, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t love him, or that he isn’t a part of a family.  It sure as heck doesn’t mean he deserves to be locked in a cage.  I believe with all that I am that David was brought into our lives for a reason.

A parent of a child with special needs.

Carl

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