Psychiatric Drug Facts via :

“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Dec 24, 2012

One of my Heroes

"Contempt has something in common with respect; 
much like respect, contempt can only be earned." 
A MadMother quote
Isaac on my birthday June 1990 
My son has endured mistreatment, abuse, and civil rights violations virtually his entire life at the hands of mental health professionals and child welfare workers. He has even been told he can not go swimming at the YMCA and a Yakima City pool by himself as an adult. Yakima School District gave him a half day of school from the first through sixth grade. The local DSHS office Children’s Administration staff had an attitude that can best be described as unprofessional; in truth, hateful.

Federal guidelines state a person cannot be denied federally funded Medicaid medical services by virtue of needing them for long periods, by virtue of needing them in the past, or because their condition requires a high level of care. The disrespectful unprofessional attitude of Child Welfare staff was evident from my first contact with the local Children’s Administration office and prevelant the entire time I was forced to deal with them. The first time I had any contact was when the Seattle office asked the Yakima office to make a “courtesy” home visit to a new home that Isaac and I had moved to. The caseworker who performed this "courtesy visit" stated with a sneer upon her arrival, "If it were up to me, you wouldn’t have got your son back.” My son was in the room.

The local children's Administration office referred to Isaac as, “A Seattle Dump Job.” My son, was severely behaviorally disturbed due to having been beat up and locked in a closet by a foster parent. A crime that by Law should have been reported to Law Enforcement; but was covered up by Children's Administration instead. For having the audacity to aggressively seek appropriate treatment and services for my severely traumatized child, I was given a psychiatric diagnosis; and of all the things I've been called, this one is my favorite. I was labeled with "Dependent Personality Disorder." 

I believe the State of Washington has a duty to help my son recover from his injuries. I also believe that once Isaac was victimized by a violent crime in foster care, the State was unwilling to ethically perform any duty it owed my son. The State does whatever it can, legal or illegal doesn't matter, as long as it can abdicate it's duty to those victimized in state paid care settings; and it does so with impunity.

When I brought Isaac home from foster care he was 5. I was asked, “If you can’t take care of him, why did you take him back?” by a Children's Administration Supervisor. The same supervisor, Gary Peterson, later lied about what had taken place at a team meeting held to discuss Isaac's needs; he lied about what was recommended by the treatment team for Isaac's care. Isaac's needs were unchanged, his condition had not improved; he continued to need a great deal of help. Peterson's lie resulted in services being terminated. My son was hospitalized yet again; a hopitalization that cost the taxpayers $30,000 for a three week hospital stay. The services that were terminated cost $2,200. a month.

 All of the treatment and supports that were recommended for Isaac that I begged, pleaded, and ultimately screamed about him needing; were supposed to be available under EPSDT; on paper, in the contract the  local mental health clinic had with the State, the County and the RSN, the services were available; mandated by the contract, and State Law; in reality, they were nonexistent. The services that were provided as a substitute were federally funded "Family Preservation Services" which are supposed to be used in crisis situations; and were never intended to be used long-term, and not as a substitute for providing the necessary treatment for chronic mental health conditions. The fact that Family Preservation Services were supposed to be short-term is something I was constantly being reminded of by Child Welfare staff; staff blamed Isaac and myself for his "failure to recover" (my  "failure as a parent" was merely implied) without recommended treatment. The fact is, my son and I were being traumatized by the manner in which we were treated by professionals who were failing to perform their jobs as public servants, people who in effect, worked for us...

I was ultimately forced to give custody back to the state, Children's Administration claimed it was required, that it was the only way Medicaid would pay for his ongoing care. I found out later when I was doing my research to rescue him from CSTC, this claim was in fact a lie. Isaac already had Medicaid; and there was then, and there is now, no such requirement that a child must be in State custody in order for Medicaid to cover the cost of their Medical care. My court appointed attorney advised me to sign the “consent” for an "Agreed Order" to place my son in the custody of the system that had harmed him so very badly in the first place. I wanted it put on the record the real reason, we were even there. (the failure to provide  recommended treatment and in-home services that his psychiatrist said were necessary to treat his injuries)

I found out years later, that at that particular hearing, was the only opportuntity the law allows to have entered into the Court's record my own understanding of why the State of Washington was in effect, "legally" kidnapping my son. I was never properly informed of this parental right by my Court-appointed attorney, or by the Case Worker with Children's Administration. In effect, my attorney, the Social Worker with Children's Administration, and Isaac's Team Child attorney worked together to coerce me into signing the "Agreed Order" by reassuring me it was the only "responsible" thing for me to do. They told me if I didn't sign the "Agreed Order," the State's attorney would simply claim I was refusing to act in my son's "best interest," and the Order would be granted anyway.  

I remained unaware of the how badly my parental rights were violated for years, it was not until I was researching in order to rescue my son, that I found out on my own, how badly I had been betrayed by my legal advocate.  It is my belief the reason for the charade was so that the State of Washington could defraud the Federal Child Welfare program, to help pay for the cost of Isaac's care. The State could only claim child welfare funds if he was a ward of the State. So they violated State and Federal Law and made him a ward of the State. I was robbed of my parental rights, and I was assured that I retained my parental rights to provide Informed Consent for Isaac's medical treatment. What the law stated my rights were, and the rights I in reality was allowed, are not even close... For an "Agreed Order for a Consent to Place" to be a valid legal document, is to be signed without coercion.  I was in fact coerced.  The only reason I signed it is because I was told that if I did not sign it, the State would tell the Court I was not willing to act in my son's best interest; and I was assured by my attorney that I retained my parental rights to provide Informed Consent for Isaac's medical treatment. I was lied to, I was betrayed. It is, and has been, a nightmare that is made worse by the prospect that my precious son's death from iatrogenic injuries will in all likelihood, will precede my own.

Initially, he was placed in a group home here in town for 10 months, at a cost of $5,000. a month. 4 times in those 10 months he left the group home without the staff on duty being aware he was gone. 2 of these occasions, he hitchhiked to our home, and I was legally obligated to return him to the group home; even though the staff person on duty was unaware he had even been missing! Can you imagine, the horror of being obligated by law to return your child to a place where  you know for a fact he is neglected and abused?! On another occasion, he broke his foot so severely, it required surgery to repair, and he walks with a limp to this day. After breaking his foot, he hitchhiked to the hospital and I was contacted by the ER and informed that my son was injured and that he was alone. I called the group home, and the staff on duty lied to me, telling me Isaac was asleep in his bed. The staff person was unaware he had jumped out of a 2nd floor window, and was not even at the group home. When I asked if they would please check on him so I could tell him gooodnight if he was still awake; the staff person was rude to me, and only agreed to do so when I insisted.

While the local DSHS Child Welfare office provided services when I forced the issue, the services were NEVER what was recommended for Isaac's injuries and his diagnoses of PTSD and Left Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. The system should have bent over backwards to provide the help he needed since his injuries are a direct result of the State's negligence; Children's Administration placed him in the foster home where he was victimized. He was placed in a home that had several credible reports filed with CPS asking the state to stop placing children in the home.  12 reports were in fact filed prior to Isaac being placed in the foster home, a pediatrician, a minister and the social worker that had recommended the foster parent to the state in the first place, among them.

If the local DSHS Children's Administration staff had a problem with the Seattle office, it was an administrative issue; it certainly was not grounds for the abusive and negligent manner they "provided services" to "help" my son and my family. Some of these people still have State jobs as public servants; some have been able to retire and now receive State pensions. It is not "the system" that is broken. What happened to my son was not due to a "broken child welfare system."

The initial crime occurred because state employees failed to follow guidelines. He was placed in a home that a State licencor had recommended only infants and toddlers be placed in, due to the foster parent's lack of parenting skills. Going even further the licencor alleged a child average intelligence over he age of a oddler would soon outwit her...

The fact that Isaac had been victimized was covered up by state employees who then blamed both of us when Isaac's condition did not improve. The treatment recommended by every single psychiatrist was never provided and state employees in effect said it was our fault his condition not only didn't improve but worsened over the years. Public servants who failed to act with ethical integrity and in effect, blamed a crime victim for his injuries which only adds insult to injury. Not a day has went by that I have not remembered that I placed him in foster care. I am responsible for placing him in harm's way; I don't believe it's possible for me to ever forgive myself for that fact. he was harmed because of it.

After the group home, my son spent over 4 years at Child Study and Treatment Center, the state-run psychiatric research facility for children. The picture below was taken on the grounds of CSTC and Isaac is leaning on the tree to keep himself from falling down. Heavily drugged, he would stumble and fall to the ground, much like a child first learning to walk. He is smiling in this picture, he couldn't really smile like he had before, it looked more like grimace; it's a direct adverse effect of the drugs he'd been forced to take.

He was 15 when this picture was taken:  
My son has recently felt safe enough to tell me what it felt like to be him growing up. He told me he felt like nobody who was supposed to be helping him, had any compassion for him. When he talks about the heavy doses of neuroleptic drugs, and the “side effects” which in reality, are the direct, adverse effects; in agony, he asked me, “how could they take so much from me mom?” Referring to the staff at CSTC, that had traumatized him, "over and over and over" he said, “To tell you the truth, I pity them. I feel sorry for their morality.”

Isaac was still in the custody of the state when he went to an inpatient psychiatric hospital for the first time, the month before he turned 7 years old. A few weeks later, a Children's Administration social worker purposely misinformed the court by stating that Isaac was doing well because he as receiving the services he needed at home in order to have Isaac's dependency dismissed. The case was closed, the record sealed. I had spoken with the social worker less than a week after Isaac was admitted to the hospital stating she was just finishing up paperwork and was calling to ask how he was doing. I told her he was in the hospital and that it did not look good; the psychiatrist was saying he would need to be hospitalized for a long time. It ended up being ten months.

I told her he kept talking about someone named Margaret and what had been done to him. Less than an hour later, I got a call from a Seattle Police Homicide Detective, named Don Cameron. The foster parent who victimized him was suspected of killing babies placed in her care. Just a few months prior to Detective Cameron calling me, she had apparently killed a fourth baby. Detective Cameron wanted to talk to Isaac about what had happened to him in the foster home; I was advised by the psychiatrist not to allow it. I now know following the psychiatrist's advice was a serious mistake.  I have wished at least a million times over the years that I had not listened to that psychiatrist. It is a burden knowing I took the wrong person's advice I bear it without any grace; it is another consequence of having put my son in foster care in the first place.

I had to fight for almost 2 years after the CSTC staff put on paper he no longer needed to be in the hospital, before I was finally able to bring my son home; it was less than 3 months before his 17th birthday.

Isaac lives at home with me and I am his Medicaid personal caregiver. (see The story of a background check for current info) His current assessment is inaccurate and flawed, due the fact that the assessment tool was developed to assess physical disabilities, not the cognitive disabilities that my son has. Isaac chooses to live at home and I am grateful.  I would be stupid (and negligent) to trust a system that has given me compelling reason to have no trust in it. It is a system that abdicates all responsibility when wrongs occur, does nothing to investigate crimes committed against vulnerable people it serves, and does nothing to ameliorate any harm sustained once they have been victimized.  In fact these “service systems” and some of the “public servants” employed by them, have caused so much more harm unnecessarily in their attempts to cover up ethical and criminal failures. Crimes committed both by employees of the State of Washington and by contracted service providers are not reported as required by law to Law Enforcement, and are neither investigated nor prosecuted. There is no accountability for the grievous errors made and outright abuse and neglect (and the harm done to my son) that employees of the State of Washington and contracted service providers who failed to perform their jobs ethically, or legally. It is apparent to me that some of these "public servants" have no conscience, and no compassion whatsoever for my seriously traumatized son. The chief concern continues to be to abdicate all responsibility for failing to perform their duties with integrity; and when they fail to help, to keep from harming the people whom they purport to serve.

I am utterly disgusted by State employees whose abject individual failures are minimized and dismissed by other State employees who attribute criminal failures to the fragmented and broken system. It is individuals who are failing the system, and it is individuals that are broken; not the system. The failure to hold individuals who commit crimes accountable for the crimes they commit as State employees and contracted care providers is systemic failure; but "the system" can only be as functional as the people who are employed by it. Attributing the failures to "the system" is why the system is "broken."  The failures are caused by individuals who lack the fortitude required to perform their jobs with ethical integrity. It is individuals who fail our children in the foster care system, and they will continue to do so with impunity for as long as we continue to attribute their individual failures to "the system."  The system will remain "broken" as long as we fail to hold individuals accountable for failing to perform their jobs with ethical integrity. Children will continue to be grievously harmed, children will continue to have their lives destroyed. Children will continue to be killed until the adults that we, as a society, entrust to care for them, to act in their best interests are held accountable for their negligent and careless criminal behavior.
It is a very conservative estimate that a million dollars of Medicaid and Child Welfare fraud was committed by Washington State to pay for my son's "care."  It is by defrauding of my neighbors and my family members that the criminal mistreatment of my son was paid for. I have no respect whatsoever for the mental health and social service systems employees who perpetrated these crimes; I have no respect for people whose  corrupt behavior and fraudulent billing practices I have borne witness to for almost twenty years.

My son has survived, a miracle many times over again. It is an honor and a priviledge to do for him those things he can not do, because of his iatrogenic injuries. It is a blessing to be a mother. I will be eternally grateful for being blessed with my children; I am proud of the adults they have become. Isaac knows that recovery is possible, because he says, "My family knows what happened to me, and they believe in me." 
Isaac deserves so much more than to simply to recover from his iatrogenic injuries, but due to the nature of his injuries, he doesn't remember what he once wanted to be; have any aspirations for a job or career, to finish school. He knows the reason he has lost some of his abilities, and knows he can regain what he has lost. I tell him he's doing great, because he is. He has no hate or animosity for the people who have caused him so much harm; to me, that is admirable. 

It is one of the many reasons he is a hero to me.  

Portions of post were first published 7-11-2011

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

FAIR USE NOTICE: This may contain copyrighted
(C) material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.