Who will stand up and speak out against the power hungry DCFS workers in Little Rock, Arkansas? Even children with Rett Syndrome deserve parents! Why would the state prefer to warehouse children in an institution? It doesn’t make any sense. Read Jill’s story…
My daughter’s foster home closed this past week, due to some paperwork she had not turned in. I am by no means excusing this, as she has acknowledged she was in the wrong.
She and her husband were in the process of adopting three girls. The attorney for the 14 year old requested a hearing; the judge gave custody to my daughter and son in law. The judge said he was displeased with how DCFS had handled the case.
They removed the 4 year old from their home on Thursday; and placed her in an institution, located in North Little Rock. She suffers from Rett Syndrome, a severe form of autism, and she is unable to speak. They removed the six year old on Friday morning, and placed her in another foster home.
My daughter was told she could not speak to, nor assist with the transition of the four year old. My daughter is the only one who has cared for this child in three and a half years. She has fought the state on numerous occasions to get the training needed to care for this child.
DCFS also failed the children. The 14 year old met with her caseworker once – six months ago – the day before a court hearing. The next day, in court, the caseworker did not know her name, age, or where she went to school. Caseworkers, by law, are required to visit children on a weekly basis — no one has been in the home to check on any of the children in six months.
When we were in court, the DCFS workers were sitting directly in front of us, they talked about my family, knowing we could hear every word they uttered. One made the comment that she had wanted to close this foster home since last November. However, they placed another child in the home just this past spring.
The agency has opposed the adoption of the four year old because of her disability. They say she is better off in an institution.
We love this little girl and do not feel she is a burden at all. My daughter and son in law asked to proceed with the adoption of the four and six year old. They even offered to waive any stipend the state would pay, but the state workers declined. Maybe it is the position of the state that all handicapped children should live in an institution?
I believe these children belong in a loving home with friends and family to call their own. What the state is doing is wrong.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Learn More About Rett Syndrome
Rett syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder that affects girls almost exclusively. When boys develop the Rett syndrome mutation, they die shortly after birth.
What Are the Symptoms of Rett Syndrome?
Although it’s not always detected, a slowing of head growth is one of the first events in Rett syndrome. Loss of muscle tone is also an initial symptom. Soon, the little girl loses any purposeful use of her hands. Instead, she habitually wrings or rubs her hands together.
Around 1 to 4 years of age, social and language skills deteriorate in girls with Rett syndrome. A girl with Rett syndrome stops talking. She develops extreme social anxiety and withdrawal or disinterest in other people.
Rett syndrome also causes problems with muscles and coordination. Walking becomes awkward as girls develop a jerky, stiff-legged gait. A girl with Rett syndrome may also have uncoordinated breathing and seizures.
Treatments for Rett Syndrome
There are treatments available for Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome treatments focus on helping a girl live the best life she can with the condition. Physical therapy can help improve mobility in these children. Speech therapy may help somewhat with language problems. Occupational therapy helps girls perform daily activities — like bathing and dressing — independently.
Experts believe that therapy can help girls with Rett syndrome and their parents. Although a “normal” life may not be possible, some improvement can be expected with therapy. Participating in activities — including school — and improved social interaction are sometimes possible.