Last year, I lived over two hours away from my son Aidan. I drove to him as often as possible, but the four-hour round trip was not always feasible. Recently, my husband and I decided to move closer to Aidan’s group home, enabling me to see him any day of the week. Aidan is my heart, and having the ability to see him whenever I can brings us both immeasurable joy. But this past week, all of that changed.
Let Me Visit My Son
Due to multiple incidents involving another group home resident attacking my son, I was promised he would be provided continuous line-of-sight supervision to ensure his safety. However, on April 27th, the staff member tasked with supervising Aidan let me inside the group home while three other staff members who could have easily opened the door for me were sitting on a couch, staring at their cellphones. When I asked where my son was, the supervising staff member said my son was outside. Moments later, I heard knocking coming from the backdoor and was horrified to see that Aidan was locked out and panicking.
After relaying this incident to the group home’s management, I subsequently learned that one of the staff members on duty had altered her account twice, attempting to make it look like I was in the wrong. Is there something wrong with a mother caring about the well-being of her son?
I cannot imagine what has been said behind closed doors. But earlier this week, I was informed via email that my time with Aidan is now confined to a small room in a separate building. A small, barren room with only a table and chairs.
Nearly every time I visit Aidan, he is brimming with happiness, smiling, laughing, and affectionate. But now, his cheerful demeanor and enthusiasm for life have disappeared in this jail-like setting. I cannot hold back tears when watching this video of our time together.
I want to see my son. I want him to embrace me with hugs. I want to hear the joyful sounds he makes, expressing his positive feelings to me. Being nonverbal, Aidan shows his emotions differently than most. And during these recent visits, I know that something is deeply wrong.
Aidan’s First Prom
Tomorrow, Aidan will attend his first prom being held by his school, the Durand Academy. The Durand Academy has been extremely supportive since my son enrolled there. For anyone who has a loved one with a developmental disability, you understand how meaningful an occasion like this can be. For those who cannot personally comprehend this, imagine believing your son or daughter would never be able to attend their prom. That is how I felt until opening the envelope with Aidan’s prom invitation. And his group home is now preventing me from being there to help him get dressed and ready for this special night. I am heartbroken.
Today, I found out someone called the DDD, alleging I had verbally abused a group home resident. I spend my life advocating for people with developmental disabilities. To claim that I would ever verbally abuse a developmentally disabled child is unfathomable. And due to this false allegation, presumably called in by the aforementioned staff member who altered her story, the DDD is now running an investigation that will last a minimum of 30 days, forcing my visits to remain restricted to that oppressive office room.