On May 11th, 2023, I had an extended meeting with staff members and management of my son Aidan’s group home. Unfortunately, while I presented verifiable details correlating to recent events and actions taken by the group home, I was fed a concoction of mistruths and excuses.

My personal experiences and the challenges overcome throughout my life have fortified my resilience, making me the person I am today. And I have learned to accept, as everyone should, that not all people will like me or share my beliefs. But while I accept that, I will never allow anyone to use their grievances against me as an excuse to mistreat my son.

My sole objectives are the safety and happiness of my son. The following information will provide a comprehensive rundown of the group home’s recent disregard for my son’s well-being, which justifiably feels like an unprovoked retaliation against me.

Line-of-Sight Supervision and Altered Stories

The May 11th meeting began with a description of the following occurrences mentioned in my last post.

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?

Lack of Communication and Transparency

Since Aidan lives in a group home, providing adequate support and care requires a collaborative effort between the staff and myself. For this to work, it is necessary to have an open line of communication. However, the emails regarding the welfare of my son are often ignored. The person(s) the group home instructs me to contact change continuously, forcing me to include several faculty members as email recipients.

And on weekends, they will only respond to emergencies. But as the group home manager is not on call during weekends and the faculty refuses to provide me with a monthly staff schedule, whom should I contact? I have always been provided a monthly staff schedule. And now because of these ridiculous circumstances, I can only inquire as to who is caring for Aidan when visiting or speaking with him. Being supplied with information on who is caring for my son should be a given.

Visitation Discrepancies

My visits with Aidan always involved one of three activities. Spending time with him while sitting in the group home kitchen, the far corner of the living room at the dining table, or enjoying our time together outside.

Certain staff members claim that when visiting Aidan, I am with him for five minutes, spending the rest of my time walking around the group home. On the contrary, I visit my son because I want to spend time with my son. Furthermore, every moment spent with Aidan is special; why would I want to waste those moments wandering around a building? A staff member anonymously filed a complaint with the DDD abuse and neglect hotline, preventing me from visiting my son’s group home pending the outcome of the 30-day investigation. Because of these mistruths, I am now prevented from visiting my son’s group home, and when I finally get to visit my son again, my husband is required to accompany me. So my husband and I must directly coordinate our schedules to accommodate the group home’s absurd rule.

The group home faculty is clearly inventing new rules to make it more difficult for me to visit my son. Now for the worst part of it all.

The Neglect and Degradation of My Son

Less than two weeks ago, the staff at Aidan’s school told me things a mother would never want to hear. I learned that on multiple occasions, the group home sent my son to school unwashed and wearing dirty clothing. In addition, the group home sent my son to school wearing two different shoes, one of which belonged to another resident. After a separate incident, when Aidan arrived at school wearing two left shoes, the group home finally agreed to send him to school with a pair of matching shoes for the school staff to help him put on.

Next, I found out the group home sent Aidan to school with a lunch consisting of a sandwich with mayonnaise. Not a sandwich with turkey and mayo or even lettuce, tomato, and mayo, but simply mayonnaise spread between two slices of bread.

Nothing like this has happened before. So why is it suddenly occurring while the group home staff seems to have a vendetta against me?

More instances of the group home’s neglect of my son include the following:

  • Forgetting to shave him
  • Leaving soiled clothing in his backpack
  • Neglecting to send him to school with adult diapers or informing me he is in need of them
  • Sending him to school without a communication device or with an uncharged communication device
  • Misplacing his iPad in another resident’s room and preventing me from FaceTiming with him

I Moved to Be Close to My Son

When asking the group home and their associates how to proceed, they responded with words akin to, “If you want to move Aidan to a different group home, you can.”

My husband and I moved around three months ago to be close to Aidan and enjoy as much time with him as possible. We will absolutely not move again to accommodate the unjust ultimatum the group home is attempting to force us to swallow.

However, there is a simple solution to all of this.

Compassion and respect.

A group home that cares for people with special needs should treat its residents and their families with compassion and respect. Is that too much to ask?

Aidan and Johanna embracing
Johanna dancing with Aidan