START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,543,658 people care about Health Policy

Autistic Teen Could End Up in Homeless Shelter

Autistic Teen Could End Up in Homeless Shelter

19-year old Miles Kirsh, who is severely autistic and mostly non-verbal, could become homeless and be placed in a shelter as of October 1. His plight is†a nightmare scenario that many families like mine who care for a child with disabilities dread.

Since September 5, Kirsh has been living in a group home for individuals with†developmental disabilities near Barrie, Ontario. His parents, who have separated, said they have “spent more than $750,000 on support, education, intervention, treatment and have been across North America to see many experts in the field” and†had sold the family house in August. As they say in the Toronto Star, they can no longer care for Miles, who has self-injurious and aggressive behaviors including trying to grab the steering wheel while being driven in a car.

Emergency funding is covering his $400/day placement in the group home but is due to run out by the end of the month.†Miles’s mother, Donna Kirsh, said that the family had been “assured Miles would not become homeless after the family home sold.” But a provincial bureaucrat had suggested that they drop Miles off at a shelter.†Indeed, last year a 19-year-old with disabilities “nearly ended up in a municipal homeless shelter because a permanent placement couldnít be found for him.”

Usually, government funding has been found for those in Miles’s situation but such has not been the case under Ontario’s deficit reduction plan, says the†Toronto Star.

A shelter would be a completely inappropriate placement for Miles. Based on the Toronto Star‘s account, the Canadian teenager has many similarities with my teenage autistic son Charlie. A†shelter would certainly not be equipped to care for his complex needs; for my son, these can include self-injurious behavior, †extended periods (days, weeks, longer) of insomnia and huge struggles to communicate (if you only had about twenty words at your disposal, you might be frustrated too if you can’t say something as basic as “could you open a window? It’s too warm for me”).

According to the Toronto Star, Ontario officials say that the province has, since 2003, spent an “additional $500 million on developmental services and has increased residential care spaces by 3,000 to 18,000.” It has added “additional $25 million for residential services for people in urgent need.” But directors of agencies that operate group homes in Canada counter that finding housing for individuals with developmental disabilities is a province-wide problem that has been getting worse and might only decline further until some tragedy occurs. Already, some individuals end up in hospitals and prisons as waiting lists for residential care grow and grow, says Keith Tansley at Community Living Mississauga, which oversees the care of some 1,700 adults and children with disabilities.

Disability issues routinely get short shrift. In the US this week, both President Barack Obama and GOP contender Mitt Romney are skipping a “one-of-a-kind forum” on disability issues including the role of Medicare in ensuring independence and community living for individuals with disabilities.

Of course, we parents of children with disabilities love our kids more than any words can say. Caring for autistic teenagers like Miles and Charlie require resources that are financial, physical and emotional.†The Kirshes’ predicament is dire but, as I know from living in the same world of caring for a child with intense needs, it is not at all unheard of for individuals with disabilities to end up in facilities ill-equipped to care for them.

Just recently, the US federal government has threatened legal action against the†state of Florida for sending hundreds of children (some babies) with disabilities to nursing homes. Individuals like Miles Kirsh and my own son Charlie have very complicated needs and can thrive with the right support. It’s up to us to push our governments and politicians to create and maintain these and remember that how we care for those who are the most vulnerable says a lot about what kind of society we are.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Florida Sending Disabled Babies to Nursing Homes

GOP Platform Declares Medicaid Unconstitutional

5-Year-Old Autistic Boy Who Canít Talk Denied Lunch By School

 

Read more: , , , , , , , ,

Photo by monkeymanforever

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

78 comments

+ add your own
10:02PM PDT on May 13, 2013

Oh my! These parents were really giving it there all. I'm not sure what I would do in that situation. I will tell you what does piss me off. It seems as though Obama is trying to cut a lot of government funding for those who are struggling to make a living for there families.He is cutting social security from those who have worked all of there lives. There cutting out SNAP which is food stamps for low income families. Our service men who have fought for our freedom and safety can't get jobs. Absolutely Insane! Obama's wife is said to be on trips all the time with her family and security.We're paying for that folks,the working man.He is always going to California "Campaigning" Yeah Ok! Multiple times a yr. We can give money to other countries for there starving kids,and rebuild countries that we had no part In destroying. Look here! Protect your own country first and end suffering here. We can keep you busy for a life time! Why In The Hell do we have to sign petitions and go through an act of congress for our own country to help us. Other countries don't even have to ask us for our help. Our politicians offer!Give us our damn help so, we don't have to send our kids elsewhere! I'm sure that family has suffered enough. All of there efforts sill didn't pay off sadly. I would hate to have my son somewhere else like that. You always wonder if someone is mistreating them, are they happy, if they felt like you abandoned them etc... All of this runs through a mothers mind. She probabl

12:52AM PDT on Nov 1, 2012

So sad, maybe a specilist can help them. And prayers!

8:42AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

how so very sad. a real concern. poor kids. misunderstood and unwanted (by some, not all!)

10:48AM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

Dorothy N. Man, that was quite a mouthful! I'm not denying all you said but we are talking about the plight of Autistic children. Nothing to do with Enbridge. Yes, Harper is killing Canada, especially BC. Hopefully, Ms. Clark will do the right thing.

Stories like this and of Ayn van Dyke of Abbotsford, BC are becoming the norm as more and more children are diagnosed with Autism. Derek Hoare, her father, is still struggling to get her returned to his care, after more than a year of fighting.
When my daughter was 2 or 3 she and a neighbour friend went missing. We searched everywhere calling their names. All the neighbours pitched into help look for them. We were ready to call for reinforcement. Both of us moms were worried sick, literally. Then came the shout. They were found. They had somehow locked themselves in a neighbour's garage and didn't even know they were missing. They were having so much fun!
These things happen. The phone rings inside the house and you go to answer it. When you come back they're gone ~ just like that. One minute. Scary to think of what might have happened if we did the cops.

Ayn needs to come home.

Our laws are becoming more archaic, outdated, as we progress into the future.
We need a full overview of the laws and make changes where changes are needed. Of course, that's one of my pipe dreams. We are spiralling out of control with the top 1% doing the whipping. They own us.

And they own our children.

8:35PM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

(continued)

http://www.leadnow.ca/canada-not-for-sale

Incredibly, if BC tries to regulate or block Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline, Sinopec, another Chinese state-owned oil company with investments in Canada’s natural resource infrastructure, could sue the BC government for damages, and we may never even hear about it the case or its results.5,6

Other countries like India, South Africa and Australia are moving away from this kind of trade deal. Last year Australia rejected investor-state arbitration due to concerns that it would “constrain the ability of Australian governments to make laws on social, environmental and economic matters”.7,8

Why is Canada moving backwards?

8:34PM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

(continued)

http://www.leadnow.ca/canada-not-for-sale

Any Canadian law or government decision – even ones that protect Canadian jobs, our environment, our economy and our families – could be fought in secret tribunals outside of our legal system. Arbitrators unaccountable to the Canadian public would have the power to award billions in damages to foreign corporations if we do anything that hurts corporate profits, like improve environmental standards or slow down the export of cheap, unprocessed resources.1,5,6

Time is running out. We have two weeks before FIPA is set to pass into law, and the Nexen takeover could be approved at any time. Canadians, including many Conservative MPs, oppose the Nexen takeover, and Prime Minister Harper has just asked for a 30 day extension to regroup. We need a massive public outcry now.
Additional Information

The ability for corporations to sue foreign governments in private courts, called “investor-state arbitration,” is a controversial practice built into many trade deals like NAFTA that has cost Canada millions and over-ruled democratic decisions, but none impose the level of secrecy in the Canada-China FIPA.

8:33PM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

(continued)

http://www.leadnow.ca/canada-not-for-sale

The Canada-China FIPA is set for automatic approval on October 31st unless we get the word out now that the Harper Conservatives are trying bypass Parliament and sneak this deal by Canadians. That’s why we partnered with SumOfUs.org on this campaign – if enough of us raise our voices now, we can create a massive public outcry to stop this devastating deal in its tracks.

Send a message to Prime Minister Harper and your MP: Canada is not for sale, stop the Canada-China FIPA and the Nexen takeover. When 30,000 sign, we will deliver your messages to Ottawa.

Alongside this deal, the Harper government is trying to speed through the sale of Nexen, a major Canadian oil and gas company, to the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), one of China’s massive state-owned oil companies.4 The $15 billion-dollar Nexen takeover will open the floodgates to a wave of foreign buyouts of Canada's natural resources.

If FIPA passes, a Chinese company can take over Canadian resources and then sue Canadian governments – provincial or federal – in secret, if the government does anything that threatens the company’s profits.

8:32PM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

(continued)

http://www.leadnow.ca/canada-not-for-sale

The Canada-China FIPA is set for automatic approval on October 31st unless we get the word out now that the Harper Conservatives are trying bypass Parliament and sneak this deal by Canadians. That’s why we partnered with SumOfUs.org on this campaign – if enough of us raise our voices now, we can create a massive public outcry to stop this devastating deal in its tracks.

Send a message to Prime Minister Harper and your MP: Canada is not for sale, stop the Canada-China FIPA and the Nexen takeover. When 30,000 sign, we will deliver your messages to Ottawa.

Alongside this deal, the Harper government is trying to speed through the sale of Nexen, a major Canadian oil and gas company, to the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), one of China’s massive state-owned oil companies.4 The $15 billion-dollar Nexen takeover will open the floodgates to a wave of foreign buyouts of Canada's natural resources.

If FIPA passes, a Chinese company can take over Canadian resources and then sue Canadian governments – provincial or federal – in secret, if the government does anything that threatens the company’s profits.

8:30PM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

PLEASE sign - we have to stop HARPER literally selling our democracy NOW!

Among other things - ... Incredibly, if BC tries to regulate or block Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline, Sinopec, another Chinese state-owned oil company with investments in Canada’s natural resource infrastructure, could sue the BC government for damages, and we may never even hear about it the case or its results. ...

http://www.leadnow.ca/canada-not-for-sale

In two weeks, Prime Minister Harper could pass the most secretive and sweeping trade deal of a generation.

This deal would pave the way for a massive natural resource buyout and allow foreign corporations to sue the Canadian government in secret tribunals, restricting Canadians from making democratic decisions about our economy, environment and energy.1

Most Canadians have never heard of FIPA, the Canada-China Foreign Investment Protection Agreement, because Prime Minister Harper is trying to sneak it through without a single vote or debate in Parliament.2,3

Canadians have a right to determine our future, but this agreement will undermine our democratic rights and lock us into an inescapable path of foreign-ownership and resource extraction until at least 2040.

11:41AM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

Absurdo!

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

Thank you for helping - snakes are people, too!

After all the comments I have read on this thread... I almost lost my breakfast when I read this quote…

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.