Petitioning US Department Of Justice and 1 other
This petition will be delivered to:
US Department Of Justice
President
Barack Obama

Release Autistic Resident Attacked and Punched by State Employee on Tape!

Marquis Tanksley (who screams on the audiotape HE HITTTT ME) is autistic and has been and continues to be REPEATEDLY ASSAULTED, RESTRAINED, NEGLECTED and ABUSE at Columbus Developmental Center (CDC) which is an state run ICF/MR facility operated by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Marquis' mother WITNESSED AND AUDIOTAPED Marquis being attacked, punched and assaulted by an state of ohio employee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGJFHh9NcV4

Marquis has been: ATTACKED, PUNCHED AND BEATEN BY EMPLOYEES!

                               REPEATEDLY ASSAULTED!

                               REPEATEDLY RESTRAIN AND TIE TO A BED!

                               PLACE IN AN DANGEROUS PRONE RESTRAINT (AUDIOTAPED & WITNESSED BY MOM)

                               PLACED IN A BASKET HOLD RESTRAINT

                               CLOTHES LOST, STOLEN, CUT & RIPPED BY STAFF

                               NO PHONE CALLS TO AND FROM HIS MOTHER!

                               WEEKLY VISITS FOR 60 MINS WITH MOM!

                               HAS TO VISIT WITH MOM IN ADMIN BUILDING 

                               ELOPED AND STAFF DIDNT KNOW IT AT THE TIME!

                               OVERMEDICATED 2 DAYS IN A ROW

                               MEDICAL, PHYSICAL AND DISABILITY NEGLECT

                               CONSTANTLY TRIGGERED BY STAFF/ENVIRONMENT

                               LOSS OF ADEQUATE COMPANIONSHIP WITH MOM

                               LOSS OF FAMILY MEMBER AS GUARDIAN

                                                                         

 

 

 On March, 13, 2013 Franklin County Probate Court, OH recommitted Marquis to CDC for TWO ADDITIONAL YEARS (on the sole testimony of CDC's psychologist, who wrote in December, 2012 that Marquis was MILDLY RETARDED) after he was recommitted on December 14, 2012 for 90 days! In Ohio, you have to be moderately retarded to be committed to an icf/mr facility and the court did not have clear and convincing evidence that he is moderately retarded. The only witness for the probate hearing on March 13, 2013 was an psychologist that worked at the facility. He wrote in December, 2012 in his evaluation that my son was MILDLY RETARDED but in court on March 13, 2013 he said he didnt know if my son was mildly or moderately retarded!!!!!!!! He said he hasnt been able to test him. However, this CDC psychologist SENT AN REQUEST to the court that Marquis be confined there for another TWO YEARS!

Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities initially requested Marquis been probated over to CDC on November 14, 2012 instead of trying to find an suitable place in the COMMUNITY ( part of THE OLMSTEAD ACT) for Marquis to live and thrive in.   Marquis was in an apartment per FCBDD that was made and structured for a person in a wheelchair.  The apartment was too small, too noisy inside and outside of the apartment, unlocked, the only bathroom was located in his bedroom, etc. The staff had to go thru Marquis' bedroom to use the bathroom which was an additional trigger.  There was an entry/exit door that was located in Marquis' bedroom that was unlocked and the front entry/exit door was also unlocked.  There were grab bars around the toilet and bathtub and there also was an seperate wheelchair shower.  The apt. was very tiny and it was structured for an individual in a wheelchair not with autism. Soon after Marquis moved in, I wrote FCBDD and expressed many times to FCBDD that the place was not suitable for an person with autism and who had 24/7 support staff.  I requested FCBDD to try to find Marquis an suitable, quieter and more secure place in the community.

Marquis has been treated inhumanely and more like an inmate instead of an resident at CDC.  Marquis and his mother have to visit outside of his living area in the administration building and Marquis and his mother are not allow to call or talk to one another on the phone.  Marquis has repeatedly ask me to call him and asks why cant he call me.   I have not been allowed to see Marquis' room or living unit. The visits were intrusive at first, meaning staff gave Marquis and his mother no privacy during their visits and sat in the room during the visits. 

CDC knows music is one of the things that triggers my son so when I went to visit my son (i arrived before Marquis did)  on March 27, 2013, CDC had residents in the injoining room with one resident planted near the door (facing the injoining room we have to visit in) playing music.  When Marquis arrived, he became agitated and said he didnt like hearing music.  I had to repeatedly tell the staff to turn off the music so Marquis wouldnt go into an meltdown.   They finally did and after calming and reassuring my son, we were able to visit and he was able to eat the lunch i bought for him.  It was unfair to my son and to the other resident with the music who didnt know that he was being used to trigger my son.  There has never been music before when we had our visits or other residents in the injoining room.  CDC has always try to blame me for my son's behaviors whether i am there or not, so I know they would have easily try to blame me if he had a meltdown while i was there, (even though he has always been upset about how badly he has been treated there and not being able to come home with me).  

Visits are to be for 30 mins. only per Superintendent D. Mike Snow. However, they usually last up to an hour because Marquis is eager to see, be and talk with his mother and tells staff he wants more time with his mom after they come in and tell us we have a few minutes left.  CDC has always try to say i set off my son during our visits, its just a dirty excuse to try to say i shouldnt visit my son, so i cant see all the dirt that is going on over there.  However, Marquis loves and misses his mom and tells me so but he ALSO tells me and vents to me about all the suffering and abuse he is going thru and wanting to leave CDC!  On his birthday which was April 9, 2013, CDC FALSELY accused Marquis of punching a wall during (here we go again) our visit (see news update below).  When in fact, Marquis had push the microwave over in his living area BEFORE OUR VISIT! Would you want people like this in you or your child's life???.

After i told the facility I SEEN and AUDIOTAPED my son being assaulted and abused, CDC stopped all visits until they were notified and told they were violating not only my son's rights but my right as well to see my child.  Also, residents have an federal right to visit with their families.  For over two weeks, i was not able to have any contact with Marquis and when he finally got to see me again, he cried like a baby, wondering why he hasnt seen me or talk to me.  It was heartbreaking but I tell Marquis i love him and i wont abandon him and neither will God.   

Marquis has had up to at least 3-5 staff assigned to him even when he is asleep in bed and when i visit him i almost always see new staff.   Staff is unfit, untrained, abusive and WILL NOT REPORT ABUSE OF RESIDENTS by their co-workers and there were 3 co-workers (along with me)  who seen Marquis being attacked and punched forcefully in the chest, grabbed by his shirt and jerked to his feet and practically thrown in a van by another employee.  Again, as a mother, I will never forget the agony and fear I heard in my child's voice and the way he was hollering when he was being punched, assaulted and abused. He screams "HE HITTTT ME"after being punched in the chest and he started hollering "MOMMMMMM" when they threw him in the van and drove away!  This is all on audiotape AND i witnessed it with my own eyes!!

Marquis is constantly triggered by the environment and staff and he misses seeing and talking to me everyday.   As I mentioned, I WITNESSED AND HAVE ON AUDIOTAPE a state worker punching my son in the chest and then proceeding to grab him by his shirt and jerking him to his feet and then practically throwing him in the van.   Minutes earlier, I ALSO WITNESSED AND AUDIOTAPED 2 other state workers placing my son in an prone restraint which has been banned in the State of Ohio for a few years because it restricts breathing.   During the dangerous prone restraint, my son is whimpering and says "im out of breath" while one of the state workers barks "breathe breathe".   I will never forget what i seen and heard. 

Staff  has lost, stolen, ripped and cut up 98% of his clothes that i brought over to the facility for him and Marquis has not been allow to wear all the brand new clothes his mother brought to the center for him and which CDC signed for.   He has had the same sweatpants and shirts on during many of their visits. When Marquis' mother asked staff about it and why wasnt Marquis wearing ALL THE BRAND NEW CLOTHES she brought to the center for him,  a staff member said that Marquis ripped his clothes up.  When I asked to see them (because Marquis does not tear or ripped up his clothes), I was given some cut up sweats pants and some t-shirts that probably was ripped when THEY were restraining and grabbing him.   The other clothes i have not seen on Marquis have not been given to me but i brought them there so he can wear them.  I believe staff has stolen or lost them as well and I have pages of clothes that I had CDC sign for when i brought them up to him besides alot of other items. Staff takes his BRAND NEW CLOTHES and forces my son to wear their used clothes that have been passed from resident to resident.  CDC's used clothes have been dirty, torned and ill-fitting.  Marquis has asked me where is the CDC player that i brought to the center for him and since they wont allow me into his room, only God knows what else is probably missing that i brought up to him.  The program director says CDC will purchase clothes for him and i asked him "why", there is no need to because i bought up alot of clothes for him, clothes that he likes and is use to wearing.  He said we are responsible for his clothes and i said then you should have maintain and took care of the clothes that i bought up to him, so he is able to wear them.  On April 3, 2013, Marquis had on some USED pants and a USED shirt that didnt belong to him.  He told me these pants have a hole in them, which i was able to see.  The first time Marquis was admitted to CDC, he got to wear all of his clothes that i brought up to the center for him.  But back then, i was able to go to his room and washed his clothes. I kept an eye on his clothes and other personal belongings and was able to see what was going on.

Marquis has ran away from the facility without staff knowing about it at the time. Because the environment was triggering him, he ran across the street and knock out some windows in a house.

As mentioned above, Franklin County Probate Court, Ohio has recommitted Marquis to this same icf/mr facility (CDC) for another 2 years (after committing him for 30 days at FCBDD's request and after committing him for an additional 90 days on December 14, 2012 and AFTER MARQUIS WAS BEATEN AND ASSAULTED AND DANGEROUSLY RESTRAINED on December 1, 2012 and beaten and assaulted the last time he was there in the early part of 2012, which was an voluntary admission. After he was discharged from his admission during the early part of 2012,  i told FCBDD about the abuse Marquis suffered in the early part of 2012 and that I never wanted him to be over there again.  Marquis and another resident told me Marquis was thrown to the floor and beaten in the head by an state worker during Marquis' first admission there and i have that on AUDIOTAPE.  The superintendent wrote in an MUI letter that my son TRIES TO GET STAFF IN TROUBLE!!! Can you believe that?  People with autism do not sit around and try to get people in trouble!

My son has been repeatedly beaten, abused, neglected, restrained and tied to a bed, clothes cut up, able to eloped without the staff knowing he was gone.  Marquis has not been getting any kind of consistent services or treatment, in fact, they havent done nothing for him but kept him in sensory overload and have repeatedly traumatized him with the repeated restraints, assaults, neglect and abuse. They have also TRIED TO KEEP ME from being and talking with my son.  He has told me he doesnt like being tied up and he is restrained alot.  He gets very sad and is very fearful when i have to leave him.

In one month, he gained over 50lbs.  due to the medication they are forcing on him which is THORAZINE and now he is having real bad side effects from the medication including involuntary movements of his tongue and discoloration.

There is no, i REPEAT no one in this state and im talking about agencies, the former GAL, etc. that is helping my son, they are all on the same corrupt bandwagon and I have already contacted them about my son's assault, neglect and abuse.  

He is afraid to be there and wants to leave so bad....he tells me how bad the place is, too noisy, too cold, staff and another resident mistreating him, etc.

Also, because of my advocacy for my son, probate court  took my guardianship for all medical and placement decisions and appointed an scummy attorney who will do the "system's" bidding.  Someone they know who wont challenge the system and fight for their ward inside a STATE GOVERNMENT FACILITY".  Erin Sanford along with the Ohio Attorney General, Ohio Highway Patrol, Franklin County Probate Court, Disability Rights Ohio, Franklin County Board of DD have all turned their heads and have allowed the abuse, assaults and neglect of my son, not only that but they all have DENIED Marquis has been abused.   Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Ohio Dept of Developmental Disabilities, OSU Wexner Medical Center and at the time GAL David Belinky who is deceased, all committed slander/libel against me in and out of court.  David Belinky file the motion under false pretense of me not signing the necessary paperwork for an evaluation of my son because in a private phone conversation with me,  he told me "it was a mistake" (ON AUDIOTAPE)  to have file the motion to have me removed as guardian because he didnt know i had came over there and signed the necessary paperwork for my son to be evaluated.   Probate Court stated the reason i was removed was, i am being uncooperative with health care professionals, although i am an health care professional myself.... an registered nurse and Marquis has always been seen by different doctors and therapists all his life. However, i have always strongly advocated for my son and have had to do so because there are alot of so-called professionals who have not done right by my son due to lack of knowledge, lack of training, corruption, unfit, retaliation, etc.  LOOK WHAT IS HAPPENING TO HIM NOW!!!!!  So, am I being uncooperative now when i am fighting for Marquis' safety, security and well-being? When i seen with my own eyes, my son being assaulted and abused?

I will continue to update what is happening to my son, so look for news updates below.  Please let your voices be heard if you are against this type of cruel and inhumane treatment of any human being by signing and/or commenting on this petition. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart who has signed and/or comment in support of this petition. 

Below is an commentary from a lady named Andrea Miller, who use to work in one of these developmental centers , I have posted it here so you dont have to try to find it. What Ms. Miller has share verifies and makes me shudder to think my son is living in an environment and around people like that.  The abuse is real, the incompetence is real and the corruption is real! In the past, residents were being tasered by staff at another developmental center, Gallipolis Developmental Center (see in news updates)

Please view, share and sign for all those like Marquis and the young man Andrea Miller wrote about!  As an christian woman, I believe God will see us thru and deliver justice in his own way and own time and what they do in secret, God will do openly!  Lastly, I hope no family that is impacted with autism will ever have to go thru a nightmare and ordeal like this! Thank you for your support and may god bless each and every one of you!  Here is Ms. Miller's commentary:

Andrea Miller  Cambridge, Ohio

WI am a family-member advocate for those with intellectual/developmental disabilities I/DD. I have a 7 year old son with an I/DD, so I understand this Mother's pain and helplessness ....and anger toward CDC and DODD.

I am all too familiar with the lack of training and abuse and neglect in Developmental Centers in Ohio. I am a former Director of Nursing that was fired the day after I reported concerns to the Deputy Director of the DCs. I recently won a six-figure out of court settlement....a moral victory for me but I promised to continue to advocate for the individuals.

One of my complaints to the Deputy Director was my concern that the newer Superintendent had allowed the mistreatment of a young male adult with Autism. He had this individual hidden in an activity room during a State Medicaid survey by ODH. He admitted "hiding" this individual because he didn't want to take a chance of the young man having a "behavior" and the direct-care or TPWs looking bad in front of the surveyors. So, in other words, the TPWs weren't properly trainined to handle individuals with autism and the surveyors would know it if this individual "acted-out".

Actually, the young man was new and had only been at the center for a week prior to the Surveyors arriving. As many people know, routine is very important to those with autism. So, I felt it was very abusive to remove this client from his living area and disrupt his new "routine" (which included watching his Fraggle Rock DVDs in his room) to serve the needs to the staff members. I was aware of the incident because as the DON I had been called upon by a nurse inquiring as to why the individual wasn't allowed to return to his living area to have lunch and have his blood pressure checked. When I went to the activity room to assess this client, he was clearly distraught, did not understand why he was being held in a room with two staff members and kept getting up to get his coat and was being told to sit back down. He was made to stay in this activity room from the time the surveyors arrived until the time the last one left each evening. They did this for the whole week the surveyors were there and even did it an additional two days to make it look like it wasn't related to the surveyors--- although everyone knew better.

I felt this was emotionally and mentally abusive to this individual to keep him in a room all day and prevent him access to his living area---a clear violation of his rights. What is SO sad is that his parents had to make the difficult decision to have him placed at the center because he had become aggressive toward his Mother at home. They felt he was in the good hands of "professionals" and had no clue what they were doing to this young man. It was also hearsay that the Superintendent had told the workers that kept him in the room to do whatever it took to control his behavior.

After he was returned to his living area after the surveyors left, he began having aggression toward the staff members. He began head-butting them. So, a treatment meeting was held to see what could be done. I attended the meeting and I regret to this day ever signing the treatment sheet stating I agreed with the "plan". First, I will say at no time did any "professional", including the so-called PhD psychologist ever consider his behaviors may have been related to "grieving"-- this was a young man of about 23 years old that had spent his entire life at home with loving parents and was suddenly admitted to this center...and a week after he was there he was held against his will in an activity center for a week to be "hidden" from state surveyors.. and now he was in this treatment team wanting to place a helmet on his head to "protect" the workers when he head-butted them??? Crazy or what?? The Superintendent, Program Director, psychologist and Medical physican were all present in this meeting that signed to have a helmet placed on his head. Again-- at no time did they attempt to "understand" his behaviors and how he might be grieving his family and his home--- it was all about the staff again--- how to protect them....and the brilliant assistant Superintendent (now Superintendent) suggested gluing sherpa lining on the helmet to provide extra padding to lessen the blow to the staff member when head-butted him. I just remember thinking "I would be head-butting these idiots, too". So, are you getting the picture about the total lack of trained professionals?

This poor young man was initially given a helmet that was way too small for his head...and old helmet they had for a former seizure client--so tight his eyes looked Chinese. And then they ordered a wrestling padded helmet for him to wear.

He would often have unexplained injuries-- one had to wonder about abuse.

One time this individual was found missing-- they reported for app. 40 minutes. The QMRP (or Qualified Mental Retardation Professional) suggested they go and look for him at the Kentucky Fried Chicken since it was his favorite. However, what is crazy the KFC was at least 4 miles away-- how could this client have walked that far in 40 minutes? The manager knew that he was more than likely not supervised and that is how he could be that far. By the way, a Major Unusual Incident (MUI) should have been filed but the Superintendent instructed them not to do so. He was later found on the cottage, luckily....he was close to a major interstate-- he could have been hit by a car....and close to a creek where another client had once drowned.

I feel for the parents of this young man. I am sure they have no clue what is really happening to their son. And I am sure they would be devastated if they placed a hidden camera in his room or on his self. Shocked by what they would see!

Ms. Tanksley, I hope you have video of what is happening to your son. These places need exposed!

Also, I might add when I reported the young man being hidden during a survey, she said centers sometimes fear a "condition out" on a Survey. I asked her if we were serving the client or the staff??? It's obvious more training is needed. These direct-care workers make $14 dollars an hour plus--- our tax dollars are supporting these places and we should demand better care for our vulnerable citizens.

I will share later Union arbitrations that show staff abuse and lack of training in working with individuals with complex needs.

When Director Martin of DODD has been contacted about the problems with the leadership of the centers, he has stated he has confidence in his leadership. He ignores the problem. Maybe that is why he had had to increase his settlement funds by 600% for the next fiscal year--- pay people off to keep quiet or just go away! The public needs to be aware of what happens in these places.

God bless you and your son and may you have justice!!


Letter to
US Department Of Justice
President Barack Obama
Release Marquis Tanksley who is autistic for his safety and well-being. He is in an dangerous icf/mr facility that is abusing him and he is being forced to live around very corrupt, incompetent and abusive people. PLEASE GET HIM OUT OF THERE AND ALLOW ME TO SHOW YOU ALL THE EVIDENCE I HAVE AGAINST CDC!!! He has been assaulted, restrained dangerously (including prone restraints, basket hold restraints) and sometimes is tied to the bed in his room. He constantly is triggered by the staff and environment and continually suffers abuse and neglect. Due to no supervision and an fire alarm that triggered him, he eloped and ran across the street and knocked out windows in an house and staff did not know he had done it until he told them about it. The staff is unfit, untrained and abusive and WILL NOT REPORT ABUSE OF RESIDENTS by their co-workers (see two news updates on the petition site) while the administrators and department turned their head and try to cover up the abuses and neglect that is going on thruout their centers in Ohio (eg. residents tasered at Gallipolis Developmental Center, autistic resident neglected and abused at another developmental Center Andrea Miller used to work at, Marquis being neglected and abused at Columbus Developmental Center and god knows how many others that have been covered up). The Superintendent at CDC wrote in an MUI letter that Marquis tries to get his staff in trouble!!!!!!!! Autistic people do not try to get people in trouble! Marquis has been probated against his will for another 2 years in an facility that is not adequate for him and treats him inhumanely and doesnt know how to manage his behaviors. He is treated like an inmate instead of an resident and cant receive or make any phone calls from and to his mother and has to leave his living area and visit her in an another building for only 30 - 60 mins, weekly. Marquis expresses to his mother the suffering he is going thru during their visits and becomes very fearful and sad when she leaves. Staff has lost, stolen and cut up 98% of his clothes that i brought over to the facility for him and Marquis has not been allow to wear all the brand new clothes his mother brought to the center for him and which CDC signed for. He has had the same sweatpants and shirts on during many of their visits. When Marquis' mother asked staff about it and why wasnt Marquis wearing ALL THE BRAND NEW CLOTHES she brought to the center for him, a staff member said that Marquis ripped his clothes up. When I asked to see them (because Marquis does not tear or ripped up his clothes), I was given some cut up sweats pants and some t-shirts that probably was ripped when THEY were restraining and grabbing him. The other clothes i have not seen on Marquis or have not been given to me but i brought them there so he can wear them. I believe staff has stolen or lost them as well and I have pages of clothes that I had CDC sign for when i brought them up to him besides alot of other items. Marquis has asked me where is the CDC player that i brought to the center for him and since they wont allow me into his room, only God knows what else is probably missing that i brought up to him. The program director says CDC will purchase clothes for him and i asked him "why", there is no need to because i bought up alot of clothes for him, clothes that he likes and is use to wearing. He said we are responsible for his clothes and i said then you should have maintain and took care of the clothes that i bought up to him, so he is able to wear them. On April 3, 2013, Marquis had on some pants and a shirt that didnt belong to him. He told me these pants have a hole in them which i was able to see.The first time Marquis was admitted to CDC, he got to wear all of his clothes that i brought up to the center for him. But back then, i was able to go to his room and i washed his clothes and kept an eye on his clothes and other personal belongings and was able to see what was going on. Marquis is not moderately retarded and the psychologist at CDC wrote in an December, 2012 evaluation that Marquis is mildly retarded but change his tune during the last probate hearing on March 13, 2013, stating he didnt know if he was mildly or moderately retarded and while they are trying to decide, Marquis is being treated inhumanely in an facililty that does not value his humanity, feelings or disability. For example, Marquis' mother WITNESSED AND AUDIOTAPED Marquis being dangerously restrained by 2 employees and minutes later, Marquis mother also WITNESSED AND AUDIOTAPED Marquis being punched forcefully in the chest, grabbed by his shirt and jerked to his feet and practically thrown into an van by another employee. There were three co-workers, in addition to his mother, who witnessed Marquis being punched in the chest, grabbed by his shirt and jerked to his feet but the program director said they denied seeing any abuse. These co-workers did not report abuse of an resident! This is an WIDESPREAD PROBLEM and needs to be seriously and thoroughly investigated by an reputable body outside of Ohio. Many governmental bodies in Ohio (Ohio Attorney General, Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, DODD/CDC, Probate Court of Franklin County, Ohio, Disability Rights Ohio, Columbus Police Dept. who said it wasnt their jurisdiction and the Ohio State Highway Patrol who refused to take a report from Marquis' mother after being "advised" by CDC) were contacted by Myra Tanksley and did nothing about the abuse and assault of her son. Marquis told me during a recent visit that he was taken to an doctor by CDC recently. I was not notify about the appt. & it didnt allow me to be at the appt. with my son. I told CDC's DON that i want to be at all his medical appts. so i can advocate for him and to notify me of such. She told me she didnt know about it or who scheduled it! Then, she told me surgery was scheduled for Marquis by the doctor they took him to (THE WRONG DOCTOR)! I called the court-appointed guardian (who is an attorney) for all placement & medical decisions and she told me she didnt know anything about it either! HUH? SO WHO GAVE CDC PERMISSION TO SCHEDULE AND TAKE MY SON TO THIS APPT?? (there was another doctor that HAD ALREADY BEEN REFERRED & CONTACTED BY ME and CDC had actually transported Marquis to this doc's office in Nov/2012 after i told them he had an appt. with him). You can be sure the so-called guardian is going send over some back dated consent(s) really fast to cover their butts! I have added an commentary/response to this petition by Andrea Miller, an former employee of one of these developmental centers in Ohio. Ms. Miller describes the abuse of another young man with autism in the developmental center she worked in, again another developmental center in Ohio. Please take note that what i have reported that is continually happening to Marquis has and is continually happening to others like him. This is not just an governmental issue, it is an HUMANITY issue and IT IS CERTAINLY NOT AN INDIVIDUAL ISSUE! They are being treated like animals without any feelings and God forbid if they have any aggressive behaviors! There needs to be an federal investigation because this is not just an individual issue, there is abuse going on thruout these developmental centers in Ohio. Marquis needs to be release so he can have the life that he is entitled to!!! He has a right to community living and the state of Ohio is in violation of the Olmstead Act! Here is Ms. Miller commentary:

Andrea Miller Cambridge, Ohio

WI am a family-member advocate for those with intellectual/developmental disabilities I/DD. I have a 7 year old son with an I/DD, so I understand this Mother's pain and helplessness ....and anger toward CDC and DODD.

I am all too familiar with the lack of training and abuse and neglect in Developmental Centers in Ohio. I am a former Director of Nursing that was fired the day after I reported concerns to the Deputy Director of the DCs. I recently won a six-figure out of court settlement....a moral victory for me but I promised to continue to advocate for the individuals.

One of my complaints to the Deputy Director was my concern that the newer Superintendent had allowed the mistreatment of a young male adult with Autism. He had this individual hidden in an activity room during a State Medicaid survey by ODH. He admitted "hiding" this individual because he didn't want to take a chance of the young man having a "behavior" and the direct-care or TPWs looking bad in front of the surveyors. So, in other words, the TPWs weren't properly trainined to handle individuals with autism and the surveyors would know it if this individual "acted-out".

Actually, the young man was new and had only been at the center for a week prior to the Surveyors arriving. As many people know, routine is very important to those with autism. So, I felt it was very abusive to remove this client from his living area and disrupt his new "routine" (which included watching his Fraggle Rock DVDs in his room) to serve the needs to the staff members. I was aware of the incident because as the DON I had been called upon by a nurse inquiring as to why the individual wasn't allowed to return to his living area to have lunch and have his blood pressure checked. When I went to the activity room to assess this client, he was clearly distraught, did not understand why he was being held in a room with two staff members and kept getting up to get his coat and was being told to sit back down. He was made to stay in this activity room from the time the surveyors arrived until the time the last one left each evening. They did this for the whole week the surveyors were there and even did it an additional two days to make it look like it wasn't related to the surveyors--- although everyone knew better.

I felt this was emotionally and mentally abusive to this individual to keep him in a room all day and prevent him access to his living area---a clear violation of his rights. What is SO sad is that his parents had to make the difficult decision to have him placed at the center because he had become aggressive toward his Mother at home. They felt he was in the good hands of "professionals" and had no clue what they were doing to this young man. It was also hearsay that the Superintendent had told the workers that kept him in the room to do whatever it took to control his behavior.

After he was returned to his living area after the surveyors left, he began having aggression toward the staff members. He began head-butting them. So, a treatment meeting was held to see what could be done. I attended the meeting and I regret to this day ever signing the treatment sheet stating I agreed with the "plan". First, I will say at no time did any "professional", including the so-called PhD psychologist ever consider his behaviors may have been related to "grieving"-- this was a young man of about 23 years old that had spent his entire life at home with loving parents and was suddenly admitted to this center...and a week after he was there he was held against his will in an activity center for a week to be "hidden" from state surveyors.. and now he was in this treatment team wanting to place a helmet on his head to "protect" the workers when he head-butted them??? Crazy or what?? The Superintendent, Program Director, psychologist and Medical physican were all present in this meeting that signed to have a helmet placed on his head. Again-- at no time did they attempt to "understand" his behaviors and how he might be grieving his family and his home--- it was all about the staff again--- how to protect them....and the brilliant assistant Superintendent (now Superintendent) suggested gluing sherpa lining on the helmet to provide extra padding to lessen the blow to the staff member when head-butted him. I just remember thinking "I would be head-butting these idiots, too". So, are you getting the picture about the total lack of trained professionals?

This poor young man was initially given a helmet that was way too small for his head...and old helmet they had for a former seizure client--so tight his eyes looked Chinese. And then they ordered a wrestling padded helmet for him to wear.

He would often have unexplained injuries-- one had to wonder about abuse.

One time this individual was found missing-- they reported for app. 40 minutes. The QMRP (or Qualified Mental Retardation Professional) suggested they go and look for him at the Kentucky Fried Chicken since it was his favorite. However, what is crazy the KFC was at least 4 miles away-- how could this client have walked that far in 40 minutes? The manager knew that he was more than likely not supervised and that is how he could be that far. By the way, a Major Unusual Incident (MUI) should have been filed but the Superintendent instructed them not to do so. He was later found on the cottage, luckily....he was close to a major interstate-- he could have been hit by a car....and close to a creek where another client had once drowned.

I feel for the parents of this young man. I am sure they have no clue what is really happening to their son. And I am sure they would be devastated if they placed a hidden camera in his room or on his self. Shocked by what they would see!

Ms. Tanksley, I hope you have video of what is happening to your son. These places need exposed!

Also, I might add when I reported the young man being hidden during a survey, she said centers sometimes fear a "condition out" on a Survey. I asked her if we were serving the client or the staff??? It's obvious more training is needed. These direct-care workers make $14 dollars an hour plus--- our tax dollars are supporting these places and we should demand better care for our vulnerable citizens.

I will share later Union arbitrations that show staff abuse and lack of training in working with individuals with complex needs.

When Director Martin of DODD has been contacted about the problems with the leadership of the centers, he has stated he has confidence in his leadership. He ignores the problem. Maybe that is why he had had to increase his settlement funds by 600% for the next fiscal year--- pay people off to keep quiet or just go away! The public needs to be aware of what happens in these places.

God bless you and your son and may you have justice!!hy is this important to you? (Optional)