I follow a mom on youtube whose adult son is a nonverbal autistic man who needs lots of daily help and can’t make his communications understood. He has epilepsy as well as being autistic. His care has to include nurses because of his seizures.
While I don’t like that she still has videos of his bad moments up, she’s keeping people updated on her son’s progress since they got the staffing he needs to live comfortably. She is showing his good times because now he can actually have them. His care needs were not being met and he is behaviorally fragile, which means anything and everything can trigger his self-injurious behavior. Once he starts, he can’t stop, he needs physical help to control SIB.
Now he can be taken care of physically and emotionally because there’s enough people to look after him properly. Before, it was just his mom trying to control his hands, which meant she was unable to get to medication, soothing items or even a phone to call someone for outside assistance.
Two nurses hired to help him abused him. His mom has that on video. Both incidents with the abusive nurses were captured on in-home surveillance. I’m linking the videos so people can see what abuse of this sort can look like. The fact that the autistic man is self-injurious and has communications that aren’t understandable makes him a perfect victim. The only sign of this outside of this footage is he would get upset and uncooperative around these nurses. He was saying they hurt him and nobody could understand it until this footage surfaced.
* * * WARNING: Videos are disturbing and contain abuse. * * *
Michael Garritson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK1YqZ8ioaY (The autistic man is literally crying in pain, having SIB and trying to defend himself against his abuser. His motor skills aren’t so great, so he can’t protect himself. He’s scared half to death of this guy.)
Matthew McDuffie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjQ6WR9Kypc (Again, the autistic man is just trying to indicate he needs help. His abuser pulls his hair, hits him– in one instance he uses the helmet the man wears to protect his head from SIB to hit him– and consistently keeps the man a prisoner on his bed.)
His mom fought for years to get him in-home care because his needs far exceed what a group home setting can provide. She wants only the best for him. She does not want to change him, she wants life better for HIM.
She went through hell to get a better life for him. The state kept blowing her off because “he’s so complex blah blah blah” and gave every excuse to not help. The lack of services thing isn’t bullshit, it’s real, and providers will wear you down until you give up so they don’t have to work hard to provide care. They don’t like people who keep coming at them. This mom has NEVER wanted to hurt or kill her son, I will say that straight up.
I watch the videos she posts because that’s how I stay updated on how he’s doing. He is visibly happier. He’s even finding small ways to communicate an understandable “no” by waving his hand at things (like a king) or pushing things away when they’re offered.
Services can be won, but you have to fight tooth, nail and dirty to get it. So fight. Fight for that help. Don’t give up on the most vulnerable autistic community members.