My Downs Syndrome daughter is 18, what now?
Recently I spoke with a woman at the SS office who advised me that on Friday, Brittany would be signing papers. When I asked what they were, she said HIPPA along with some others. Now I ask you, how can an individual with an IQ of 40 sign anything legal> Don't you have to understand what you are signing in order for it to be binding or valid? The woman at the SS office here in Lakeland Florida where I live was short and really had no time for any sort of explanation other than it was the law and if I didn't like it, I could talk to the legislature.
Everyday we read in the papers about how DCF and the genral public period , don't know what to do with the elderly and the disabled. How group homes are run poorly with a tremendous amount of abuse. ( Something I know first hand, as I have worked in both nursing and group homes and witnessed this myself. ) Funding funding funding! "There is not enough funding, we only have a small piece of the pie. I'm sorry Ms. Garcias we just don't have the funding for that. " Okay, so the government moans and groans about all the people they have to take care of that can't care for themsleves.
Now here is a mother who has a Downs Syndrome child, who just turned 18. I have been told that I have minimal rights over her now. If she wants to just leave at any time, she has that right as an adult. I go into panic mode and call the courts. Well, in Florida, a probate judge won't even see you unless you have counsel. I am a single mom just getting by and in order to protect my little girl, I have to pay an attorney 2,000-3,000 to get legal custody of her. Well I don't have that kind of money and I am so afraid that she is in a very vulnerable position right now.
Does anyone know what I can do? I am writing everyone from the President to the Governor. It's a shame that when you have responsible parents who want to take care of their disabled child/adult they make it nearly impossible to do so.
I have cried and cried over this...I just don't know what to do to protect her.