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September 22, 2012

Caregiving Sociopaths who Prey on Autistic Population: The Hardest Type to Catch

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What Parents of Autistic Children and Adults Should Know and What We Need Now To Make a Change...


  1. Stealth abuse is the most dangerous kind of abuse

  1. Stealth abuse is furtive, secret and imperceptible (unless you catch it on video surveillance)

  1. Stealth abusers operate under color of authority and often masquerade as caring, professionals, “here to help.”

  1. Stealth abusers are masters at manipulating people in real time, but aren’t as savvy when they’re alone, and nobody is around (another reason video surveillance that records helps detect their covert abuse)

  1. Stealth abusers often enlist family members (usually younger vulnerable ones who easily brainwashed) to defend their actions, at all costs, since they’ve worked on these family members using different forms of abuse, for instance, financial control, blackmail or unwarranted shame and humiliation tactics (warranted VS unwarranted, as in difference between media shaming child abusers vs. an abusive father shaving his son’s head because he didn’t take out the garbage)

  1. Stealth abusers study the victim to learn how to cover the abuse done (for instance, a stealth abuser caring for an Alzheimer’s patient may say she’s ‘lost her mind’ if she claims she’s being abused)

  1. Stealth abusers passively aggressively retaliate against victims and their families if they attempt to expose abuse or have exposed abuse (i.e...making anonymous calls to various agencies accusing the victim or victim’s family of wrongdoing, slashing tires, spiking food, poisoning animals or breaking appliances)

  1. Stealth abusers often have clear backgrounds (they’ve never been convicted of a felony, and if charged they are always, in their minds, innocent)

  1. Stealth abusers are often people who infiltrate your lives while they hold high positions of power, or possess professional training skills

  1. Stealth abusers like to shift the blame (i.e...blaming victim or victim’s family for abuse)

  1. Stealth abusers learn how to work every vulnerable spot of the victim’s life, for instance a self injurious autistic client/patient is easy prey, because, in the absence of video surveillance, injuries can be blamed on self-abuse.

  1. Stealth abusers can make victims and families feel crazy for suspecting abuse. Often times, stealth abusers are sociopaths. They know what they're doing is wrong. And they don't give a damn. No remorse.  

Would hiring a private investigator uncover these monsters? Not likely. Why? Because the abuse is ambient, furtive and imperceptible to even trained eyes

One has to understand the world these types of abusers live in, and how they operate.

Unless the stealth abuser is in direct contact with the victim, it is impossible to catch the abuse. Stealth abusers aren’t going around telling people they abuse their victims. In fact, they do the OPPOSITE. They tell everyone how they're trying to "help" the person. Some abusers (usually psychopaths or teens with serious mental issues) will post their abuse, but not the adult stealth abuser.

No, this guy or gal saves his abuse for seconds he thinks nobody is looking.

And as if you're watching a split screen, this person can switch back and forth into the wonderful helpful intelligent person they want you to think they are, back to the monster they really are.

They are also experts at accusing others of what they do. Eventually, they are discovered to be frauds and live with an underlying fear of utter impotence, because deep down inside they hate themselves and want to destroy others.

They are truly damaged people. Almost none of them seek help to repair their dark souls, because, in their minds, there is nothing wrong with them, it's always someone else. That's how they justify their abuse. Victim blaming. Or they act "offended" and "feel accused" when you accuse them of something you have direct evidence of. 

Hence, the only way you catch this TYPE of abuser is by VIDEO surveillance. 

Families raising vulnerable autistic children and adults must realize how important it is to get video in rooms where caregivers are watching your autistic child. Good caregivers don’t mind being watched. A stealth abuser despises being watched and thinks he can avoid detection or is somehow able to beat the odds of being caught on video. Eventually, however, as time ticks, the stealth abuser, because he is a monster, will no longer care if he’s watched and will create the illusion in his mind that he can do whatever he wants and not be caught.

Do not hesitate to install video surveillance in your home if you feel your autistic child is being abused, especially if the child is non-verbal.

If your child is in a group home, don’t bother to ask for video surveillance as the State of California claims it’s a violation of the disabled person’s “civil rights” to have a camera in a state run and funded home or institution. Go figure.

Autism advocates are fighting this. Indeed, those who have autistic children or siblings or friends who have been killed within a state funded group home or institution, are demanding, through legislative action, video surveillance. I think it’s a great pro-active and acute protection.

After all, my autistic son would still be being victimized by stealth abusers if we didn’t put in video surveillance. It’s the only effective way to capture the sick reality of stealth abuse.

What more can be done to protect vulnerable autistic people in our society?

For starters, state agencies such as California Regional Centers should step up and take a more active role in providing safe supports and resources for families who need nursing or behavioral respite care. Simply sending a family a list of caregivers doesn’t cut it. Nor does referring a family to a nursing agency, especially when the agency they are referred to, repeatedly says they have no nurses.

In light of what has happened to my autistic son, will society simply be temporarily outraged and saddened by my son’s story? Will people make drive by comments and then go back to their lives? Will professionals express outrage, but then go back to their cubicles, seminars and symposiums and take no corrective action to ensure no family receiving respite care must be burdened with the sole responsibility for ensuring caregivers are kind, compassionate and qualified individuals matched to the individual needs of a client, consumer or patient?

What exactly is San Diego Regional Center doing? What is Adult Protective Services (APS) doing? APS is a good agency, but these places are reactive agencies. They don't have any power to prevent abuse. Or gather evidence.



APS waltzes in when there’s a bruise, has no medial, behavioral or autism expertise or knowledge of the complex, fragmented funding system serving disabled, writes a report and splits. They are in no position to set up, monitor or advocate for video surveillance in group homes or other facilities that are caring for vulnerable adults. 

In essence, these are agencies that aren’t going to detect or discern stealth abuse by no fault of their own, they simply aren't given the power to do it. 

Sadly, this vigilant gathering of evidence will fall on parents or vendors of facilities caring for vulnerable disabled adults or elderly. It seems we have no choice. Should it remain that way?

Why aren't their LAWS demanding that video surveillance be in every residential care facility receiving state and/or federal funds? 

You could be creative in the monitoring. You could have people with OCD monitoring the surveillance. Or insomniacs. And people with Aspergers love this stuff.  Nobody would monitor surveillance better than a person with OCD/Aspergers.  These are the people that when they take an MMPI and answer yes to they see things others don't...they aren't crazy. They have excellent observations skills. Sounds funny, but it's true. 


If state agencies charged with duty to provide supports and services to autistic individuals truly care about autism community, they will do more to help effect change, instead of asking the same old questions, calling for more meetings, writing more reports and then trudging back to their offices and doing the same old nothing.

.

How change will happen will depend upon the soft hearts and sharp minds of caring individuals inside California Regional Centers and other agencies funding services and supports for families of autistic children and adults.

We’re beyond the autism awareness factor now. We know. Now it is time to act.

State funded agencies must offer families of autistic children and adults a richer and more diverse pool of highly screened respite care professionals who can help support our children in the home, and if needed, in a group home. No more excuses. Let’s work together to protect all autistic individuals in our community.

Kim Oakley, Mother of Jamey

September 19, 2012

San Diego Regional Center Serving People? Investigation Needed.

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Multiple Discrimination Lawsuits Filed Against Self-Proclaimed Advocate of Individual Rights San Diego Regional Center


 San DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 23, 2006 -- Handal & Associates has filed a second lawsuit against the San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled ("SDRC") alleging that SDRC has engaged in an active campaign to rid itself of disabled employees and employees over the age of 40.


In the lead lawsuit, Fuess v. San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled, filed in the San Diego Superior Court, Plaintiff, Marie Fuess, former SDRC employee, alleges that she was forced to endure a year of harassment and intolerable working conditions at SDRC until she was finally terminated without cause.

Both suits further allege SDRC maintains a culture of fear and intimidation and that a routine practice for supervisors is to harass, threaten, and intimidate employees to quit in order to save costs on health care, retirement benefits, or other costs associated with older employees and those with disabilities.

SDRC is non-profit organization which receives both state and federal funding. SDRC contracts with the California State Department of Developmental Services to assist persons in San Diego and Imperial counties who have developmental disabilities. On its website, (http://www.sdrc.org/c_home.php ) SDRC states that its corporate goals include protecting individual rights through advocacy. If SDRC discriminates against it's own disabled employees, one can only imagine how they treat the disabled clients. I know how they treat my autistic son. They ignore his needs. And they withhold pertinent information from ALJs at Fair Hearings.


More phony, misleading public information from San Diego Regional Center found here: http://sdrc.org/wordpress/wp-content/media/2016/03/DemSurvey16color.pdf

" SDRC has substantially increased the number of individually vendored Registered and Licensed Vocational Nurses. The current total of 234vendored nurses and 20 Home Health Agencies is sufficient to meet the respite needs of SDRC clients."

THIS IS TOTAL BULL SHIT. But how would you or anyone who isn't inside this system know this, right? The average citizen expects this agency to be good. To tell the truth. They aren't going to tell you that every day there are PARENTS of San Diego Regional Center who are COMPLAINING that they aren't getting the RESPITE CARE or NURSING coverage they need, and which is listed on their child's IPP contract. Nobody would know this information unless they did a complete investigation, including ASKING EVERY PARENT who receives respite care services how many times they haven't received the actual respite care services San Diego Regional Center claims are "sufficient to meet the respite needs of SDRC clients." I personally know SEVERAL families who have consistently NOT been provided services "sufficient to meet the respite needs" of their children. I also know parents whose children have been INJURED or neglected to DEATH in group homes. And nobody at San Diego Regional Center seems to give a shit. Or make this public to effect positive change. It's all covered up, because ultimately it's all about protecting those who didn't do their job, not the vulnerable children or adults who have been hurt or neglected in this billion dollar system. Smoke and mirrors. Masks of sanity.

Another fact: Every 3 years, San Diego Regional Center sends out a mysterious Client/Family Satisfaction Survey:

http://sdrc.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/ClientSurvey2012.pdf

In over 20 years of my autistic son getting services, I've never been given the chance to fill this out, or heard of any parent filling it out. WHO CHOOSES WHICH PARENTS fill this out? Clearly, it isn't random selection. And be sure my name is crossed OFF that mailing list.


                                             


There's a lot of inside-dirty-under-the radar politics that goes on inside San Diego Regional Center. Other agencies turn a blind eye because they have to work with SDRC.

SDRC seems to have dozens of compromised people who can't stand up for the disabled and allow their supervisors to abuse their positions of power and bully them into doing things or doing nothing. People who have worked their for 30 plus years and have developed the faces you'd typically see on victims of Stockholm Syndrome. Victims who can't think for themselves and have totally forgotten why they first started working for SDRC years ago: to help the disabled. These folks have totally lost themselves. They've been beaten down like old rugs, hearts hardened, eyes blurred and voices vacated in mundane meeting after mundane meeting. If I were them, and they know who they are, I'd expose the corruption and jet out of that black hole as fast I could. Go straight to the media and expose truth about SDRC. Apparently, the employees who were being discriminated against for being disabled did. They were the brave ones

San Diego Regional Center is a place where the service coordinator is a "messenger to the "Program Manager" who then has to ask the Assistant Case Manager, who is married to the Executive Director, who wil then will get back to the Program Manager, who then tells the Service Coordinator to tell the parent the answer or give no answer at all.

Occasionally, the in house counsel will be consulted. The counsel will then tell the Assistant Case Manager, who tells the Program Manager, who then emails the Service Coordinator, who then carefully crafts an email to parent of the disabled child who is still waiting for a concrete  or logical answer.

                                     

It doesn't matter what some of these Regional Centers say they are doing to help the disabled, because the truth is, the chronic anger and frustration of hundreds of parents and families and vendors who have been in this system, is evidence that they are tired of the bull shit and that is something is very, very wrong with California's Regional Centers serving the disabled. Don't believe me? Then believe the news articles:

  • Historical Evidence showing California's Regional Centers Have Some Serious Issues that Have Never been Resolved....

San Francisco Chronicle: August 4, 1997; Agencies for disabled in disarray. “The sprawling bureaucracy that controls more than $1 billion a year for developmentally disabled Californians is plagued by mismanagement and financial abuses so severe that the health and safety of the disabled have been jeopardized. State officials have known for two decades of serious problems in the network of 21 private, state-funded regional centers…More than 100 interviews and thousands of pages of audits, state reports and court documents revealed that some centers have been linked to embezzlement, fraud and unethical financial deals. 

Hundreds of children and adults with varying degrees of...autism....have received inadequate services—or no services at all—though the state and federal governments have increased regional center budgets by millions of dollars a year.”


  • December 5, 1997, Chronicle writer Edward W. Lempinen, wrote: In a scathing report hand-delivered to top state officials yesterday, the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration criticized the state for risking the health and safety of the disabled, lax state oversight of their care and mismanagement of federal funds… Disabled people and their families who complain about services sometimes suffer retaliation from those who oversee their care.”




  • Since the 1997 San Francisco investigative news coverage the only thing proposed to help track and monitor disabled people within the Regional Center has been in 2006: Under the client-tracking legislation, SB 571, each regional center would have to submit a Client Development Evaluation Report on each client at least every 15 months. The Department of Developmental Services, the primary agency monitoring Regional Centers opposed the bill. The bill was later gutted. Why would an agency appointed to protect disabled oppose a bill protecting disabled? Because these agencies don’t want the public to see the pervasive systematic neglect of disabled.

  • June 23, 2001, Los Angeles Times: “State officials have moved to revoke the licenses of 14 homes and day care centers for developmentally disabled adults operated by an Anaheim company accused of allowing clients to be sexually and physically abused….California Department of Social Services accused Westview Services of a variety of health and safety violations at the facilities, which are licensed to serve about 530 people in Orange and Los Angeles counties.”

  • March 18, 2001 San Francisco Chronicle: “In 1965, the legislature created two pilot organizations for providing community services in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Called regional centers, they served as nonprofit brokers between state coffers and local suppliers of housing, training and other services to the disabled… State legislators, though, soon learned of serious problems in the new community care system. Reports and audits submitted to them in 1976 and 1988 described abuses of power, high turnover among social workers, poor accounting practices and chronic budget deficits at the regional centers.” But the Executive Directors make upwards of $200,000 a year...

  • February 25, 2001, The Sacramento Bee reported: “…a class-action lawsuit filed last year in an Oakland federal court on behalf of several disabled Californians and a handful of advocacy groups…. Allegations are that the state has failed to provide adequate services for disabled people….” It's 2014 and nothing much has changed...

  • January 12-18, 2005, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper: “Oversight at community-care facilities has been riddled with controversy since 1997, when the San Francisco Chronicle published a series of stories that shed light on serious problems...”

  • Jan 01, 2007, Sacramento Bee reported ongoing saga of failed system serving disabled. Latest discovery: "Failure of Regional Centers to monitor or protect disabled has led to hundreds of DEATHS of disabled persons"
.

Why is SDRC and some other Regional Centers so screwed up? Let's start from the top at SDRC: His name is Carlos Flores. He's a phony executive director at SDRC who is so incompetent in his leadership, he had to hire Steven Covey group to help him lead. Flores has a nice thing going at SDRC: He's married to the "assistant chief case manager", Nina Garrett. They attend many meetings together where funding issues and money is discussed, but nobody seems to give a shit. Flores and Garrett have never filed a conflict of interest report, though they demand others who work for SDRC file one.

What does Carlos Flores do? Well, he is the person a parent must write a letter to if they want to file a 4731 complaint against the Regional Center, even when it involves his wife.

Flores is also the person a parent is told must go to him to request what's called an "exception" to SDRC's purchase of service policies. The problem with this is that when a parent asks their service coordinator for a service, the service coordinator will go to "case management" (recall Flores' wife is the assistant chief of case management) and ask them if the parent can get the service for their disabled child. If the answer is, "No, it's not a service we fund as per our policy" SDRC will tell parent to file for a Fair Hearing or the parent can request an "exception" to a policy that SDRC claims doesn't allow them to provide a service. WHO do you make the request for this exception to? You are told to make it to the Executive Director, Carlos Flores. The problem again is that his wife is the assistant chief of case management, so she's involved in deciding whether or not a disabled person can qualify for a service under SDRC's purchase of service policies.  It's a very strange situation.



According to SDRC transparency site, Executive Director Carlos Flores is raking in $250,000 a year. Meanwhile, he's sending parents notices of actions cutting and denying services because San Diego Regional Center is concerned about being "cost effective."

Carlos Flores, Salary   SEE him at #63 in San Diego Union Tribune article:
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2013/dec/16/nonprofit-ceo-compensation-salaries-san-diego/

https://connect.data.com/directory/company/list/310039/san-diego-regional-center?guid=310039

Carlos Flores is also on a special task force (he was appointed to by a person in DDS, the agency that is allegedly monitoring SDRC). What is odd about this is that Flores can't even meet the needs of the complex individuals he's supposed to be serving in the San Diego Regional Center. But this guy is on a task force to figure out how to meet "complex needs" of developmentally disabled. And his wife, the Case Manager, is so incredibly ignorant about the realities of severe autism that she had the temerity to think it was a bad thing to have our home health nurse dump our autistic son's dirty diapers in the outside trash, despite the reality a dirty diaper would promote a terrible smell if left in the trash.

 Likewise, Ms. Garrett-Flores fails to understand how one person has a hard time changing a severely-autistic adult's diapers, when the autistic adult is punching themselves in the head or having seizure activity. Yet, she's involved in making decisions about what disabled clients can get. This woman has no clue what severe autism with seizures and self injurious behaviors involves. It escapes her analysis, because there is no analysis going on. Just clueless. These are the people making decisions about complex issues in severe autism. Completely clueless people. You have to think for them. You have to remind them over and over again what the reality is, or they will continue to sit slumped in a chair, angry, bitter, bent on retaliation, reading your blog.




 San Diego Regional Center is a NON PROFIT agency providing social services under contract with California Department of Developmental Services (DDS). That contract mandates the San Diego Regional Center provide services and supports to California's developmentally disabled population.  New Jersey recently passed a *bill (HB 893) that limits what nonprofit groups can pay their chief executives if they are providing social services under state contracts. I guess California hasn't caught up with the East Coast. 



 *The bill would call for a commission to study $100,000 salary caps for employees at state-supported nonprofits, as well as research into whether lawmakers should ban the use of tax dollars for salaries.













September 13, 2012

More Hope for Autistic Persons with Epilepsy

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According to a September 6th, 2012 Fox News report, scientists from the University of California, San Diego and Yale schools of medicine discovered giving massive doses of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) reduces neurobehavioral symptoms in mice who have the same genetics as SOME autistic individuals with epilepsy.

The strange part about this study is some of the parents in the study are apparently “related to each other.” That’s weird.

One wonders how closely they were related. The article doesn’t say. Well, since my autistic son’s biological father is in no way related to me, I guess we don’t qualify for this study.

Yet, it is of interest that amino acid supplementation of BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine and valine) is a potential treatment for autism and epilepsy.

Interestingly, doctors often prescribe IV amino acids for people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, systemic infections or are under extreme stress from some type of serious injury.

Given my son also suffers from chronic self-injurious behaviors it would therefore make sense to supplement his diet with BCCAs.

There’s one catch.

Research also shows branch chain amino acids compete with amino acid Tryptophan, which is responsible for elevating serotonin levels in the brain. Thus, if the autistic person with epilepsy is serotonin deficient, one might consider also supplementing with 5HTP or L-Tryptophan. Of course you won’t know if the autistic person is deficient in serotonin unless doctors do a pet scan or use other diagnostic tools to test serotonin levels. Good luck getting that order.

Oral supplementation (liquid form best) appears to be most effective way to ingest BCAAs.

What foods are highest in BCAAs?

Research shows soybeans, salami (Yuk), peanuts, egg yolks (Yum), wheat germ and beef are high in LEUCINE.

Eggs, fish, cheese, oats, tofu and raw soy meal are high in ISOLEUCINE.

Lentils, black beans, garbanzo beans, cottage cheese, chicken, cheese, potatoes and broccoli are high in VALINE. 

Kim Oakley