An open letter from a #Autism Dad



It’s not too often that I feel the need to really address something that has happened to my family,  in the form of an open letter.

This is one such occasion.

My hope is that by sharing this openly, we can all learn a valuable lesson.

A couple of hours ago, child protective services showed up at our door.  Apparently someone lodged a complaint this morning and they have launched an investigation.



That’s my understanding.

I spoke with two social workers from Stark County Children Services Division, while standing on my front porch.

They explained that it had been reported that we are not seeking proper medical care for our children. They also said that we have been accused of not taking them to their follow up appointments as well.



I was in absolute shock.

I mean, who would do something like this?

Of course we take our kids to get proper medical care. We go to the ends of the earth for our kids.  Not only do we have all the medical records and an army of doctors and specialists but I document everything on this blog.

I became defensive and listed off everything that we are involved in.  Support services, OT, PT, speech, Akron Children’s Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, Wraparound, DD, Family Services etc.

The list goes on and on.

The social workers were very, very pleasant and I was pretty upset but keeping my cool.

They won’t say who made the accusations because they have to protect their privacy while they invade ours.

The workers want to interview the boys, Lizze, myself and want access to medical records for the boys.  We have nothing to hide so this shouldn’t be a problem? Right?

I don’t know that there is a right or wrong here.

In that moment, I denied them access to anything because I want to make sure I understand what’s going on and what my family’s right are.

It’s easy to prove the accusations false, I mean really? If you were going to make up false allegations about my wife and I, you’d need to be a bit more creative than we don’t take our kids to the doctor.

Here’s the problem and my issue with this whole thing.

Where’s their proof? Why is it that someone can make a ridiculous statement like, we don’t get our kids proper medical care and all of a sudden the burden of proof shifts to us?

Why is it necessary to interview my three special needs boys when all they should need is proof that we take our kids to the doctors?

I know this won’t go anywhere but that doesn’t mean there won’t be damaged done in the process of proving ourselves once again. This is an invasion  of our privacy based on some concerned citizen making a false statement.

The fact that I share on this blog doesn’t mean that our privacy can’t be invaded.  Lizze and I choose what we want to share.

Here’s the thing.

Whoever did this, did this with the sole purpose of creating upheaval in our lives.  They want to make us suffer for some unknown reason.  They aren’t concerned about the boys.  This is 100% malicious and that upsets me.

Instead of this person having to provide credible evidence to back up their claims, we have to turn our lives upside down in order to prove them wrong.

This is a huge flaw in the system.

image

I understand that these social workers are doing their jobs and I totally respect that.  However, there should be some kind of vetting process to weed out the totally ridiculous complaints like this.

Whoever, filed this report is not only wasting taxpayer dollars but they are tying up valuable resources that are need for children that are truly in danger.

As a special needs family, life is hard enough as it.

Having to put everything aside, including taking care of my kids health, is not something that we need.

I’m greatly concerned about the impact that proving our innocence is going to have on the boys.  This is very stressful and we’ve been though this when we were fighting Gavin’s abusive biological father.

We lived from one false accusation to the next.  Each time we had to open our lives up and deal with the violation.

Every single time, they were proven false but the damage was already done.

I appreciate the job that a social worker does.  They are overworked and underappreciated.

Having said that, at what point do we exercise common sense and avoid these situations all together?

Myself, along with several of my neighbors had called child services on a woman that lived across the street from us.  In fact we called quite a few times.

This woman was locking her young kids out of the house during the day.  Her barely walking infant/toddler would run around unsupervised and naked outside. The other kids were playing is trash and wandering the street.

We never got this type of response from anyone and these kids were in imminent harm.

The system is flawed and needs to be fixed.

If you make false allegations about a family as fragile as ours, regardless of whether or not there is any validity the the claims, you do damage.

I realize that I’ve become a public figure of sorts but that doesn’t warrant any of what’s about to happen to my family.

Am I over reacting? Maybe I am.

……..but you know something? This is wrong and it’s a violation and it should have been shutdown before even making it this far.

When all this is said and done, I will be exploring our options.  I’m thinking that their is something in Ohio that prohibits false allegations and it’s punishable.  If there isn’t, there should be.

I want all of you to please learn from this experience and the process that we are going to be going through. I will share as honestly as I can because I’m hoping that everyone can learn something from this, including anyone that intends to mess with my family in the future.

Please say a prayer that this process is quick and as painless as possible.  Please keep Lizze in your thoughts because this is the last thing in the world that she needs to be dealing with.

To whoever did this…….  I feel sorry for you.  We’ll  survive this and once again come out on top.  You’ll still be the person that tried to destroy a special needs family.

Despite everything that we live through and the challenges we face, we’re happy.  We love our kids and do everything physically possible for them.

You have my pitty…..

For updates on our dealing with Child Protective Services, click HERE.

This site is managed almost exclusively via WordPress for Android. Please forgive any typos as autocorrect HATES me. 😉


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About Rob Gorski

Father to 3 with Autism and husband to my best friend. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)

  

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BobGrainger
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BobGrainger

Rob I just wanted to say what a neat post and I am so sorry to hear about this. Even criminals get innocent until proven guilty, so how sad. I will pray for your family. Bob & Elijah who is my 7 year old son with autism.

Hucksgirl13
Guest
Hucksgirl13

Rob, I feel your pain… Ohio is especially flawed. Several friends and family members of mine had called CPS about a person we knew who was doing drugs with her kids and sending them to school to sell drugs (the problem is now solved) and CPS – in Ohio –  told us there was nothing they could do! I was floored! But people like you and Lizze who take such good care of your children, (to the point of losing utilities because you’re paying for gas, vehicles, etc. to get them to their respective appointments) are getting CPS called on… Read more »

JamileyKeller
Guest
JamileyKeller

Sorry to read that you and your family are going through this… especially because I know what it feels like.  I had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with them not once, not twice… but THREE TIMES after THE SAME person kept making false accusations… each time their accusation did not work they made up a new one.  The first time they showed up we were in the middle of a home visit with our children’s new teacher and an autism specialist that worked for the school they were to be starting… and the CPS worker showed up… with… Read more »

KyahWolf
Guest

Rob, I’m so sorry someone has been so awful & spiteful enough to make such a heinous accusation against you & Lizze. I don’t think they even deserve your pity. You don’t deserve to have this happen, especially when you’re already have so much else going on. You both take wonderful care of your beautiful boys & obviously love them more than life itself. I hope it is sorted soon & without causing trauma to all of you. My thoughts are with you all.

Michael
Guest

I’ll play devils advocate here because, well, that’s just what I do sometimes… You said, quote, “They explained that it had been reported that we are not seeking proper medical care for our children.” This could be a double-edged sword of putting your life on public display. Your definition of ‘seeking proper medical care’ certainly can differ from someone else’s views. Personally, yesterday’s post about the number of pills and medication you take startled me. With all the updates of the many doctor visits, I assumed your family was taking a lot of meds – but I honestly didn’t imagine… Read more »

blogginglily
Guest
blogginglily

@Michael “every symptom doesn’t need a pill”.  I can’t completely encapsulate all the many feelings I have upon reading a self professed non doctor’s critique of the “quantity” of pills someone takes to treat himself.  I’m reminded of The Emperor in “Amadeus” who critiques Mozart by saying, “too many notes”.  As the husband of a woman who has gone through chemo, I can tell you that the number of pills she took simply to combat the side effects of the drugs they fed her to keep her cancer from killing her DWARFS that meager handful.  Let me put it still… Read more »

LeeAnneKloppOwens
Guest
LeeAnneKloppOwens

@Michael I have 5 children, two on the autism spectrum, one with chronic migraine headaches and ADHD, one with asthma. The pharmacists at Walgreens know me by name; when picking up the prescriptions for just ONE of my boys on the spectrum (who also has Dx of OCD and a tic disorder) I walk out with FIVE bottles of pills. My son with asthma takes three medications every night. Guess what? HE CAN BREATHE WITHOUT SOUNDING LIKE A TRAIN WHISTLE. My son who takes five, count ’em up, five pills each day can stop counting his steps long enough to actually… Read more »

Silachan
Guest

@Michael Considering how many very serious conditions Gavin has, the amount of medications he is on is considerably small! You try living ‘medication free’ when you have many serious conditions including some life threatening ones such as his dysautonomia. They stated that they have reduced his medication to as little as possible to keep him in the best care. Truthfully said, I know some people with just ONE disorder who take half that many pills just to combat the effects of it. And sometimes, the only medicine that works for that disorder comes with serious side effects which needs another… Read more »

Deborah2013
Guest
Deborah2013

How awful. You’re right they have to investigate when a complaint comes in, just doing their job but ouch how painful. You are not obligated to let them in the house without a warrant or to release any information – although doing so often makes them go away quicker. If they can’t get voluntary agreement to services they have to decide whether to close the case or do a court filing. Kind of a judgment call which way to go as being totally uncooperative can get people ramped up to think there’s a problem.  Tell them to look at your… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Hey, I am sorry you guys have to go through this, but I am going to play devils advocate for a minute (Dont get upset with me) Yes, the system may be flawed and may need to be fixed, however CPS has no way of knowing if you are telling the truth or not. Working in the health system, you and I both know that people are capable of telling very believable lies, They HAVE to check it out, which you know. Also, as for the person who reported you, we know that the boys are constantly at the MDs… Read more »

Thoughts and Comments
Guest
Thoughts and Comments

To Michael: As a doctor, you’d be surprised at how many various medications patients can be on at once.  And yes, we do very carefully screen for over-medication or contraindications.  When someone is ill with multiple conditions (not just symptoms – there is a VAST difference), you treat them as specifically as you can and don’t throw one or two (or more) medications into the mix just for the sake of bumping up the number.  Unfortunately, there are many people who don’t understand that illness doesn’t just mean one pill a day and the patient will be better in a… Read more »

barney4170
Guest
barney4170

oh my, I can totally relate! Over a year ago someone called CPS on us. Said we abuse our son, and they saw us physically beat him in the face. She came into our home. My son asked her to leave! He said, “my dad is playing Bakugan with me, we are busy!” She looked him all over, took pics, questioned him away from us. I sat there shaking and crying and wondering why in God’s name someone would do this to us. They questioned his therapists whom of course said nothing but good about us. It was proven to… Read more »

Michael
Guest

Wow. Look at me getting spanked into my place. And to think, I actually edited that response and toned down a few words so as NOT to tick anyone off. I certainly wasn’t trying to insinuate anything about Rob’s parental ability. As I said – when you put your life under a big public spotlight, the idea of someone calling Social Services is certainly in the realm of possibility. Opinions vary (as obviously mine can) and it’s not surprising at all to see someone else butting in. Personally, I’ve got a 5 year old with autism and my wife and… Read more »

Melisssssa
Guest
Melisssssa

As someone who reads your blog regularly and marvels at how manage all your dr visits, medications, therapy appts, etc;  for your whole family this really ticks me off to read!  I can not believe someone felt the need to turn you into CPS.  Seems vindictive.  I hope whoever felt the need to do this gets it back at them some time!  Praying for your family.  This was an added stress you guys sure did not need!

SarahLow
Guest
SarahLow

Rob –  So sorry to hear that your family has to endure this. And you are right, the system is EXTREMELY flawed. A young friend of mine was working as an aid in a residential facility for special needs kids last summer. She witnessed a co-worker hitting a child across the face and reported it immediately. When she went back to work and discovered that co-worker still on the job she asked her supervisor what was going on – she was told that it was her word against his, and that CPS didn’t feel there was enough “evidence” to investigate….… Read more »

KatMoody
Guest

The same kind of complaint was lodged when our boys were younger and it was horrible then as well. Just a couple years ago the school called because Bobby had an accident on the way to school and they assumed we sent him with soiled underwear … the boy suffers from encopresis but hey, we must have just sucked as parents …  I actually called the local office and not only spoke with a supervisor but explained the children’s issues and they sent someone to talk with them with us present, someone who was familiar with autism. Don’t hesitate to… Read more »

AMDuser
Guest
AMDuser

I find that messed up, only if they read this blog then they would know what all goes on, and how much you go through.

BillAppleOS
Guest
BillAppleOS

It can’t be a blog reader. I don’t think you’ve ever published your address, and wouldn’t they need to provide that when they made the report?
I’m thinking you have a disgruntled neighbor.

AMDuser
Guest
AMDuser

@BillAppleOS Some agencies I believe that all the person would need to know the county and the name of the person that they are accusing

mrschains
Guest
mrschains

Knowingly making a false allegation of abuse or neglect is illegal and punishable by law in most states. I would look at the medical field. Have you recently switched a doctor? Missed a follow up appointment? Disagreed with a dr and voiced your opinion? Anything? Usually something like missing appointments comes from a medical professional. Start there. If you did miss an appointment, make sure you know why and have the date that you rescheduled for. If you switched drs, have the new dr’s information. Don’t let this get you down. While it sucks, it’s one more chance to show… Read more »

Sophiestrains
Guest

Oh guys my heart breaks for you. It is seriously one of my greatest fears not because we are doing anything wrong, but just because it is only too easy to cause so much upheaval in someone’s life. I’m sure you guys will clear it all up, hang in there.

lostandtired
Guest

BobGrainger Hucksgirl13 JamileyKeller Deborah2013 barney4170 LeeAnneKloppOwens Melisssssa SarahLow KatMoody AMDuser karenswim I just wanted to thank you all for your support, even those of you playing devils advocate.  We will get through this and I’m really trying not to be angry. 
I just wanted to thank you all for being there for us.

MikeNYvetteKennedy
Guest
MikeNYvetteKennedy

First, I am absolutely furious that someone would be so ignorant as to say something so completely absurd and ridiculous.  Obviously whoever did this leads such a miserable boring life that they have nothing better to do than to mess with a special needs family (you’re right, very pitiful).  Secondly, I know where you’re coming from. A few years back my husband’s ex-wife got CPS called on her and for some ungodly reason she thought it was us (which didn’t make a damn bit of sense b/c the child lived with us), but anyhow she called them on us in… Read more »

upliftingfam
Guest

I am so sorry that you are having to go through this.  I can’t believe that someone call CPS on you when you document everything in your blog.  I hope that the CPS case is resolved quickly and the case is dropped.  I think if they can verify that you take the kids to the doctor that have no choice but to drop the case.

lostandtired
Guest

I just want to say Thank You once again for all the love and support you’ve shown us.

EpiRen
Guest
EpiRen

You’re not overreacting, and your request of “However, there should be some kind of vetting process to weed out the totally ridiculous complaints like this” is quite reasonable. Unfortunately, social services are not at the top of the list when it comes to funding at all levels. So you’re left with these folks who want to do the best they can with what they have, and they cast a wide net because they don’t want to miss anything. And, yes, time and resources are wasted on wild goose chases, and, worst of all, children do fall through the cracks when… Read more »

lostandtired
Guest

EpiRen Thank you. Well said. 🙂

theautismwars
Guest
theautismwars

Please get a legal representative and follow their advice before sharing any HIPAA or FERPA information with anyone from CPS. You also have a right to learn who filed this complaint against your family. If you cannot afford a lawyer please go thorugh legal aid services.

MsInquisitor
Guest
MsInquisitor

Hi Rob, I’m sorry that you’re going through this ordeal. I have 2 boys with autism/SPD/ADHD and my ex-husband made false accusations to  CPS three times.  On every occasion,  everything was OK and no problems were found.  One of the times he called while he was in an inpatient psychiatric unit -and told the nurses that he thought  I was an unfit mother. I’m unsure what the laws are in Ohio, but from my experience as a healthcare worker for many years, all complaints are anonymous, and CPS does have to follow through on all of them.  The situation will… Read more »

lostandtired
Guest

@MsInquisitor thank you for your support.  🙂

kac610
Guest
kac610

It is a shame that you and your family are having to go through this, especially since you’ve already seem to have had some issues, and face a huge issue on a daily basis. I support your decision to deny them access and educate yourself on your rights at this point. I only have a couple hundred friends, but my friends have friends, and their friends have friends, and so on, and so on. So I shared your story today with my couple hundred friends.  I do hope that all works out for your family and that you accomplish your… Read more »

lostandtired
Guest

@kac610 thanks for helping me share this.

autiesrus
Guest
autiesrus

Been there several times. I have autism and bipolar disorder. Once, someone that had interviewed me for less than ten minutes filed a report with CPS stating that I must be unfit simply because I had a mental illness (yes, that was the entirety of the complaint). I must say that it was because I was then in a same sex relationship that they did not approve of. Another time I was turned in for “forcing” my child to get his diaper changed when he did not want it done. I agree that there needs to be recourse for asinine… Read more »

samom
Guest
samom

So sorry you are going through this.  I am there right along with you.  My son is severly autistic.  We moved to  a new neighborhood.  One of my new neighbors called the police becaus my son was stimming.  Talk about ignorant.  The police saw that he was fine but it always has to be reported.  Just craziness!

lostandtired
Guest

BobGrainger Hucksgirl13 JamileyKeller Deborah2013 barney4170 LeeAnneKloppOwens Melisssssa SarahLow KatMoody AMDuser 
Thank you all for your support.  I really, really appreciate it.  This isn’t something I would wish on anyone that wasn’t actually guilty of what they are actually accused of doing.