Faxes and Frogs!

So some of you may remember from this post. That my mother and I are John’s co-guardians and that now the Supreme Court of Ohio has made a decision that all Guardians of Adults must take a class every year. There was only one class being offered in our area, so unless we wanted to do some traveling and spend some gas money, we had to act fast.

There were three methods to sign up for this class.

1. online at the web page (preferred method)

2. fax

3. snail mail

Problem was, the preferred web site method never really worked. I know this is a shock! This is probably the first time a government related website went down! (a-hem)  Either the site would be down or we could not get our log in “approved.”

Next, I thought well, let’s fax! The class is next week so snail mail isn’t even an option right now. So… yesterday I faxed.   no response.    So… today I re-faxed! Finally, a confirmation email. Whew!

I will have to let you know how that goes. Our big questions will be “Can we lose our guardianship if we don’t take these classes each year?” and “Will these classes eventually be at a cost?”

Next, I have something else to share with you. We will be having an addition to the Ramey family soon.

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Can you see them? Let me zoom in.

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There are about 873 (approximately) tadpoles swimming around in my grandson’s pool!!!

I hate to not let them grow up. I even put a couple of boards in the pool so when they are big enough to get out of the water, they can. I am not sure my one and a half year old grandson feels the same way about them though, because I have caught him on at least two occasions trying to “set them free.” Lol

I was just wondering…

Can 873 tree frogs hurt the green beans you have growing in your garden? If they eat Potato Bugs, that would be great!

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Please, Help My Brother Stay in His Home!

Today, I have a huge favor to ask anyone and everyone willing to respond.

I would like to introduce you to a member of my family.

John at 2 yrs

This is my brother, John. He was born in November of 1961. You see, my brother, John, has a form of autism. During the  1960s – 1970s not much was known about autism. Due to John’s erratic behaviors and side effects from the trial and error of many different types of medicines, Mom an Dad could not care for my brother at home. He needed to be cared for professionally. This was a very difficult decision for my parents and after much thought, prayer and consultation, in 1974, John was placed in GDC (Gallipolis Developmental Center). This was close to where we lived and my parents and I could visit him often and keep a close eye on his care.

John 1972

According to an annual report from the state of Ohio GDC was one of the largest facilities of its kind and served 2358 residents. Now, the census is down to around 99. After more residents are relocated to group homes, the census will soon be down to 59. (according to a phone call from one of GDCs administrators). This is a huge drop!

John bday

So, why do you think there was this huge drop in census? Well, that is our fear. Yes, Developmental Centers do cost our state money. Yes, our state is always trying to cut the budget. Yes, my mother and I have received phone calls from GDC administrators wanting to suggest that we allow John to be placed in a privately owned group home. (John was placed in a group home at one other time and it was not the most appropriate setting for him).

Yes, we fear of an upcoming closure of GDC!

John 1977

There are several reasons why we have this fear.

  1. The huge yet gradual drop in census.
  2. A huge drop in the workers. In October of 2013, 80 positions were cut from GDC.
  3. There is already a slated closure within the next two years for two other Developmental Centers (Montgomery and Youngstown). See article.
  4. The need for this legislation, S.B. 64 which states that no more developmental centers can be closed without members of the General Assembly reviewing and creating a Commission.
  5. Lack of communication from GDCs new administration to guardians. Administration used to keep in contact with parents and guardians of any new legislation or orders from the court or any changes. The only contact we have had lately is about these new group homes.

 

As John’s adult guardians, my mother and I received notices recently in the mail that the Supreme Court of Ohio recently passed a law that we now need to attend classes every year in order to keep our guardianship. If we don’t take the classes, we may lose our guardianship! That would mean John would become a ward of the state and we wouldn’t have any say in his placement. Is this to make it difficult on current guardians to keep their family members in developmental centers? I don’t know. I just know that so far we have had a lot of difficulty just getting registered for the only class that is located in our area and is coming up in the next two weeks! Not much notice!

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I ask you this:

Please. If you live in one of these counties in Ohio (Fayette, Pickaway, Ross, Pike, Vinton, Jackson, Athens, Meigs or Gallia) that are serviced by GDC contact your state senator or representative. Also, contact our governor. Let them know the importance of keeping our state’s developmental centers open. Group homes do not work for all residents. There needs to be the option of a Developmental Center.

If you live in any other county in Ohio, this affects you as well. All Developmental Centers in Ohio stand the chance of closure if Ohio citizens don’t stand and act!

If you do not live in Ohio, do you know the status of developmental centers in your state? Are people, like my brother, who are developmentally handicapped being offered options as to the most appropriate environment for their care?

We need to take a stand for those who cannot stand up for themselves! GDC is home to John and the other residents there.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
 Matthew 25:40 NIV