Among those of us who care deeply for and about people with developmental disabilities, I hope to hear emerge a new voice, ours, rising together for the benefit of all, harmonizing with reason, respect and hope, and transcending divisions, giving birth to a new era of creative cooperation.

Toward this potential, DD EXCHANGE is for conversation, civil sounding off, sharing of stories, experience, information, resources, and inspiration, giving and receiving support, and creative problem solving.

Finding Your Way Around

TO SEE OTHER'S INPUT: below each post on the right, click "links to this post;" or in the left side column, under "Labels," click the discussion link that interests you.

If there is no comment box below the post, click on
"# comments." It should open one.

TO CONTRIBUTE: add comments to posts in comment boxes &/or submit an article. Comments may also be sent for posting on your behalf. Email address as follows:

EMAIL: ddexchanges@gmail.com

MAILING LIST: add or remove name:
send request to email address, above.

WEB LINKS: to access other websites of interest, in the list to the right, just click on the underlined name.

FOLLOWERS: interested people, websites, organizations, businesses
who follow our discussions & choose to be public about their support.
Become a follower. Public support is a good thing!

Friday, April 14, 2017


Dear Senators,

Words that often describe Fircrest residents when they first arrive:  "Vulnerable,","Volatile," "Violent," "Unstable," "Fragile," "Difficult," "Traumatized"  "Anxious," "Dangerous," "Scared," "Hurting," "Over-stimulated", "Dual Diagnosed",  "Physically, mentally, &/or medically ill", "Out of control," "Obsessive," "Paranoid," "Panicked, "Withdrawn," "Frustrated," "Neglected", "Abused," "Suffering," "Desperate," "Terrified,"

 They come from "community" residential placements or jail, or inappropriate psychiatric placements or hospitals.  They come  when their "community" providers have been unable to  provide what they need in order to be successful.    Most of the time, DSHS tries other remedies  first.  When they don't work, after multiple, failed "community" placements, finally they are admitted to Fircrest.   They come to Fircrest for "crisis stabilization."  They come to Fircrest for relief from suffering. 

Today,  there are 30 such people at Fircrest.   With careful help, gradually they find a sense of safety. If they're volatile, violent or  tantrum-prone, they're protected from hurting themselves and others.   Gradually, with the right kind of individual support, trust builds and self-control is learned.

Words that  often describe Fircrest residents after they have become less scared and more stable:  "Sweet," "Bright," "Happy," "Loving," "Eager," "Adventurous," "Timid," "Calm," "Curious," "Shy," "Gregarious," "Capable of learning, " "Willing," "Expressive," "Interested", "Exuberant,"  "Eager to please," "Independent" "interested," "Playful", "Pensive,"Quiet," "well-managed," "safe," "protected."

Most of Fircrest's other 86 residents  arrived in similar conditions.  They stayed on once they were stabilized  because it was the best place for them.  They stayed because Fircrest was the "community" that offered them the care and  supports they needed. Their stability is relative.  It depends on the therapeutic milieu, expert care and coordinated, interdisciplinary teamwork that is the essence of the Fircrest community.

For most people with intellectual developmental disabilities, SOLAs, supported living, or group homes can be appropriate placements. But NOT Fircrest residents.  Creating  more SOLAs, providing more group homes or supported living can't substitute for Fircrest.   If "community" providers could have managed them, they wouldn't be at Fircrest.  They still would be out in the general community. 

If you've been considering closing Fircrest for the sake of balancing the state's budget, please reconsider.  To try to balance the budget on the backs  of these most vulnerable people would be careless and inhumane.

The 2 proposed Fircrest Master Plan alternatives set aside about  50% of the Fircrest campus for development for revenue production. Please let that be enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are encouraged. By sharing perspective, personal experience, both positive & negative, ideas, resources and support, readers can enhance each others&; understanding and we will all benefit.