This is a photo of Natalie with my mom feeding my newborn daughter at SensationAll Gym in Concord. While on maternity leave, I tried to spend one to two days a week bonding with my Sister and Family in the Community.
Below is my list of 5 Things I Need You To Know. If you are like me, you do not completely understand the Disability Services world, so I am adding an "AKA" to translate for people with a typical life.
1) I started a non-profit because of This Crime. I am action-oriented. I want to solve problems. It is the ENFP in me, the "Campaigner".
2) Natalie is safe in the family home and is part of an "In- Home" program right now receiving services in accordance to the Lanterman Act; "This is the California law that says people with developmental disabilities and their families have a right to get the services and supports they need to live like people who don’t have disabilities." AKA Home School.
2) The Regional Center did nothing when we told them about the abuse back in 2012, or so I thought. I am learning that the world of disability support in like a giant maze wit the tax code as the map. We are still investigating as a team; Community Licensing, Police, Adult Protective Services. This should be easier!
3) The Police have not closed the investigation. There is a still a sexual assault criminal on the loose most likely still hurting people with disabilities. We learned about this nearly 6 years ago. Since then, how many other people has he hurt in the Community? Did they get an STD? Did they get pregnant? Did someone see this happening and not say anything? I want answers and someone out there knows.
4) My Life has Changed as a Sib (Adult Sibling of someone with Special Needs). I am married with two daughters and an amazing husband. I have a full-time job managing a retail real estate asset. I also have to think and plan for the future more than my peers; As my mother ages, who will take care of Natalie? What will she do during the day? Where will she live? How will we pay for her lifestyle? What will her medical needs be?
Add a layer of sexual assault and you never want your loved one leaving the house, but then how do you live ?
These are some of the questions Sibs have to answer. Thank you to the National Sibling Leadership Network for your work.
5) I turned to Google when I learned about what happened to Natalie and had a result for the The Disability & Abuse Project. This has been my life line. Dr. Nora Baladerian has helped me through the toughest moments in my life as I navigate what has happened and what to do next. It is because of her, and her efforts, that I learned about NPR's Joseph Shapiro wanting to cover this fragile topic. Thank you Nora and Joe, this means the world to me and my family. #abusedandbetrayed
I have to get ready for work now.
I will cover each topic in a separate Post in further detail.
If you have a Comment or if I made a grammar error that is glaring at you, email me at Julie@CaliforniaSibs.org.
Have a great day, J