Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ryan Baldwin back home

I cannot express in words how much of a living hell that last eight months of my life have been. I can't stress how pointless, unnecessary, and painful this whole thing is and has been.

—Ryan Baldwin

Ryan Baldwin is finally back with his parents. He had been removed from their custody after authorities accused his mother of factitious disorder by proxy. They didn't believe he actually had ME/CFS.

Full story at Mountain Xpress.

Despite diagnoses of ME/CFS from Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic, it took the authorities eight months to decide that perhaps he really is sick. Barring another motion, the case will officially be closed in four months, when he turns 18.

Welcome home, Ryan. Here's hoping they let you stay there.


wyvernfree said...

"Here's hoping they let you stay there"

Well they don't have much choice anymore... he's going to be 18 in a few months and can do whatever he wants.

What a frustrating and pointless thing to put a sick teenager through. I can understand the desire to err on the side of caution when there's a young child involved who may not be able to speak for him or herself, but shouldn't it be obvious that a person who's going to be a legal adult in less than a year knows for himself whether he feels ill or not? This kid is a few months shy of being able to join the army or tried as an adult if he committed a crime. His self-reporting of his own health issues should have more weight than a 4-year-old's.

cinderkeys said...

They'll probably leave him alone. I was mostly snarking about the fact that officially, they haven't closed his case.

The whole thing is weird. Yes, they should have taken his self-reports seriously. But barring that, they should have taken the fact that he's covered by Social Security Disability. SSDI does not make it easy for sick people to prove they're sick, especially for very young people who will be needing benefits for a good long time. You can't just walk in and say, "I don't feel well, please give me money." There are freaking hoops.

wyvernfree said...

Well, it sounds like they thought the mother had a proxy factitious disorder going on. In real cases of proxy factitious, the parent is usually very adept at navigating those hoops and accumulating medical attention.

I've never heard of that working with a teenager, though! It sounds like there was a serious lapse of common sense here...

I do understand that child protective services are in a tough spot trying to weigh the likelihood of abuse, neglect, or an insane parent against the possibility of a rare and little-understood disease. There was a heart-rending story a while ago about a toddler with a rare form of osteogenesis imperfecta which was randomly giving her bruises and broken bones, and they incorrectly assumed her father was beating her. People should be innocent until proven guilty, but I do sympathize with social services in that case given that less than 1 in 100,000 kids have this form of OI and lots of kids are being abused somehow.