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Guardianship and law enforcement

  • Our son is 24, and has had aggression issues from time to time. He gets extremely angry and tries to hurt us (his family members). Because there are no mental health services in our area for people with DD/ID, we have to resort to calling the police to calm him down. I cannot get any clear word from anyone as to what the 'rules' are regarding my advocacy for my son as his guardian. Sometimes the police insist they take him to the ER. Sometimes not. Sometimes the ER insists on drawing blood from him to test for drugs even though I object. My experience with law enforcement and the ER have been confusing, because they do not recognize my guardianship consistently. I have also heard from friends' that their adult children with autism have been arrested and detained and their guardians have not been allowed to accompany them thru the jailing process. I have asked every agency I can think of - what are the actual rights of a guardian?

  • What state do you live in? Several states, including VA and NM recently passed Medicaid insurance reform so that adults qualify for Applied Behavior Analysis services. A consistent program could help with proactive management of outbursts (though it's no panacea). You might want to consider an attorney to manage your guardianship, they could advise you on your rights. Usually if you carry a copy of the court order they will allow you to act on your child's behalf.

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