Parents of Disabled Children Giving Up on Illinois

By Bonnie Miller Rubin and Monique Garcia, Tribune reporters

May 28, 2011
Chrisa Hickey, a northwest suburban mom whose 16-year-old son hears voices, has bought property in Wisconsin with an eye to the future.

She wouldn’t leave Barrington for career, retirement or the more languid pace of small-town living. Her relocation plans are strictly a way to keep Tim in his $85,000-a-year residential treatment center, currently funded by the state of Illinois.

Read the rest at the Chicago Tribune

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  • TwisterB May 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    A lot of homeless people suffer from mental illness, I don't think they {Illinois} realize that by not helping with early interventions for kids with disability and mental illness, they are going to have a world of problems when those very non functional persons enter society at large. I don't mean any disrespect to Tim when I say that. I'm just of the opinion that it is really in a societies best interests to take care of ALL members of the society or it will come back and bite them in the A$$

    Like you said in the article, with help, Tim is a somewhat functioning part of society, but without it he's a threat.

    People are always talking about how to "solve" issues of homelessness ect, well the solution, in part, is to not pass the buck on important social spending. To not expect social workers to deal with problems that could have been prevented or minimized years before they happened.

    P.s. I read a different blog of a woman who moved from NYC to madison wisconsin. She has two kids, one of whom is (mildly) autistic. She did a bunch of research and thought it was the best place for them.

  • Chrisa May 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    NYC to Madison would be a really intense change.

    Homelessness is part of it. But how much does society pay for the mentally ill that end up in prison, repeatedly? Pete Earley's book is a shocking look at the issue of mental health and the prison population, and what could be done if there were more supports.

  • TwisterB May 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I forgot about that. It's pretty bad in the UK too. There is one Women's prison in Scotland, and they have no facilities for the mentally ill. I saw a short BBC documentary and one of the wardens said the it should shock a person to open a door and see a person has killed themselves but it happens all the time. They don't have psychiatrists on staff, all they can do is take away sharp objects and hope for the best.