Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Letter for the Judge

     If I'm indicted I have the right to an immediate hearing in front of a judge.  At this hearing, the prosecutor may try to make the case that I'm a "flight risk" or a danger to society, and therefore should be held in jail until my trial.  The trial could be set for a year or more from now.
     My lawyer, on the other hand, will tell the judge I should be set free.  He'll say I have too many commitments to be a flight risk, and too long a history of being stable.  I've lived on the same property for twenty years, and I have a son with a severe disability, someone who needs me and can't go to jail with me.  Who will take care of him?  The state?  And at what cost to everyone, and to him?
     Meanwhile, I wonder why I'm not busy putting the Autism Farm together on the property I purchased with the down payment from the sale of Hawthorne Medical Center?  Why am I using all my energy and resources to prepare a defense against false claims against me?  This country needs long-term residential facilities for people with severe autism, people who don't thrive in institutions as they currently exist, people whom we, as a nation, abandon and marginalize because they're not "productive."  I want to build this farm, so that Carmine and the many other isolated autistic adults with nowhere to go and nothing to do--usually living in monotonous households with their aging mothers-- can live meaningful, creative, propagative lives in community with others, their friends, long after we're gone.
      Here's a letter from Carmine's Behavior Analyst to my lawyer, who can use it assert to the judge, that I should not go to jail.
                                                                    November 19, 2013
Dear Mr. Schaffnit:
     I am a Certified Behavior Analyst.  My area of specialty has been with disabled individuals, especially adults.
     I have been assigned the task of helping Dr. Colasante set up a care plan for her severely autistic son, Carmine Colasante, so that he will be safe and treated with intelligence and humaneness.  Dr. Colasante is essential to Carmine's well-being, as she is his primary caregiver, his mother, and the only person in his life who has been present and continuously involved.  
     Carmine cannot speak and cannot initiate even the simplest activities.  He is unable to communicate without a series of prompts which are complex and require mastery by new caregivers.  He has been designated "Tier One" status by the State of Florida, meaning that he requires the highest level of skilled care.  He cannot eat, toilet or protect himself from simple everyday threats to his person without assistance. 
     Without his mother, Carmine is likely to experience extreme disorientation, to exhibit behavior disturbances, and to follow a downhill course, necessitating costly and complicated interventions.  Dr. Colasante is the lynchpin around which Carmine's well-being depends.
     Whatever can be done to assure Carmine of his mother's continual presence in his life will certainly be of benefit to him.
                                                                                        Certified Behavior Analyst


  1. Sorry, Dr. Colasante, but as these unworthy Pariahs are clearly proving, it would cost a charitable act of their feared God itself to fix or heal THEIR special kinds of stupidity. Are you reading and understanding me you cheap-minded pieces of dung? :-P

  2. Given what's at stake, you would think that Carmine's analyst would be able to string together a couple of paragraphs without errors of syntax and grammar.

  3. I've read the letter carefully, and I can't find any errors of syntax or grammar. There are some stylistic changes I might prefer, but there is nothing that I would mark as an outright error on a student's paper. I think the letter will be helpful to the judge should that day ever come.