San Luis Obispo mother seeks the public’s help to free autistic son

October 20, 2022



A San Luis Obispo woman’s autistic son Andrew was taken by the state after she agreed to allow a conservatorship, and for the past three years the state has not permitted her to see her son in person, according to an ABC investigation into the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

Deborah Findley says her son, who is now heavily medicated, is no longer fully conversational and a shell of his former self. When an autistic or disabled child turns 18, parents are urged to apply for a Conservatorship so they can continue to care for and direct medical care for their now adult child.

Findley said she had no idea that DDS, a billion dollar government agency, can step in and make unfounded accusations in order to gain the Conservatorship. Findley believes the amount of taxpayer money DDS receives for adults it takes custody of constitutes a huge conflict of interest.

“It is inhumane, absolutely inhumane,” Findley told ABC.

During the past three years, the court appointed investigator in the case has never spoken to Deborah or her husband, Findley said. A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge ruled Andrew should be placed in DDS custody, which then moved him to a facility in Lompoc.

Findley is asking the public to show up at a the San Luis Obispo Superior Court at 1 p.m. on Thursday with signs that say “free Andrew.” The court is now tasked with determining whether Andrew will be permanently placed in DSS custody or returned to his parents.

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I don’t know, but it seems there is much more than meets the eye here. Given that, I hope all works out well for those involved.

One must demonstrate that they have the means and ability to care for disabled or autistic ADULTS. It is a very time consuming and costly affair! The DDS program is an attempt to ease the burden for parents and provide SUFFICIENT LONG TERM care. However, clearly, there are some holes in the system. Parents should, outside mitigating( drug use ) circumstances, be allowed to remain an active part of said adults life. However again, these are adults that have their own input as well. This is not a simple case of a mother reuniting with her son. Numerous questions must be asked and answered. Frankly; this article is poor reporting imo and I urge anyone to reconsider participating blindly.

There is plenty of government assistance for the families of disabled people to assist in their care without taking them from the family. Having said that, I believe there had to be mitigating circumstances like you noted. I also agree that the article didn’t go far enough to explore the reason that the courts ruled to remove the child.