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Crisis in Colorado: Abandoned Autistic Boy Languishes in Hospital for Weeks

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Knowledge Nuggets:

  • A 13-year-old boy with autism has been left in a Colorado hospital’s emergency department for weeks after being abandoned by his father.
  • Despite being cleared for discharge, the boy’s father refused to pick him up, and attempts to place him in an inpatient psychiatric facility were unsuccessful.
  • Colorado State Rep. Judy Amabile intervened in the case, with state and county workers now trying to find an appropriate placement for the boy.

A 13-year-old boy with autism has been left abandoned in a Colorado hospital’s emergency department for weeks, demonstrating a disconcerting failure of social services in the state.

The boy was dropped off at the UCHealth’s Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont, Colorado on June 6, after which his father left him behind, according to the Denver Post.

The boy was brought to the hospital under an “M1,” a Colorado law pertaining to involuntary mental health treatment for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis.

After being medically and psychiatrically cleared for discharge the next day, the father refused to pick him up.

Hospital staff tried to place the boy in an inpatient psychiatric facility but found he didn’t meet the admission criteria, the Post reported based on email records.

Despite a police report for neglect and three reports to Child Protective Services, the situation remained unresolved.

Colorado State Rep. Judy Amabile became involved in the case after a hospital employee reached out for help, citing the Boulder County Human Service workers’ initial agreement, and subsequent refusal, to take custody of the boy.

The workers refused because they deemed the boy to be “safe” in the hospital.

Rep. Amabile has expressed concern over the situation, stating, “I don’t know whether the dad may or may not have reached out and asked for help but may not have been able to get any help. Like we just…we don’t know, but what we do know is that you can’t just leave a 13-year-old in an ER for weeks on end with no end in sight.”

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This alarming case highlights the urgent need for improved social services and the consequences of systemic failures.

The long-term solution for the boy remains uncertain, even as city, state, and county organizations scramble to find an appropriate placement for him after nearly a month in the hospital.

The Colorado Department of Human Services and Boulder County Human Services have refused to comment, citing health privacy protections.


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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. The Rebel

    July 14, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Sounds like the same story that happened in the White House in 2020————-

  2. grrumpa

    July 14, 2023 at 10:17 pm

    I wonder where ‘mom’ is.

  3. Neannie

    July 15, 2023 at 2:09 am

    Having 4 g.grandchildren w/some stage of autism, plus friends in the same category, people not familiar/involved, have NO CLUE, of the stress. There is NO WHERE to turn, because friend’s sitters even family, are not an option for evan a day off. A trip to the dr. dentist for the parent, isn’t possible, unless emergency-then, they may have to take them w/them. It is almost a certainty today, that if you have children, 1 in 5 will be autistic. TELL ME, this wasn’t PLANNED? It’s called “Population reduction! They cannot marry and have children! It’s also CRUELTY, to the child, to the parents, to society! There was NO SUCH THING in the 1940’s, when there were only about 2 vaccines-typhoid and smallpox! The more vaccine, the higher the #’s. More children have autism, than died from measles, chicken pox, mumps, whooping cough! etc-they’ve added tons more-of vaccines AND autism! STOP!

    • mplo

      July 15, 2023 at 4:35 pm

      Oh, come off of it! The Vaccines don’t cause autism. That idea was disproved and tossed out by the wayside years ago, but there’re a lot of willfully stupid, vicious people who buy into that stuff. Vaccines do safe lives, contrary to what those crazy and dangerous anti-vaccine people say or think.

      The father was vicious to leave that kid in the hospital to languish. He’s not a decent human being.

  4. Brian

    July 15, 2023 at 7:10 am

    As the parent of a child who has autism, I understand the profound & completely taxing journey it is. I thank God every day that my wife & her three other sisters stick together to care for her needs & wants & provide respite. People “care” as long as they do not have to be involved. Most couples (over 80%) end up divorced when a child with any kind of disability is born into the relationship. Kudos to this dad for sticking out 13 years without having this kind of break before. As an aside, I just wonder how long it would have taken to get help for this young boy if wanted to mutilate his body & proclaim he felt like a girl. I am quite sure in the toxic social environment that exists today, help would have flooded that hospital for that dishonest cause.

  5. Old wolf

    July 15, 2023 at 10:57 am

    Not hunters kid right ??? Never know with the bidens. They don’t like grandkids.

  6. EMMA

    July 15, 2023 at 11:11 am

    WE DO NOT HAVE A GOOD HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. NO ONE CARES. OUR GOVERNMENT RATHER GIVES ILLEGALS HEALTHCARE, THEN TAKE CARE OF THE CITIZENS OF THIS NATION.PEOPLE IN EUROPA GET GREAT HEATLTHCARE. NOT JUST GIVEN PILLS AND 20 MINUTES TO SEE A DR.

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