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  1. I started a petition on Change.org that I think everyone here can get behind. I was motivated to start this petition after reading this blogpost by Amy Sequenzia http://autismwomensnetwork.org/sharisa-joy-kochmeister-give-her-back-the-right-to-communcate/ Sharisa is a non-verbal autistic woman who lives in Colorado, USA. Earlier this year she was admitted to hospital after being unable to hold down food and losing weight. Sharisa communicates by typing and needs her father's assistance as an interpreter. While in hospital Sharisa's father was clearing some vomit from her mouth and Sharisa kicked him. A social worker saw it and assumed he must have been abusing her. She has since been removed from her father's care and denied her ability to communicate. She was then assessed as being incompetent and having an IQ of 47 because of her 'inability to communicate.' Next they put her in a nursing home for people with dementia and now she's in a host home, she's only been allowed to see her Dad once since then. I would like to add that Sharisa is college educated, is the former president of Autcom and is a renowned activist for autistic rights. To declare her incompetent and strip her of her basic human rights is a travesty. That poor young woman must be confused and terrified. Please sign the petition. Let's make Jefferson County listen to us and give Sharisa her voice back. Sharisa's story: http://theautismwars.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/where-is-sharisa-joy-kochmeister-autism.html The petition: https://www.change.org/p/jefferson-county-human-services-department-give-sharisa-joy-kochmeister-her-voice-back
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