Archive for December, 2019

2012 Disabled parents fight to keep their newborn at home

December 12, 2019

Disabled parents fight to keep newborn at home

Social workers demand child receive 24-hour care

CBC News

Posted: May 01, 2012
Last Updated: May 02, 2012

Disabled parents fight for newborn

  • 8 years ago 2:25

A disabled couple are fighting to keep their newborn son, after social workers threatened to take the boy away unless he receives round-the-clock care from an ‘able-bodied attendant’  2:25

A disabled couple in Mississauga are fighting to keep their newborn son after social workers threatened to take the boy away unless he receives round-the-clock care from an “able-bodied attendant.”

Maricyl Palisoc and her partner, Charles Wilton, are the parents of a healthy month-old baby boy named William. Both parents have cerebral palsy, a disorder that limits their motor skills and slurs their speech, but has no effect on their cognitive abilities.

However, the Peel Children’s Aid Society is concerned about the couple’s ability to take care of their son and has expressed an intention to remove William from their home unless his parents secure 24-hour care from an able-bodied person.

The boy’s mother told CBC that she and her partner do not want to lose their son.

‘From what I’ve seen when I’ve been at the apartment … there’s really nothing that she’s unable to do.’ — Ryan Machete, Coalition for Persons with Disabilities, on Maricyl Palisoc’s abilities

“We know that we need help, but we know that we are the best thing for our boy right now,” Palisoc said. “We both wanted to be parents and now we are, and we don’t want do give anyone control of our family.”

So far, the couple have been receiving the type of help that the CAS has demanded, thanks to Ryan Machete, a program co-ordinator with the Coalition for Persons with Disabilities, which provided the funds for the services since William’s birth.

Machete said he’s not convinced it is necessary to spend $2,000 a week for a caregiver when Palisoc is able to change diapers, breastfeed and to “do the necessities” that come with caring for a newborn.

“From what I’ve seen when I’ve been at the apartment … there’s really nothing that she’s unable to do,” Machete told Metro Morning.

However, he said, it is possible matters will become more challenging as William grows, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be able to look after her son.

“I think that maybe when William grows up to be six years old and hurts his knee and needs his mom to pick him up, and he’s 60, 70 pounds, maybe that might be a little bit more difficult for her to do,” Machete said.

The Peel Children’s Aid Society says confidentiality rules prevent it from commenting on the case. The organization is due to meet with William’s parents on Friday to try to work out an arrangement.

With files from the CBC’s Philip Lee-Shanok and CBC Radio’s Metro Morning


Disabled couple thrilled they’ll be able to keep their baby


Fri., May 4, 2012


The proud parents of a 3-week-old baby boy learned Friday that they won’t lose their child to the Peel Children’s Aid Society after all.

“Yay!” Maricyl Palisoc, 34, yelled as she carried 9-pound William into her assisted living apartment unit in Mississauga with her fiancé, Charlie Wilton, 28. Both parents have cerebral palsy.

Charlie Wilton and Maricyl Palisoc, both of whom have cerebral palsy, with their son William. (CURTIS RUSH / TORONTO STAR)

They had feared they would lose the baby, but a family conference meeting was held Friday with Peel CAS and the parents showed that they can address the safety and well-being of their child.

They have a personal care worker with them 24 hours a day and grandparents willing to help.

It’s been an emotional three weeks after their son was born by C-section at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Cerebral palsy is a muscular disability marked by slurred speech and physical impairment. Their cognitive abilities are not impaired. The couple said they can do everything able-bodied parents can do. Wilton changes diapers and Palisoc breastfeeds.

Palisoc, who works part-time as a cleaner, does not need a walker.

Wilton relies on a walker to get around and says he won’t pick up the child, but he can hold him just fine. He said he wants to be a stay-at-home dad.

The baby has a clean bill of health.

The pair met 14 years ago and the two have been seeing each other for the past six years. They have been engaged for a year.

They have been trying for the past three years to have a child.

They conceived the child in the conventional way.

“Even disabled people can have sex,” Wilton said with a laugh.

Wilton shrugged off concerns that because he and Palisoc have slurred speech that the child won’t be able to communicate with them as he grows up.

“It’s just like learning a second language, like Spanish. I just have to be patient,” Wilton said.

Wilton is not without worry, however.

He was adopted and spent many years going from group home to group home. He is worried that someday he will lose his child to foster care.

“I just want to be a good father,” he said.

Linda Soulliere, executive director of the Coalition for Persons with Disabilities, said her organization worked out a support plan with AbleLiving, a group that provides assistance to adults with disabilities, and submitted it to the CAS for approval.

The plan involves support workers providing enhanced or essential care for the parents and child. They are on-call 24 hours a day, and plan to schedule regular visits with the family.

Soulliere said she is confident Palisoc and Wilton are competent caregivers.

“Maricyl and Charlie are very strong and independent people, and I’m sure that they will be able to learn effective ways of managing the baby’s care,” she said. “They’re capable of taking care of their child in the supported environment that they currently live in.”

She added that while the parents may need assistance with some tasks, they will eventually adapt and learn.

There is a misperception that people with disabilities that affect their speech have “lower cognitive ability,” Soulliere said, but that’s not the case.

“There needs to be more education … especially essential services like CAS need to make sure that their workers are experienced and have exposure to persons with disabilities, so they can more adequately see the ability that also accompanies the disability.”