By now many of our readers will be familiar with the case of Sharisa Joy Kochmeisters, who was removed from her family’s care against her will. Her human rights were removed and she was subsequent placed into an entirely unsuitable care facility for patients with Dementia. Sharisa had her own legal guardianship, but has had it taken away by Jefferson County Colorado.
Until now the exact details of what happened to Sharisa, to start this dreadful chain of events and now placement in a host home with intermittent contact with her family, has been limited.
We have been in regular touch with her father, Jan Kochmeister, who is desperately campaigning to get his daughter back to the family home and her human rights reinstated. The family has been granted a couple of visits since August 10th.
Jan last saw Sharisa on Monday August 17th, four of her friends also made the journey to see her. Jan updated us as follows:
“I saw Sharisa on Monday, as did four of her friends. She is happy and healthy looking, says the people in the host home are “nice”, but expressed her “dire need for an attorney” and her desire to return to her “own home” immediately.
She had positive interactions with my wife and me, and very strong interactions with her friends. We are waiting to see what the next step will be”.
For those unfamiliar with Sharisa’s story, she is an autistic woman aged 36 with complex health needs. She has a genius IQ and communicates via communicational devices. She is an advisor on Panel of Spectrum Advisors for Autism Society of America. Sharisa also has an honours degree in Psychology and Sociology, having studied at Denver University. She was featured in the Autism documentary ‘Loving Lampposts’ and is a well known figure on social media.
Jan explained to me that Sharisa requires constant supervision and went on to say:
“She also needs a trusted person beside her to ease her communication, Sharisa has been a tireless and award-winning advocate for the rights of all people with disabilities for the past 24 years, and has assessed people with communication difficulties/needs and presented keynotes, panels and trainings throughout the USA and Canada. She’s past president of AUTCOM – The autism National Committee, past member of the Colorado Disabilities planning”.
I asked Jan what happened that day?