ATLANTA - A metro Atlanta advocacy group says the state is not doing enough to help and provide resources to parents who have children with disabilities.
This after Atlanta police charged 37-year-old Diana Elliott with child cruelty after investigators say she abandoned her son with special needs at Grady Memorial Hospital on Dec. 4.
“Doing this by yourself is how you become overwhelmed,” said Lisa Lake, Telic Empowerment Co-founder.
Investigators say Elliott told them that she was overwhelmed caring for her son with special needs along with her three other children.
Lake, who has a child with disabilities of her own, says it’s easy to feel overwhelmed because there are not enough resources in the metro Atlanta area.
“No one has the proper playbook to parent a child and certainly not one with a disability,” said Lake. “Not having access to resources can be a challenge for any family.”
That’s why Lake says she and a group of three other parents started a non-profit organization, called Telic Empowerment, to help struggling parents in DeKalb, Rockdale, and Newton counties.
“Parents can come in, ask questions and are allowed to feel overwhelmed,” said Lake.
Georgia’s Safe Haven Law only protects mothers in the first 30 days after a child is born. After that, advocates say the state is not doing enough to provide support.
“If you don’t have an outlet, you may take a drastic measure,” said Lake.
Elliott is out of jail on a $10,000 bond. Her next court appearance is Dec. 26.
“I’m hopeful whoever is presiding can show compassion in this case,” said Lake.
Meanwhile, Lake says their organization has been in touch with Elliott's attorneys about helping her and her children.
“We know parents have a lack of support, a lack of knowledge,” said Lake.