Paige Barton spent 15 years in an Ohio institution before proving her self-sufficiency. She became a leader of self-advocates in Maine, eventually forming the advocacy group Speaking Up for Us (SUFU).
"It was like going to a strange place. I had to get used to the place. What they did was my mother and father drove over to the building where they did the signing to let the person come to Pineland and then from there I went to a hospital."
"My folks couldn’t come for a while, because where I was just—It hurt me to see them to leave and I got really upset and crying and stuff and they were going to come in and put me in a straitjacket and give me a shot. I finally calmed down, you know, it took me a while, but it was just like they put me there and they went off. It hurt me so bad, you know. It wasn’t my kind of place to be."
"But when he came back home I believe there was a time when Mom and Dad talked to him, not knowing really if he understood, but just telling him that “We didn’t know. We didn’t know what was happening, we didn’t know how sad you were We didn’t know what was going on and we will never, ever send you away again.” And he just began—I think at that point he began to heal."
"They had to have bodyguards when I take a shower and everything. Just for one minute they didn’t leave the area. They had to have bodyguards there to watch out what you’re doing. I didn’t like that either. Privacy. That’s not good."
"When night time comes, you know, one of the worst things that happened was that superintendent was leaving the building, you know, and leaving the kids all unattended and they had big guys up there, coming down, beating us up, you know."
"This aide come took me down the stairs and ripped my dress and they treat me like a wild animal. If you don’t get up at roll call they put you in the other bed until you get up. They treat you like a crazy person."
"We were told to put her in an institution and forget her." - "Parents couldn't cope - there were no services" - "We went to the Legislature in groups and pairs." - "They were putting people in communities that were not ready." - "Pineland should always be there."