Another autistic child caged by parent

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 26,485
Location: Long Island, New York

29 Jul 2021, 7:30 am

Florida Woman Allegedly Kept Child with Autism in Metal and Wood Cage

Authorities in Florida have filed criminal charges against a 43-year-old woman accused of forcing her daughter with autism to stay in a homemade metal and wood cage.

PEOPLE confirms through online records that Melissa Ann Doss remains in custody on three counts of child neglect and one count of child abuse following her arrest this weekend.

Doss is being held on $20,000 bond. It was unclear if Doss had entered pleas to the charges, and information about her attorney was unavailable.

According to reports, including those from WESH, WFOR, and the Orlando Sentinel, Palm Bay Police were called to a residence on Saturday after receiving a call from one of Doss' neighbors.

The caller said there was a child inside their screened-in patio, and when officers arrived, they determined the girl lived next door.

Police claim Doss told them she had fallen asleep and was unaware her daughter had left. She also allegedly refused to let the authorities inside her home, according to the reports.

Later in the day, officers were summoned back to the neighborhood, after Doss' daughter returned to the neighbor's porch.

As she spoke to police, Doss allegedly said she was "at the end of her rope." Again, she would not let officers inside her home.

Police eventually found their way in, using a back door. The Sentinel reports that officers immediately smelled urine and feces upon entering the home.

There was trash strewn throughout the home, as well as bugs, spiders and flies.

Child protective services was notified, and through their investigation, learned the daughter, who is non-verbal, spent nights locked in the cage. They noted the presence of a blanket and pillow in the homemade contraption.

Doss allegedly told police the child would scream in the mornings until she was let out.

Social workers removed the child and two siblings from the home. No ages were given for the children, according to the reports.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 26,159
Location: Pacific Northwest

29 Jul 2021, 12:12 pm

Man I was hoping this was just a mom that is overwhelmed and she kept her daughter in there when she needed a break or can't watch her but no, this is more on neglect.

We even have plan pens for toddlers for god's sake and no one even bats an eye for those lol but when someone makes a huge play pen for an older kid, child abuse :roll:

Son: Diagnosed w/anxiety and ADHD. Also academic delayed.

Daughter: NT, no diagnoses.


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 61,620
Location: Portland, Oregon

29 Jul 2021, 2:04 pm

And this lady also had two other children?

Could certain dynamics in Florida give the other two kids vantage points (if they are willing to do so) to tell authorities about what happened to their sister, but also themselves too? :?

Silly NTs, I have Aspergers, and having Aspergers is gr-r-reat!