VII. The Self-Advocacy Movement - 1980s to Present D. The Self Advocacy Experience 3.Russell Daniels
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My name is Russell Daniels. I was 12 years old when I was sent to a state school. When I left I was 28 years old. Now, I'm 50 years old. I went in April of 1958. It was a rainy day. I went to the institution because I had problems with going to school and stuff like that. You know, when you didn't like school that's what happened. And that's one reason why I had to go to the institution, because I was a problem child.

I wasn't allowed to see my family the first week. After a while, they'd start letting you have visitors. In those days, they let you go out for the day but when you came back you would be searched. You couldn't have money, watches, rings, or anything. They'd take everything away because those were the rules and regulations.

I'm really proud to be out and I never want to go back to any institution at all. It was terrible. They treat you like dirt. You don't get treated like a human being. They treat you mean, like, you know, you do something, they slap you. "Do this, and do that. Sit down and don't say a word." I wasn't abused, but other people were.

So, when I got about 17, I took off. Packed up my lunch and took off and went into the woods and went on the highway and started walking. Then I got picked up by the police. They brought me back and put me in seclusion.