Tyneisha thinks her disability shouldn’t disqualify her from motherhood.

Tyneisha thinks her disability shouldn’t disqualify her from motherhood.
Tyneisha and son Tayden

Tyneisha Wilder had no idea she would lose her son, Tayden, shortly after he was born.  She is still puzzling it over. “They just came and took him. They said, ‘Ty, we gotta take the baby.’”

Eleven months have passed since then. Tyneisha still wants her son back. But their re-unification hangs on the uncertainty of finding a family that would be willing to adopt both of them. It’s hope against a deadline. They have three months until Tyneisha loses her parental rights. Tyneisha is 18 and just last year, she was diagnosed with an intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD). She says some people with her disability cannot do things on their own, but she does well in her classes at East Allegheny High School, takes care of her own laundry, handles her own hygiene and says she knows how to clean and care for Tayden.

But Tayden lives away from her. In South Hills, with his foster mom. Tyneisha’s caseworker didn’t believe she could take care of Tayden by herself, so the county Children, Youth and Families (CYF) office took him four days after he was born. These days Tyneisha only gets to see her son twice a week during supervised visitations at CYF on Lexington Street in Point Breeze. This is after an eight-hour school day.  As Tyneisha is sharing her story, Tayden is sitting on her lap. She bounces him on her knee and starts to sing, “The wipers on the bus go, swish, swish, swish.”

ACHIEVA, a Pittsburgh agency that offers lifelong support for people with disabilities, has been working with Tyneisha since January 2017.  They hope to help Tyneisha find a family for both her and Tayden through Life Sharing, a residential program option that connects families who want to open their homes to people with disabilities. This new family would be able to accommodate Tyneisha and Tayden and provide a healthy environment for both mother and son to grow and learn.

Click here for the article. Public Source IN-DEPTH REPORTING, by Brittany Hailer