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Miguel Favela, 11, poses Feb. 6, 2009 at Brenham Middle School in Brenham, TX. Kelly Favela, a 31-year-old divorced mom, put her mentally disabled son in Lufkin State School last June. Less than a week later, he was in an ambulance on his way to a Houston hospital after being overdosed with insulin. An investigation found that he was misdiagnosed as a diabetic by a doctor at the state school who failed to check his medical records. Miguel Favela, 11, is now at a different state school in Brenham but Kelly continues to have concerns about his welfare. Like thousands of other parents faced with how to work and care for their mentally disabled children, Kelly, a hospital social worker, made the difficult decision to place her son in one of 13 large state-run residential facilities, schools that are now in the vortex of a debate over what to do to make them better, or whether to keep them open at all.

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