Fans of Myka Stauffer most likely recall when the YouTube star adopted a son named Huxley from China almost three years ago. At the time, Myka had kept audiences posted on the entire adoption process, from crowdsourcing, to facing international adoption regulations, and eventually, bringing her son home to America in 2017. She had posted monetized videos focused on Huxley, and included him in ads. However, it seems as though he no longer lives with Myka, her three kids, and her husband, James.
Before apparently rehoming Huxley, Myka Stauffer faced backlash for duct-taping her son's hands. Here's what we know regarding the incident, as well as his relocation.
Why did Myka Stauffer duct-tape Huxley's hands?
While 3-year-old Huxley had autism and reported brain damage — which was apparently a deal-breaker for Myka and her husband — he was not unlike many kids his age. According to Mirror, Huxley apparently sucked his thumb, which is a relatively normal habit for many young children. But to break this habit, Myka apparently resorted to an unlikely deterrent: duct tape.
According to Mayo Clinic, thumb-sucking is generally a coping mechanism for children. Although it's important to deter them from doing so, to prevent a dependency and possible dental damage, it's recommended to make them aware they're doing it, and to teach them to rely on other things for comfort instead, while not cutting them off from it completely. Duct-taping Huxley's hands was not only an abrupt and aggressive way to cut him off from thumb-sucking, but it most likely hurt his skin.
The duct tape on Huxley's hands was apparently visible in one of Myka's last videos before rehoming him, and obviously, it garnered tremendous backlash from people on Twitter. See what they had to say about it below.
Hi, this is Myka. Myka adopted an autistic son from China who she named Huxley. She used his adoption to get sponsorships and ATTENTION. Myka put duct tape on Huxley's hands to get him to stop sucking his thumbs. She and her husband later rehomed Huxley like he was a rescue dog. https://t.co/WK80p3M81L— Omar Phoenix (@TheOmarPhoenix) May 28, 2020
hey heres a pic of 2 year old huxley with his hands duct taped by his “parents” myka and jim stauffer @mykastauffer as punishment for sucking his thumb as a coping mechanism...when their older children also sucked their thumbs and were never punished pic.twitter.com/lwEYsBoQJZ— hailey (@shmailey_) May 27, 2020
Okay, so we are now at the point in the world where YouTube "Influencers" crowdfund adopting a Chinese kid, duct tape his hands to stop him sucking his thumb, then "re-home" him because he has special needs. Gotcha... Christ.... #mykastauffer https://t.co/2pj3lqe4Bw— Adam (@adamintheplace) May 28, 2020
The duct-tape incident occurred shortly before Myka decided to "rehome" Huxley.
Following the infamous duct-tape incident, Huxley was suddenly absent from Myka's social media, according to Insider, and obviously, viewers started to question what happened to the young boy. Eventually, though, she and her husband made a video about how they decided to put him back up for adoption. Apparently, several people recommended they do so, as they hadn't foreseen the severity of his disabilities.
“Once Huxley came home, there were a lot more special needs that we weren’t aware of... So over the past few years, Huxley has been in numerous therapies to try and help him... For us, it’s been really hard hearing from the medical professionals. A lot of their feedback [has been] really upsetting for us, because it’s not what we ever wanted to hear. We never wanted to be in this position, and we’ve been trying to get his needs met and help him out as much as possible,” James said in the video.
There wasn’t a minute that [we] didn’t try our hardest. And I think what Jim is trying to say is that after multiple assessments, after multiple evaluations, numerous medical professionals have felt that he needed a different fit and that [with] his medical needs, he needed more... Do I feel like a failure as a mom? Like, 500 percent,” she said. "…The last couple of months have been the hardest thing I could’ve ever imagined,” Myka added, saying they waited to tell viewers to "protect Huxley."
Myka and James' decision to rehome their adopted son doesn't seem like an easy one, but needless to say, we're hoping he's found a more fit set of parents.