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Caring or Abuse? A Case Goes to Court.

Regular readers may know that I am a mom to a special needs, non verbal young adult son. He is among the most vulnerable among us. He cannot tell me if things are okay. As mom I must glean from his actions and signs wabusehether he is happy, scared, hungry or tired.

One of my greatest fears is that someone would hurt or abuse him. Because of this, I am and will always be a ‘helicopter mom’, one who hovers nearby, always watching for an indication that there might be a problem.

I could be the mom in this video. This woman was concerned that her autistic son was not receiving good care. As an adult, the son lived in a nursing home with non-family caregivers. The mom’s intuition was so strong that she placed recording cameras in her son’s room and then watched the videos. The images she saw demonstrated enough abuse to her son by caregivers that they are now on trial for abuse.

 

San Diego, California News Station – KFMB Channel 8 – cbs8.com

According to the Examiner, the National Autism Association estimates that more than 200 students have died within the last five years due to restraints used in schools. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania shows that over 18 percent of children with autism have been physically abused.

With such staggering statistics, it may seem difficult for parents of autistic children to know how to protect against abuse and restraint. Cameras, such as those used by the parents of the 23-year-old in San Diego, are a good starting point.

No doubt, even the most experienced caregiver can become frustrated but it is never permissible to cause harm.

As Pope John Pall II said, “A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members…”

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  1. Jan Brown says:

    First, let me say, “NEVER doubt a mother’s instinct” I have no doubt that the figure of 200 students have succumbed to abuse. Just ‘try’ to imagine how many live & carry the unspeakable scars. There is a ‘nice’, rather affluent small town in West Texas that is now procecuting a ‘special ed’ teacher from a rated school for physical abuse. Interesting is that this was brought to light because a 3rd grader that live 2 houses down from the ‘special’ child saw Ms____yank the girl’s arm & shove her in the line going inside…Even at this tender age, she knew it wasn’t right & told her own Mom…she had the courage to speak up…as did her mother..We need to all be more deligent & responsible. Wrong is wrong, without regard to ‘whose’ child it is or how old.
    Teresa, you’ve said what a blessing your son is, I’m sure that’s true as is that you are a blessing to him & many. Your sharing helps keep us connected with realities. Thank you