Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Autism, Bricks and Common Sense

I admit I do not understand the thinking of some alleged "educators".

A video recently showed an autistic girl in Iowa locked in a time out room for 3 hours even after she had wet herself and even after she tried to comply with the rules. Now comes a report, in the News-Press, of an 8 year old autistic girl who, according to her parents, was manhandled by educators in a Lee County Florida school and placed in a BRICK WALLED time out room where, surprise, surprise she hurt herself by banging her head on the brick wall. These are still only allegations and the school district is conducting an investigation. On a positive note one Lee County school board member faced up to his responsibilities by motioning, albeit unsuccessfully, for the independent investigation and stating publicly the need to train personnel who work with autistic children.

Caitlyn Elders, an 8-year-old with autism, was placed in a brick-walled time-out room and manhandled several times by staff at Pelican and Trafalgar elementary schools, her parents told the Lee County School Board Tuesday evening. Kellie Elders, held up photographs of her daughter's bruised forehead for board members, district staff and media members to see. She said Caitlyn sustained those bruises after she banged her head against the brick wall, an action that is not unknown for children with autism who feel distressed.

A BRICK walled room? Who has to be told that an upset autistic child could hurt herself on the walls of a BRICK walled room? Thankfully the educators involved did not have to be told not to leave any sharp objects in the room.

1 comment:

Maya M said...

I admit I don't quite understand the time out concept.
When I was at school, misbehaving children were sometimes ordered out of the classroom till the end of the lesson. But there were no special rooms (cells) for locking children.