Therapist caught on camera abusing boy with autism
Suspicious mom captures horrifying footage of therapist abusing her helpless son.
US: Stephanie’s son suffers from serious autism- he can’t communicate with his parents- so she enrolled him for therapy sessions with an organisation which specialises in diagnostic and behavioural treatment as well as support for parents. When her son showed no improvement after these sessions, she installed a camera to find out what was going on. She was horrified by what she saw, according to the San Francisco Globe.
When background checks fail
The therapist treating her son had passed several background checks as well as training before being hired by Autism Intervention Milwaukee, but none of the checks raised any evidence of previous misdoing nor reasons for suspicion. He even works with another autism group and at another local school. Despite the stringent checks, he was caught on camera appearing to abuse the three-year-old boy. The police are investigating the alleged abuse and are also looking into other avenues to see if there are other victims.
The therapist was fired and the organisation has since placed its evaluation and hiring practices under review.
The video below is disturbing, but it shows the extent to which Stephanie’s fears were well-grounded.
WARNING: THIS VIDEO SHOWS GRAPHIC VIOLENCE AGAINST A CHILD AND MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME VIEWERS:
Via WISN 12 News/Youtube
Parental guidance advised
Even if an organisation, school or individual appears trustworthy, parents should always keep a close eye on children after they have been in the care of other people. Babies, toddlers and young children (or, as in this case, children with autism with communication challenges) are vulnerable as they cannot verbally communicate their distress should something be wrong.
As with the infamous Ugandan nanny case in late 2014, parents should ensure that as much detail is known as possible about prospective employees/caregivers, and that the child is regularly checked for any signs of possible abuse.
Consider installing cameras in the home and also consulting with a company which is able to conduct background checks before hiring a caregiver for your child.
Trust your gut: if you feel that your child is responding negatively to a caregiver, consider changing your child’s caregiver or situation.
Only register your child with a reputable school or organisation and make sure that you are comfortable with their hiring practices and safety precautions.
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