KY - School Accused of Putting Autistic Boy in Duffel Bag

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by Kat, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/2...g-autistic-boy-in-duffel-bag/?test=latestnews

    Published December 22, 2011

    I did a tag search, but sometimes tags aren't placed on threads and if there is already a thread I might have missed it.

    More at link.

    I'm too stunned to even make a comment at this moment. It reminded me of another case where a child was killed by improper restraining techniques in Texas, and that teacher's aide walked away from that death with no repurcussions. (I do realize the child in this article wasn't killed--but still!)

    Ugh.
     
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  3. peeples

    peeples New Member

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    A July letter from the state agency to special education directors said the state had investigated two informal complaints this year.

    In one, "a student (was) nearly asphyxiated while being restrained," and in the other, a student vomited from panic attacks after spending most of an academic year "confined to a closet, with no ventilation or outside source of light," according to the letter.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/2...-in-duffel-bag/?test=latestnews#ixzz1hJqqgtXn
     
  4. montana_16

    montana_16 Active Member

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    This is child abuse! How in the world do they think it was acceptable?!?

    They should be arrested. If a parent was caught doing those things to their child they would be.
     
  5. davehead21

    davehead21 Active Member

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    A therapy bag is a real thing and used quite often with children who are autistic and have sensory issues. When I worked for a school district, we had a little boy who used one and the point of it was to make him feel safe, like he was in a cocoon. When he was in it, he was able to calm himself down. It got to the point where when he could feel himself getting upset, he would ask if he could use the therapy bag as a preventative measure. However, it was nothing like a duffel bag. This is what a therapy bag looks like--

    [​IMG]

    If this child was truly found in a duffel bag, that is horrifying!! And it's equally as horrifying that the school district would try to pass off a duffel bag as a true therapy bag.
     
  6. Soulmagent

    Soulmagent Active Member

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    That photo looks like a snuggie.
     
  7. davehead21

    davehead21 Active Member

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    Haha-- it kind of does!! There are no arm holes or feet holes in therapy bags, though.
     
  8. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    That looks comforting. LOL I think I could use it some days. But there is noting over the head and face. No way the child could accidently smother. But with the duffel bag, I can easily see a child smothering.
     
  9. Jen38

    Jen38 New Member

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    BBM - that's the problem. It wasn't to calm him down, it was to punish. Aversives just do NOT work. I honestly don't know how the mother kept calm - I would've been shoving staff members in there asking how THEY felt. I mean, would people do that to their pets??
    Our kids are PEOPLE - not nuisances, not obstacles to educators' days....and the days of shoving our kids into some state institution, where they don't have to be seen or heard is OVER. Sorry, this story just makes me SO UPSET. :banghead::banghead:
     
  10. peeples

    peeples New Member

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  11. Kimster

    Kimster Former Member

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    I don't know the details of this situation since I'm not a part of this school whatsoever, but I do have an autistic son who is a young adult now.

    When he was young, he craved close quarters. I couldn't keep him from sleeping in his toy box until I made a small area in his closet where he loved to go and feel safe. It was at the suggestion of some adult men with Asperger's and my son LOVED it. We called it the "bat cave". At school, when he was upset, he would find very confining areas in which to hide that upset the school officials quite a bit. One time, he locked himself into a very small locker and it took everyone quite a while to locate him. Sometimes he found small areas under hedges.

    Perhaps the school was truly trying to help him? :dunno: It's a possibility. But they should have kept the parents in the loop.
     
  12. fhc

    fhc New Member

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    Reserving opinion because I couldn't get the video to play. Was there a picture of the duffel bag? Can't imagine a duffel bag was approved by the school board.

    Show us the bag!!!
     
  13. peeples

    peeples New Member

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    If you read the original story, they don't give a photo but provide a description of the bag. It wasn't a zippered sports bag, but one of the kind that have a draw string at the top, and mom says the string was drawn tight with a small hole left open...

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/12/2...g-autistic-boy-in-duffel-bag/?test=latestnews

    Also the bag wasn't used for therapeutic reasons, but for punishment. That is not OK.
     
  14. peeples

    peeples New Member

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  15. Kimster

    Kimster Former Member

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    If the school is stating the bag was for punishment, then it is NOT okay whatsoever.
     
  16. my_tee_mouse

    my_tee_mouse Done. Put a Fork in Me.

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    Whether the bag was used for punishment or to help the child regain composure, I do not think its use is appropriate whatsoever. Provide a small, safe, quiet place with a quilt, a few comforting items such as stuffed animals, open air, out of the sight of gawkers, with the aide in plain sight. To tie any child into what could double as a place for dirty laundry in a wide-open space where anyone could come by and ridicule is outrageous.
     
  17. davehead21

    davehead21 Active Member

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    Yeah, I would like to see the bag as well. I am fairly certain that if I found my child in a bag at school, I would snap a picture of the bag for evidence.

    I'd also like to read the child's IEP.
     
  18. Jen38

    Jen38 New Member

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    I'm wondering about the duffel bag - is it something the child could have gotten out of on their own? If it is a standard duffel bag, the zipper is located on the outside of the bag, making it the responsibility of the staff member to decide when that child should get out. I'm sorry, I consider this abusive ~ a duffel bag is no substitute for a therapy bag, or swing time, or whatever a child needs to get themselves under control. I don't blame the mother for being so angry one bit.
     
  19. peeples

    peeples New Member

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    I don't think the child could get out, as the school employee had a hard time getting it open to let the boy out, according to the mom anyway.
     
  20. flipflop

    flipflop Active Member

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    I have an autistic child in my class. I have also worked with several autistic children in my past. We use a therapy sock, as we call it, it looks like a snuggie type idea like the one posted upthread. When an autisitc child is out of sorts, we give them a sensory break (this is not for punishment) this is to calm them down and bring them back to task. This therapy sock feels pretty cool, when we were trained to use them, we tried them on. Once inside, they seem to release alot of tension, frustrations, etc. This therapy sock works very well with the child that I presently have in my class. It would be interesting to see a pic of the therapy bag that this school was using. I also do not have much faith in the media relaying a story. Simple wording used can change the whole story. If I stated that the child was having a meltdown, so we removed him to provide an area where he was safe from hurting himself or others and then given a sensory break (using the therapy bag or another sensory item listed on his IEP) to calm him down. The media could relay the same story as: The teacher was having trouble with an autisitc child so she punished him by putting him in a duffel bag. I don't trust the media!!!!

    Unfortunatly, we are hearing just one side of the story. The school has another story, which they cannot defend themselves publicly as there are laws regarding confidentiality with the said child. Therefore, I cannot place blame on the school as I have not heard their side of this story, which I am betting is twisted by the media. Afterall Headlines make them money.
     
  21. flipflop

    flipflop Active Member

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    Here is a youtube video of a therapy bag in use....

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdqONIKgMwc&feature=related"]Sam & The Box Sox - YouTube[/ame]
     

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