Autism scandal brewing in Ireland after it emerges that children as young as eight are being locked in padded rooms
Wednesday 15 January 2014
Autistic children as young as eight are being locked in “withdrawal rooms” in schools in Ireland for hours, according to a report.
An 11-year-old with autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was kept in one of the rooms, which are sometimes padded, for three days in a row in January last year, according to The Journal news website. He spent five hours in the room on two of the days.
On one day, the child attempted to smash the only window and was found by the parent who came to collect him, still in the room, surrounded by broken glass and bleeding from his feet.
The parent said the room was “barbaric”, adding: "it wasn’t until November that my child laughed again.”
The Journal said it knew of two other schools where withdrawal rooms were used.
A group called Parents Against Isolation Rooms Ireland is raising a petition for the rooms to be banned.
“Children can see these rooms as a punishment and it can have a lasting psychological effect on them,” group spokeswoman Niamh Deane said. “I’ve been contacted by dozens of families who are frightened by them.”
Ireland’s Child and Family Agency said it does not comment on individual cases. “If there are concerns regarding a child, these should be brought to the attention of the nearest Social Work Department for investigation and follow up when necessary,” it said.
Ireland’s Department of Education describes the rooms as a “small safe space” and pays for them to be built. They are designed to be used for “a short period of time”.
Dr Joseph McAllister Jr, a US-based autism expert, said such rooms should be viewed as a last resort.
“When it is used, it should be used briefly. The theme should be looking to get an individual out of there as soon as it is no longer necessary,” he said.
- 1 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Khorasan: Muhsin al-Fadhli - the man leading a terror group more feared by US officials than Isis
'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Science Teacher Greater Manchester
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Humanities teacher required for ...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: ENGLISH TEACHER REQUIRED - Humbe...
£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: We are looking for a Qualified C...