Autistic pupil told to play in wire cage | News.com.au (external - login to view)
A STUDENT with severe autism was built a wire cage to play inside during recess.
The boy's parents said they were promised a safe outdoor space for their son and had even raised for £500 ($850) for the new facility.
But instead of the decking and play equipment they expected, they got a metal pen with a wooden door and a bolt.
Western Isles Council, in Scotland, instead has now removed the “entirely inappropriate” provision at the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis. and apologised to the boy's parents.
The apology did nothing to stem a barrage of criticism.
Polly Tommey, the founder of the Autism Trust, said she was sickened when she saw pictures of the structure: "What kind of person builds a cage for another person to be in? No child - with or without learning difficulties - should be caged.
"This boy may or may not have verbal skills, but he would understand. He would know he is being caged. People with no experience of autism just don’t understand - this kid’s mind is all there, he just can’t communicate."
The 18-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been spending almost six hours a day inside temporary accommodation with a staff member.
A council spokesman blamed “a breakdown in communication between an Education and Children’s Services Officer and those undertaking the construction work” for building the cage.
He said: “The facility was not used by the pupil. Upon completion the structure was deemed completely inappropriate and was dismantled. The Education and Children’s Services Department will be in touch with parents regarding a new and appropriate outdoor recreational area for this pupil."
Jebus..... here's the parents money for making a safe place for their kid to play in..... I know, how about a friggin dog pen and we'll use the rest of the money to get some beers?