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(Ireland) School routinely used isolation on 11 yr old autistic boy

Sept 25, 2018, Irish Times: ‘My 11-year-old was locked in a room for five hours’ Killian was about 11 years of age when he was placed in a small room with a single window and no furniture as a “last resort”, says his mother. He had a diagnosis of autism and ADHD and was liable to have a meltdown if he became overwhelmed. “We had no problem with it at the start,” she says. “Safety was paramount. They called it the ‘calm room’. . . but after a while it became a punishment room,” she says. “Soon he was being put in there for trivial reasons such as not doing schoolwork quickly enough or talking in class,” says his mother…. He had previously received therapeutic intervention to help him cope with his condition in the mainstream primary school, but it was withdrawn in fifth class. This, she feels, may have been a contributory factor in his behaviour, but she feels the use of the isolation room led to a dramatic change. “He said he didn’t want to go back because they’d lock him up. He was in a class with 30 kids, he couldn’t cope, he wasn’t getting sensory breaks... He needed to be taken out of a class, but not locked in a room.” … While she approached the school seeking support to help defuse the situation, she says its response was to expel him…. “He was just 11 and he was made out to be a monster . . . as far as the school was concerned, it felt it did nothing wrong.” Today, a few years, her son is thriving in secondary school. She says he is receiving excellent support and has had no behavioural problems. …

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