(UK) Belfast ASD student restrained 137 times; common practice in NI schools

May 31, 2021, Belfast Live: Schoolboy with autism 'wanted to die after teachers restrained him and secluded him'

A mum has claimed that years of restraint and seclusion at primary school caused her autistic son to try and throw himself from a car at 60mph in a bid to end his misery. Emma McAfee is now home educating 13-year-old Eliot and said he has come on in leaps and bounds since being removed from an education system which she claims horribly failed him. Over the course of three school years, she believes her bright little boy was restrained by his teachers at least 137 times for not doing what was asked of him. She told how he came home once in a sling and often with bruises…. “He just didn’t want to go to school at all to the point where he would literally scream at us that he wanted to die…. “He started to withdraw from his friends and he was emotionally unstable – he wouldn’t even go out and play.” The 37-year-old has added her voice to calls for an end to such treatment of children in Northern Ireland schools, believing the practices cause more harm than those in power realize. Emma said: “He was only seven years old when it all started. He always came home with bruises all over his legs…. “So we looked a bit closer to school and we thought the only thing that’s been happening is the restraints. At this point he was in P4 and it was maybe happening once a week at the most, but the school told me, ‘The team teach holds aren’t aggressive, it’s just like being hugged’. I said that didn’t explain how he was getting bruises on his legs. As it progressed, their version of events never matched what my son was saying.” As for Eliot, she added: “He was telling us that they were holding him by the ankles, elbows were being dug into his legs and he was being held into the seats.”…