A video of a teaching assistant assaulting a four-year-old autistic girl has caused outrage in China:
CCTV footage (Youtube version) showing Xu Lihuan, a 30-year-old teacher in Qianhui Children's Rehabilitation Services Centre in Panyu, Guangzhou, throwing a 4-year-old autistic girl to the floor. The girl, Qiu Yaoyao, allegedly fell into a coma following Xu's attack. Outraged netizens have caused the footage to go viral on Chinese social media.
Yaoyao and Xu were doing some exercises together when the child refused to stand properly on a chair. Xu grabs her arms and throws her to the ground, before proceeding to kick her, turn her upside down and bang her head into the floor.
The girl's' father says the school first told him that her injuries were caused by a fall.
CNN reports that the video is bringing much-needed attention to the treatment of autistic children in China:
Film actress Ma Yili took to Weibo, China's Twitter-like service, to say, "This kind of behavior should be charged with intentional homicide. Autistic kids are extra vulnerable because they are unable to independently control their behavior. We as parents will be closely watching how (the teacher) will be punished in court."
Another Weibo user, named @Yaliju, asked, "Doesn't she have a child herself? How on earth could kindergarten teachers be so cold-blooded? Who would dare entrust their kids to these peoples' hands?"
Other netizens blame the lack of trained teachers, especially for children with autism and other disabilities.
"This is heart-wrenching," posted @alwaysyouyou. "And why were all the other teachers just standing there watching? I'm deeply worried about how teachers get their qualifications nowadays."
Parents of two autistic students are suing a special education teacher after she was arrested for putting one child in a file cabinet and pulling out the other's hair, among other things:
Julie Gosch, 47, who had taught at Juan Seguin Elementary since 2003, was fired this year. Two teacher’s aides who worked with her sent emails to the school administrators, alleging neglect and inappropriate and abusive behavior.
The Chronicle obtained copies of the alleged emails, which claimed Gosch called her students “retarded,” saying “you guys are losers” and taught the aides to “accidentally” hit the children.
After aides came forward in January, the Fort Bend Independent School District and its police department launched an investigation into the allegations. Officials said her last day of work was Jan. 27, the day the aides came forward with the written statements.
Three bullies attacked a 15-year-old who has Asperger's syndrome with a piece of wood, cutting his face, blacking his eye, and chipping his tooth:
Reece, a pupil at The Compass, said: “It’s not right what happened. They hit me over the back and legs with a piece of wood.
“I really want to go outside but I’m scared it will happen again."
Barry Posternak is accused of assaulting his girlfriend's 10-year-old son. The boy's mother defended Posternak in court, blaming the child and his autism:
According to police, the young boy's biological father called police. When police arrived to the house, they saw a red welt on the boy's neck. The injuries were not serious and did not require hospitalization.
Police then arrested Posternak; however, the boy's mother claims the entire incident is a misunderstanding. She said in court that her son was the one who attacked her boyfriend, and due to his autism, he needs to be restrained on occasion.
“A group of lads attacked my son on a bridge, and he had to hide near the cricket club after getting away.
”Then my wife, who was looking for my son, asked a gang of lads about what had happened and they turned on her, verbally abusing her and kicking her car,“ he told The Champion.
”I am hugely upset by what happened to my family, and absolutely distraught by what went on.
“If anyone has got a conscience and has any information about what happened, they will go to the police with any information they have.”
Because of the insults the attackers used, police are investigating both attacks as disability hate crimes.