Saratov, Russia — A photo of a 10-year-old boy with autism who was tied to a chair with his mouth taped shut sparked widespread outrage on the social media.
The photo, which was apparently taken during one of the child’s sessions at the Golden Key Center on Soviet Street in Saratov City, Russia, was posted on the social media by a friend of one of the members of the staff at the center.
The photo was captioned:
“This is how children are punished in the children’s centre Golden Key.
“The centre employees have convinced the parents that it’s okay. The mother of the tied boy was convinced that such measures are necessary for development of her autistic son.”
But the mother of the unidentified young boy with autism has threatened to file charges against the person who uploaded the photo.
Golden Key Center Director Oksana Yudina said that the practice was necessary to calm children with special needs down. She told:
“We work with children who have schizophrenia, autism or other mental deviations. Some of them don’t take strong sedatives.
“What do we do if a child starts throwing a chair at us? We cannot put a child in straitjacket if he makes some dangerous actions against us.
She further added that their task is to teach the children how to be calm. The child is tied to the chair and the teacher then counts to ten. The child’s feet are then untied and the teacher counts to five. The child’s hands are then untied.
She then states that,” The children’s parents know and approve of our methods.”
The leaked photo prompted Saratov children’s rights ombudsman Julia Yerofeeva to order an inquiry on the legality of the methods used by the center to perform treatments on the children with special needs.
“We’ll find out whether the centre has permits for this work, but in any way to tie kids to the chair and close their mouths it is unacceptable.”
Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta
Source: Alex Wellman: The Mirror online: Shocking leaked photo of autistic boy strapped to chair with mouth taped shut sparks anger