Georgetown, IN – A mother claims her son with autism was forced into a small room the size of a closet at Georgetown Elementary while staff held it shut. Scared, the boy started to claw the drywall. As mother Kim Gosnell told Wave 3 News:
“He has anxiety and sensory issues and here he was in a room with nothing except for a wall to scratch at. He dug so far with his hands into the wall that he was digging into the drywall.”
She also added that she was shocked to learn such a room existed.
Her son was forced into the room when he started to have a meltdown, something children are prone to have when frustrated. Gwen Shultz, whose is a special education instructor at Indiana University Southeast and who trains educators on autism awareness, though not connected to this case, had many insights. As she told Wave 3 News:
“The children go in there to calm down, usually two to three minutes at a time. The children are monitored by a camera at all times to make sure the children aren’t inflicting harm to themselves or others,”
When Wave 3 News asked if any child with autism should be treated as Gosnell’s son, she said “No. Never.”
The New Albany-Floyd County School Asst. Superintendent Bill Briscoe declined to comment on the situation.
Gosnell has taken her son out of school until she has an Individualized Education Plan with the school.
Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead
Th original story by Scott Adkinson the Wave 3 News website can be found here