By David M. Baum, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Monique Manjarrez was recently called to pick up her twelve year old autistic son, Jeremy, from Kachina elementary School in Peoria, Illinois. Ms. Manjarrez was told by school administrators that she should pick Jeremy up because he had fallen and hurt himself while in the bathroom with a classroom aide. But when she saw Jeremy’s face, she felt he looked more like he had been beaten, with swollen and bruised eyes and a large bump on the back of his head.
Because of Jeremy’s autism, he can’t communicate to his family what happened. Ms. Manjarrez took Jeremy to the local emergency room, where a doctor told her that it looked like her son had been punched in the face. Photos taken just after the incident reveal sever bruising on the child’s face. Ms. Manjarrez reports that she has made complaints before against the aide who was with Jeremy in the bathroom when the injuries occurred, and she is sure the aide struck her child. She claims that she had previously asked the school not to leave Jeremy alone with the aide because she felt he was angry and aggressive.
The Glendale Police Child Crimes Unit is investigating the incident, and the Peoria school district is conducting its own internal investigation. The aide in question is still working with other children in the special needs classroom. Jeremy’s family has removed him from the school. All children everywhere deserve to be safe and cherished at school and at home. When special needs children are abused, it can be difficult to find out what really happened if they have limited communication abilities, as Jeremy does. Parents of special needs children are their child’s best advocate, and should watch out for physical and emotional signals of abuse.
You can read more about Jeremy and his family’s plight at Peoria family blames classroom aide for autistic son’s injuries.