The Autism News

Authors: The Autism News

By Angie Seth | Global News

Christian Thorndyke, 12, is a boy who loves to go to school.“I find it’s fun learning, I like being involved with other children, and recess and gym class. I really love learning and going to school,” Christian told Global News.

But for the past few months Christian has been at home – being taught by his mother because the schools he has attended in the past have told her they cannot handle Christian and he should stay at home until a solution can be found.

This has left Christian’s mother furious saying he is being denied the right to go to school. Christian says he feels he is being rejected by the Peel District School Board.

“They are denying me an education saying I cannot handle it anymore and here I am just sitting at home,” Christian said.

His Mother, Karen Thorndyke says Christian has become depressed and anxious.

“Christian went downhill quick after being at so many schools and not being supported. It’s caused him nightmares and really low self esteem. He at times wanted to kill himself, he’s choked himself,” Thorndyke said. “He has expressed to many workers involved in our case, him being secluded in the schools and not being around other children has caused him depression.”

As a child with autism, Christian can have loud outbursts that can often appear violent.

His mother says he will scream, swear, even try to hurt himself. In an incident at a school Christian became agitated resulting in the teaching assistant putting him in a separate room as a way to calm him down.

These areas, called alternative learning environments, are separate areas located in the school to give children with behavioural needs a safe, separate space to calm themselves when feeling agitated.

The child is supervised and never left alone and some rooms are padded for the child’s safety.

According to the Peel District School board’s Positive Behaviour Intervention Plan: “Physical removal of a student to a Time Out area is an intervention that will be used only in the event that the student’s behaviour presents an immediate, clear and unavoidable danger to him/herself or others, and the student has failed to respond to other, less intrusive interventions.”

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