Panel holds therapist guilty of mistreating autistic child
After the parents of an 11-year-old autistic boy complained, the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights remarked on Tuesday that the practitioner was not qualified to handle children with autism.mumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2013 09:12 IST
After the parents of an 11-year-old autistic boy complained he was physically tortured and left injured and traumatised by his therapist during a counselling session, the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights remarked on Tuesday that the practitioner was not qualified to handle children with autism, having attended only a seminar on the subject.
A report filed earlier by a three-member team had absolved the counsellor of the charge.
While hearing the case, the commission asked the therapist Reena Singh of Khushi Paediatric Therapy Centre, which has clinics in Andheri (East) and Borivli (East), to present her credentials to prove she was qualified to deal with the child.
AN Tripathi, secretary of the commission, said, “The therapist only attended a seminar on autism; she does not have enough experience to deal with such children, and we recommend she should not see such patients.”
The commission has closed the case and will pass an order on it soon.
The parents had alleged in March that Singh pulled the child’s ears and twisted his leg with force during a counselling session on March 1.
In her defense, Singh said: “He was screaming and slamming his feet on the floor because of which I had to hold his feet. All the force exerted by me was to prevent him from hurting himself.”
However, she admitted she should not have pulled the child’s ears.
The hearing was held after a three-member team of medical experts examined the CCTV footage of the incident and submitted their report on June 25.
The report stated there was nothing in the footage to prove that the boy was ill-treated.
The report also said since the records regarding Singh’s medical qualifications had not been given to the team, the team was not in a position to verify whether she was a genuine therapist or not.
Unhappy with the report, the parents maintained the child suffered emotional and physical trauma after the incident.
“For a month after the incident, he became very angry. He would start screaming if anyone other than his parents approached him, and he was also not eating properly,” said the child’s parents, who reside in Malad.