7-Year-Old Mute Autistic Boy's Drawings Alert Parents to Alleged Abuse

Twisted 58

stick figureIt's beyond heartbreaking to think of what some special education children in the Chicago area may have endured before anyone knew. A teacher from Finkl Elementary School there has been suspended after reports of abuse from students, including one from a 7-year-old boy with autism who is unable to speak that came in the form of some drawings.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, dad Luis Murillo said his son kept coming home this year with bruises on his body. Once the knee of his pants were ripped, "as if he had been pulled across the ground." When Luis checked in with the school, he was told it was from the children fighting with one another.

His son's pictures, however, told a different story.

He began drawing pictures of stick figures looking scared and sad, saying, "No." There were also stick figure women looking angry, and one figure saying, "Help." Murillo told the station, "Every time he drew, we just thought he was drawing." It turns out, however, that they may have been a cry for help.

Jessica Sanchez, who has an 8-year-old son with Down syndrome at the school, had seen scratches and marks on her son all year. When she picked him up early one day recently, she saw her son fearfully run behind her, and her suspicions escalated. That's when she contacted the principal, and police were called. The teacher and all aides in the classroom have since been removed.

I would imagine that in retrospect these parents may have some remorse that they didn't act on their suspicions earlier. That they didn't know the picture was telling a real-life story and do something about it sooner. It would be hard not to.

While I don't think anyone is to be blamed, expect for the person abusing the children if it's proven to be true, I think it does serve as a reminder to all parents that we have to follow our instincts when it comes to our children and their safety, whether they can speak or not. We want to believe nothing like this could happen, but sadly it does.

Have you children ever revealed something to you in a drawing?


Image via skenmy/Flickr

autism, in the news


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Rory Gilmore

This really stresses the importance of working with children from an early age to communicate. Even children who seemingly have no functional verbal language can and should be taught to communicate in some way, and parents and trusted adults with these children must be diligent and do everything they can to learn their children's language. As a mother of a nonverbal child, I know all to well the fears that someday my child may be taken advantage of, and it has motivated me to forget curing him, or trying to turn him into "typical" children. I have met him where he is to learn his language and how he communicates. Every child deserves the right to be heard.

nonmember avatar MommaMel

The problem here is that even when you do go to someone in charge it doesn't always amount to anything. I have witnessed a teacher verbally abusing the chidren at my sons school-even physically and violently moving a ONE YEAR OLD-my son was always terrified on her...she STILL have her job

LostS... LostSoul88

How sickening! This go and beat the fuck out those so called teachers to see how the hellt hey like it. While we are out it let's duct tape their mouth so they can't scream!

Caera Caera

I hope they had more than a couple of children's drawings to go on before potentially ruining the lives of functioning adults.

nonmember avatar Rory Gilmore

Caera, nonverbal is not the same as nonfunctioning. The fact that this child could not talk does not mean he is nonfunctioning. The fact that he was able to consistently draw that he was hurt shows that he is, in fact, quite functional. The fact that he was able to identify in person who was hurting him shows he is functional. There are many, many nonverbal autistic children and adults in this country who deserve respect and to be heard. Their form of communication may be different than yours or mine, but it is no less valid, and those people are no less than you or I.

3Dani75 3Dani75

Well said Rory Gilmore...I also have a non-verbal child & have pulled him out of his special education classes because there was something just "not right" with the relationship between him & his teacher. I felt the animosity from her myself & he could feel it as well. He was unable to communicate what the problem was but when he was purposely urinating on her to keep her away then that is an obvious red flag...he has never done that to anyone else (before or after)...I am pushing for a communication device because after almost 7 years of speech therapy & sign language he still cannot communicate effectively. Situations like what in this article have always been one of my fears for my son. I hope that the people involved are prevented from working with ANY children ever again, both "normal" and "disabled"...people like this are sickening!!!

Janet Henwood Connelly

What is wrong with these people abusing Autistic children, I mean Monsters!!!!  If you cannot hadle your job then don't work with our precious and innocent children.  My son is Autistic and nonverbal, the parents of the boy should consider themselves lucky that their son was able to draw a picture.

nonmember avatar Sarah

How can u say that caera a picture is worth a thousand words I hope u don't have children and if u do I feel sorry for them that they have such an ignorant mother

Stacey Howland Liston

This happened last year at a school that my step son goes to. The parents hid a tape recorder on this girl and caught the teacher. It is really upsetting to me that trusted teachers would hurt a child let alone a child with special needs that can't defend themselves. 

Mary L. Davis

It just goes to show all parents with children with some form of disability, some of these people who are in charge of taking care of these children may very well have a past record for doing this somewhere else and no one has bothered to do a background check that would have brought this out. These kids won't make this up if they are being abuse in any form, the ones responsible should have the book thrown at them and they do the hardest time, I am sick of these wimps defending people like this and throwing the kids overboard, to some they believe they shouldn't even be here, and they are quick to side with the teachers or caregivers

1-10 of 58 comments 12345 Last