Is my child safe? Are the staff treating him/her well?
Tuesday afternoon when my son got off the bus I quickly realized the answer to both of those questions was no.
I'll start from the beginning.
It was a pretty regular day for me. The bus pulls up, and I go outside to get Beans. We go in the house, and I go to get him a drink, and snack. His respite worker shows up while I am getting his drink.While I am in the kitchen getting his snack made she notices that he is wet, so off they go to the bathroom to get changed, and wash hands.
Then I hear yelling. She's calling for me, and it sounds urgent. I get to the bathroom, and she tells me there is something wrong with his wrist. I look down at his hands washing in the water, and I see it. It's a huge bruise with a big protruding knot on the underside of his wrist. I immediately know I must get him to the ER for x-rays. On the other wrist is red bruising abrasions. My mind is going 100 mph. I don't know what happened, but I know it's bad.
|Left Arm- Wednesday|
|Left Arm Tuesday|
I manage to call my husband, and gather Bubby. Thankfully, I have another adult with me to drive. I was too shaken to even try. I call the school, and leave a message about what is happening. That way I have it on record that I notified them as soon as I saw the injuries.
We get to the ER, get the x-rays, and are told that it's just bruising. It happens all the time. He's an active child, ect., ect.. I'm told to take him to his regular doctor the next day for a follow up.
I get him straight to the doctor the next morning, who is pretty upset when she sees his injuries. She does not think they're accidental. She also doesn't appreciate the ER's response to the situation.
On my way home from the doctor I get a call from the ER. Apparently, after the radiologist examined the x-ray a buckle fracture is detected. Now, we have something a little more substantial than just some severe bruising. This is a very serious situation.
The next few days are a blur full of phone calls, and reports being made by me. I call the police, and dept. of children, and families, as well as a local advocacy center. They were really no help, offering less advice than I know on my own. I also contacted our state's disability rights center.
The principal claimed to have a report from the nurse's station of a huge bruise, and injured wrist on Monday morning. I request a copy of it. Sure enough. Someone took him to the nurse's office with a wrist injury Monday morning, according to the nurse's log. I wasn't notified in any form. The communication book from the teacher makes no note of anything out of the the ordinary. The email exchange I had with her Tuesday made no mention of it. This is the same injury that when myself, and Bean's respite provider knew immediately needed to be x-rayed that they sent him back to class with.
I have a hard time believing that I didn't see those bruises Monday evening, or Tuesday morning. The nurse's log seems suspicious to me, and there are dates all over it that doesn't match, so I will leave that as unconfirmed for the time being.
So, for now Beans is at home with me while they do their investigation. This nightmare is far from over. I am in a holding pattern, waiting for news. Not eating, or sleeping much. Just anxious sadness for my darling little boy who can't tell me what happened, but his body tells a story of pain and abuse.
I have so many feelings about what happened, and ideas as to what, and how. I have been so busy taking care of everything that I have not had time (and the emotional reserve) to tell this story. I will update more later on what I think the cause was, and what my next steps are if the school sweeps this under the rug.
Keep an eye on this space, as I may need your help autism community. I may need your support, and your voices to make sure we get answers for Beans. Firstly, I would like to give them a chance to do what's right before getting dramatic. But, if they don't I'm not giving in.
*Edit- After multiple x-rays the doctors confirm that the bones are healthy, and normal. They conclude that he had "a really bad sprain".