This news piece illustrates what I fear most. A non-verbal autistic little girl, abused on the school bus by a sadistic aide. I want to be sure to say I am not saying anything against bus drivers or aides. My bus driver growing up was one of the finest men I've ever known. The aides at Janey's school---I can't say enough about them. They are wonderful people. What was done to this child was done by someone who, scarily, could be anyone. There are sadistic people out there. And there are people who might not be at all sadistic, but for whatever reason are in jobs they should not be in, people who are not able to deal with disabled children. It's not a job for everyone. Autistic kids (like all kids, but to extremes) can be incredibly frustrating. I would hope anyone caring for such a child would have that trait that would make them not able to hurt the child, no matter how frustrated they are---the love of the child. The love that makes you stop and take a breath and not do something that will hurt the child. I am blessed to have people like that caring for Janey. But I fear the future. I don't think my fear is unreasonable. Janey most likely will not be able to say if someone is hurting her. She can be hard to deal with. I can see her being this girl on the bus. Or the boy at the school Janey is slated to go to some day that was abused. It just takes one person, one moment of losing it, or giving in to horrible impulses, or taking advantage when you think you can, to hurt a child.
I have to have faith to let Janey leave the house. I have to trust that those around her love her and care for her, and will know if they need a break, and will be watching her always, and noticing who else is near here. I do have that trust of her school. But she will be in other schools, some day, or other situations. It's enough to make me want to keep her with me always, but I know that doesn't serve either one of us best.
It's probably harder to do anything about the sadists, as the woman charged here sounds like. I will say I wish she'd gotten a hundred year prison sentence, instead of the slap on the wrist it sounds like. I hope she burns in hell. That's not my usual kind of talk. But it's what I feel. However, what I think something CAN be done about is people that for whatever reason find themselves in over their heads. There are people that are not going into it all planning on hurting children, but they might find themselves handling a child who has cried for hours, or is not toilet trained and has yet another accident, or who might be very tired on a certain day. If that internal guard is not on, the one that I think can only come from truly loving the child and empathizing with them, a person that might never see themselves as an abuser could become one. I hope that all who care for autistic children are treated decently, and are trained well,and paid well, and screened well. If they are overwhelmed, I hope they will speak up, and get a break. If they find they no longer think they can do the job, I hope they will do the right thing and find another job.
This is a raw post, because of the raw feelings reading that article brought up in me. I'll close by saying a million, trillion thank yous to those who are so wonderful to Janey. I am more grateful to you than I can ever say.