Being a single mom raising an autistic daughter is hard enough to begin with and having to deal with stupid shit like this only makes it harder. Colleen Leduc had just dropped her autistic daughter, Victoria, off at the school and was headed to work when she got a frantic phone call saying she needed to come back to the school immediately. Upon arrival she was greeted with the following news:
“The teacher looked and me and said: ‘We have to tell you something. The educational assistant who works with Victoria went to see a psychic last night, and the psychic asked the educational assistant at that particular time if she works with a little girl by the name of “V.” And she said ‘yes, I do.’ And she said, ‘well, you need to know that that child is being sexually abused by a man between the ages of 23 and 26.’”
Victoria, who is non-verbal, had also been exhibiting sexualized behaviour in class, actions which are known to be typical of autistic behavior. (See other typical actions here) That lead authorities to suspect she had a bladder infection that may have somehow been related to the ‘attack.’
Leduc was shaken by the idea. “It’s actually your worst nightmare your child being violated,” she admits. “So for them to even suggest that, and that be my worst nightmare, it was horrific.”
But things got worse when school officials used the “evidence” and accepted the completely unsubstantiated word of the seer by reporting the case to Children’s Aid, which promptly opened a file on the family.
“They reported me to Children’s Aid,” Leduc declares, still disbelieving. “Based on a psychic!”
It’s bad enough that the teacher’s aid was credulous enough to buy into this story, but the fact that everyone else bought into it enough to take it seriously is just amazing. They must have some very incompetent people running the Terry Fox Elementary school. A possibility backed up by the fact that Leduc had to take steps to safeguard her daughter after the school repeatedly “lost” her at various points. Steps that would, in fact, pay off in this new situation:
As a result, the already cash strapped mom had spent a considerable sum of money to not only have her child equipped with a GPS unit, but one that provided audio records of everything that was going on around her.
So she had non-stop taped proof that nothing untoward had ever happened to her daughter, and was aghast that the situation had gone this far. But under the Child and Family Services Act, anyone who works with children and has reasonable grounds to suspect a youngster is being harmed, must report it immediately – and the CAS has an obligation to follow up.
The key words above should be reasonable grounds and the word of a supposed “psychic” who claims to have gotten the knowledge through her extra sensory powers and not, say, as an eyewitness to the crime should never be considered reasonable grounds. Not only should the teacher’s aid be fired, assuming she’s not a volunteer, but probably the principal as well for letting this idiocy happen in the first place.