Bermudians Seek Justice for Autistic Son

March 11, 2011

A Bermudian couple living in Ohio has started a Facebook campaign to help draw attention, and seek justice, for their autistic son, whom they say was abused by a teacher.

The couple say their four year old son suffered abuse including being held upside down by his feet, and having the teacher force his jaw open while forcing him to the ground, and is now suffering from the emotional effects of the alleged abuse.

His mother, Ashlie O’Connor,  asked for people to “Please show your support, show Adam your support, please comment on Justice for Adam’s wall.” The page has attracted over 1,100 fans as of this writing, and you can join it here.

The Facebook page tells the full story, which is reprinted below:

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read our story, Adam’s story. As many of you were asking us what has happened to Adam, I decided to start this facebook page as a way to inform you and others of the serious wrong my son endured while attending pre-school. I am trying to achieve justice for Adam, but no matter where I turn no-one seems to be listening, no-one wants to hear me or Adam.

To help other’s understand I have decided to write his story, for him and us.

Adam has always been a loving, compassionate, and gentle soul from the time he was conceived. We were blessed with an amazing child who would impact our lives in ways we never imagined.

At age two, we saw Adam was not talking, verbalizing anything. It was apparent there was some sort of speech delay. Although during family discussions the possibility of Adam having Autism was brought up, it was something my husband and I did not even want to think about. We decided to make an appointment with his doctor. Duarte, Adam’s father, purchased flash cards and sat with Adam many times during a day and practiced words, encouraging him to speak. We also purchased the program “Your Baby Can Read”. Soon we noticed a change in Adam, Duarte’s persistence was working. Adam started to talk. He went from 0 to 25 words in 3 months.

In August we were to receive Adam’s diagnosis. It felt like forever….test after test, talking with doctors, spending time assessing Adam on his own . . . would it ever end I thought to myself. They had their decision . . . “Mr. and Mrs.. . . . . . . . . although Adam has shown a lot of improvement and he has come very far in these past few months, with the information we have gathered and after spending time with Adam, we have concluded that he is definitely within the Autism Spectrum. Albeit slight, one of the reasons why it was hard for us to arrive at this diagnosis, your son does have special needs. Adam’s brain is like a computer, he truly is a genius and now we need to help him output the input he is getting”. I will never forget the feeling of inadequacy, what had I done, It felt like someone told me my son was not there, my hopes and dreams for him were shattered, I didn’t know how to respond but to cry and sob in my husband’s arms. My Adam noticed I was upset. I will never forget how he stood up, walked over to me and looked me in the eyes and wiped my tears. It was then I knew I had to pull myself together because he needed me now more than ever.

On the advice of the doctors involved with Adam, Duarte and I started Adam in the “Help Me Grow Program” and when he turned 3, he started “Early Intervention Preschool.” I could not believe how Adam adapted to the learning, he took off and my son was happy, able to finally communicate with us and our family. By January he had an extremely high vocabulary and was talking our ears off. Adam was going to be fine and I knew there was NOTHING in this world he could not accomplish.

In August of 2010, Duarte and I were asked to switch Adam to another classroom as there were children with other handicaps coming in to the school. I was told the school wanted Adam to have the opportunity of one on one with his new teacher as she was specialized in dealing with Autism and had studied in North Carolina, at Chapel Hill. North Carolina is the leading State in Autistic research. Although I was not happy with this change, and verbalized it and AGAINST my gut instinct, I allowed the switch BUT on the understanding that if I was not satisfied, Adam would be moved back to his old classroom.

Adam started school, finally, he had been begging to go back to school all summer long! LOL! Soon after he began school we noticed we had to wake him up, and he would fight us to get dressed. He would start crying in the morning’s, and would say “Goodbye Kids, Goodbye School, Goodbye (teachers name)”. Strange we thought but put it down to being a new teacher, new class . . . and thought he will adjust.

We were called for a parent teacher conference very soon after the beginning of school. If only I knew that this was the day my biggest fear would materialize. During the meeting with his teacher, we were interrupted by the Principal and Vice Principal. They came into the classroom and escorted the teacher out of the room. The principal sat down and said, “Mr. and Mrs. . . . . . . . an incidence has occurred between (teacher’s name) and Adam.” I asked if Adam was in trouble? She said, “No . . . he hasn’t done anything wrong.” My husband asked, “What happened . . . whats going on? . . . “Your son was inappropriately touched. Children services have been called and a police report was filed this morning.” My husband and I didn’t know what to think . . . our hearts sank, our biggest fear of Adam being hurt by someone was here right in our face. ” WHAT?!?!” I said. The principal continued on stating, “It wasn’t anything sexual but that the teacher had disciplined Adam inappropriately and the school takes these things seriously.” All I could think of was my poor baby, this is why he kept saying “Goodbye” to everything he once loved. He was trying to communicate to us something bad was happening to him. Hind sight is awful, if only I had known, if only I had understood, my poor little Adam.

That weekend we had organized a family outing. We met up with my parents at the street fair in Beavercreek. Adam and my mom “Nini” have a special bond. They seem to get each other. When we arrived Adam noticed the fun castles and other little kids stuff. He wanted to go there and I told him we would go after we walked around. He had a melt down, my mom took him into her arms and walked him to the children’s area. Standing in line waiting for his turn Adam had another melt down, a severe one. My mom could not reach him, could not touch him, he sat on the ground as it was where he felt the safest. After a while he finally allowed my mom to hold him, to comfort him. My mom was devastated, this had never happened to her, to them.

I have been fighting this battle since August 2010. Although being told by his teacher she had found a way to discipline Adam, to stop him from throwing the mulch in the air, saying out loud “Fly, fly” . . . hanging him upside down by his feet would stop him. (She sat there and openly admitted to us she had held my son upside down by his feet . . . we didn’t know what to do we were in shock). Thank goodness the principal came in the room after that. In reports we have learned at the time of discipline, Adam was thrashing his body around, squealing and begging for his teacher to stop. She refused even though she must of known how her actions were hurting and scaring him. We noticed scratch marks on his back, neck and underarms. In another report we learnt she had forced his jaw open while forcing him to the ground. Adam had helped himself to another child’s snack, the teacher was furious and took action. We learnt how she would squeeze his little face and leave red marks to make him look at her. We noticed changing his diaper had become a nightmare, Adam would freeze and beg us not to hurt him, not to touch him. The yelling, the verbal abuse, the physical abuse . . . all these actions were my greatest fear….my son would be hurt by someone and I wouldn’t be able to help him AS A MOTHER SHOULD . . . BUT BY HIS TEACHER . . . never in a million years would I think this would be the person to hurt my child.

The school suspended the teacher pending the outcome of the investigation. She admitted she was guilty. Her punishment was the loss of a few weeks pay. I received the phone call from the school that she was to return. I was told the school had reasons, union ties etc. as to why they could not fire her. Instead she would be placed on supervision and restrictions. She was to have no contact with my son whatsoever. My family and I were appalled. The next morning, we walked Adam to his class, the school finally agreed to move him back into his original class, something of importance, to help Adam regain the feeling of security and that school was not a “goodbye” place to be. Although being told that she must remain in her classroom, we walked down the hallway to the class and she was standing outside her classroom and made eye contact with my son. I was infuriated, I couldn’t believe it. This woman had the nerve to stand there and look at my son, my mother, my husband and me. Adam’s new teacher ushered us in to the classroom. Adam was elated to be back in his old class. He greeted his teachers, who were also elated to have him back, with joy and love. It was a relief to see my son responding positively to his old classroom and teachers. The principal and administrator had tears in their eyes to see his response.

I did not give up, we did not give up. I continued to fight for my son, She should not be near him and eventually the case was turned over to the Ohio Department of Education the Office of Professional Conduct.

Yesterday, 8th March, 2011, a decision was reached (without my knowledge or input). They came back ruling disciplinary actions against her license. Her license was suspended for two years, HOWEVER, get this, she is still allowed to maintain her job and she will be monitored and restricted. I felt like I had been punched in the face, sick to my stomach, tears running down my face. I WAS FLOORED, ALONG WITH MY HUSBAND AND PARENTS. How is this Justice for Adam? Here she is able to maintain her lifestyle while my son now endures constant meltdowns and issues he never had before she put her hands on him. The teacher can go about living her life as normal, meanwhile my husband and I are left to pick up the shattered innocent pieces of my son that she left behind. HOW IS THIS JUSTICE?

ABUSE IS ABUSE….ASSAULT IS ASSAULT! She abused and assaulted our baby. Her punishment was a slap on the wrist….THIS IS NOT JUSTICE. My husband works full time and I am now a stay at home mom, student and homemaker. I will fight the good fight until my heart tells me I did everything possible for my son so that justice might prevail.

Adam attended speech therapy, occupational therapy prior to these events, recently it was decided he needed to also attend behavioral therapy.

I want to take this paragraph to thank the teacher’s assistant who came to Adam’s rescue. Without you and your actions I would hate to think what could of happened. Thank you from the bottom of my, my husband, my parents heart for caring. May God bless you. I also want to thank his current teachers for all they do for my son, for their care. I want to thank all the teachers who are on our side, trying to help us. May God bless you all too.

Please show your support, show Adam your support, please comment on Justice for Adam’s wall.

I have now taken the final step, a step that I hope will have someone hear me, hear us, I have contacted the local media. I am waiting for a response from them, I will keep you posted.

In fighting for Adam, I hope we will be able to help other children (autistic or not) and their families from ever enduring what we have. I am doing this as a way to protect future children from this teacher! I ask that God protect us and show me the steps I must take on my journey.

I know we may never get our “Adam” back, but we will work hard to try to, to help him know that he is safe.

Justice for Adam, our little free spirited child, may God continue to bless him. I know we are blessed to have him in our lives.

. . . and not even an “I’m sorry” from the teacher .

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  1. Let_Us_Pray says:

    God Bless this little boy and his family!!
    I pray that you get Justice for Adam. No child deserves this treatment and Justice for Adam means that there is no chance of this teacher doing this to another child.

  2. I'm Praying says:

    May God continue to bless your family. I don’t see how a teacher would even do a thing like this to a child, they are so innocent. I pray that you get justice.

  3. Denise says:

    Thank you for posting this story, this kind of abuse will not stop until the public hears about it! The fight will stop when the abuse stops!

  4. Linda says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I believe in my heart you will have your Adam back. You and your family and teachers are doing everything humanly possible to insure that. Love is a very powerful tool… I can not believe they allow this teacher around special needs children; she has no right to be teaching.

  5. Speak my mind by Family says:

    The whole truth needs to come out. Since the teacher has not been fired does that prove the Education Board finds the information provied either not true, or not as bad as it is being made. I know the family very well, bless Adam, but all this should be turned into something positive and not looking for fam as the mother has advertised her son, to soon be famous. Please I feel for all who have Autistic children but its a blessing to have a child autistic or not!
    Hope they are not taking off more than they can chew. If the Education board thought that the actions were not serve to fire her obviously she is not in total fault. Come on an Autistic child needs help. You can not just put him into a normal preschool and expect normal results. Sound like a scape goat to me! Tooting too much of their own horn. I know the facts and trust me only a tiny amount of truth is coming out in this one! Having an Autistic son is a blessing, they just need to focus all this drama with press and thurn it on their son getting the help he needs not sirring so many pots and biting the hand that feeds them! Hope to God this doesn’t inflict this poor boys future treatments, cause as someone who might be willing to help, I am now scared of what might get said about me!

    .

    • Speak my mind by Family says:

      Also wishing Adam the best!

      • Jennife Conyers Keserel says:

        First of all I would like to say to you “Speak my mind by Family”. It may be your opinion but what you write is negativity and mean and heartless.
        Second of all I don’t care really what you think of the whole situation as I know the family very very well.
        Thirdly NO CHILD should have to go thru any kind of abuse.

        Alot of time it is purely politics at a school that allow this kind of stuff to be swept under the carpet. I am very proud of Ashley and Duarte for coming forward and sticking up for there son because that is what parents do. It is our job to look out for our kids.
        You obviously don’t know them well enough for you to write this kind of thing. Your behavior in my opinion is just as bad as the teacher. You are being abusive to Ashley and Duarte and disrespectfull and also send abuse to Adam. What you say is just not write!!!! you should be so ashamed of yourself.
        This family is not doing this for fame and fortune. they are doing it out of the love for there child and that is it and also giving support to those people out there who have children that have been thru the same kind of abuse from school or worse.
        You need to look into yourself and find KINDNESS and a HEART.

      • Sacha Collins says:

        Oh yeah… We can all see that… NOT! Obviously you were the one biting off more than you could chew when you posted this ridiculous comment! You don’t even make any sense! Of course the school board is going to protect their own! They have a union! They are looking out for themselves, not the children!

    • n says:

      Personally I think you are “Heartless” no mother will make something up. I believe this is an eye opener and parents need to pay attention to childrens reactions. You say you know the facts. Where you present when this child was mistreated?

      • Speak my mind by Family says:

        To answer you question in Bermuda working. Heartless is the right word to decribe whats going on, not what I said. I will bite my toung because i know there are cases out there where children are being abused, but THIS IS NOT ONE. I said my peice, thats all!

        • CC says:

          All I am going to say to you and your ridiculous “opinions” or whatever you want to call them, is God help you if this sort of treatment EVER happens to your family. Let me hear you call out for justice then.

        • Sacha Collins says:

          Unless you were there with Adam in that classroom, I suggest you keep your negativity to yourself. You said your piece all right… A piece of garbage.

          • Speak my mind. says:

            First of all this is lies. Point blank! Who the hell you think you are to know whats going on. Things just get published with out any looking into for proper details. I would ask you mind your mouth cause I know whats the truth! Only garbage with what you think happened.

            • Sacha Collins says:

              How the hell do you know “the truth”?? You haven’t been involved in this family’s life for two years! I talk to them EVERY day! You are a small minded, ignorant fool! Which you have made clear with every thing you post! You’re not family! You’re an enemy! Get over yourself, no one agrees with what you have to say!

        • Uncle Ruckus says:

          Say what you have to say!!

          • Sacha Collins says:

            I think that “Speak my mind by family” and “Uncle Ruckus” are the same person.

            • Denise says:

              Wow,
              “Since the teacher has not been fired does that prove the Education Board finds the information provied either not true, or not as bad as it is being made.”

              I can’t believe a mother of any child, special needs or not would back any school board who would condone any teacher, aid, or other student holding someone upside down by their feet! WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER BAD ENOUGH? I know School boards who “retained” teacher who’s behavior wasn’t so “bad” only to find out later that they were molesting kids for YEARS! Believe me when I say, the only one truly looking out for your children in any public or private school system anywhere in this country, is YOU. If this was my child, I would not sleep until I had this woman/man’s job on a plate!
              It is also clear to everyone who has read your post, you can’t possible have an Autistic child! You may know some Autistic children, and this one might even be in your family, but YOU, YOURSELF, do not have one, if you did, you would know how ignorant you really sound!
              Get used to it Adam’s family, the crazies will be coming out of the woodwork! It is clear you have many many many other families who KNOW “how BAD” this truly was, depend on them, because it is very clear and very sad, that parts of your family OR some of your friends (which every you clam to be) will never understand!
              God Bless and keep up the fight!
              PS I HOPE ADAM WILL BECOME FAMOUS! THE FAMOUS FACE THAT STOPPED THE SILENT ABUSE OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN EVERYWHERE!
              Denise

    • my$ says:

      @speak my mind- if you knew the family as well as you say you do then you will know that this has NOTHING to do with trying to become famous! The family is simply trying to find justice for their son.. I think it is pathetic that you have said this about the family who are relatives of mine who i DO know very well!!!
      NO CHILD SHOULD SUFFER THIS ABUSE, AUTISTIC OR NOT!!!!! Poor Adam has been terrorized by all that has happened to him at the hands of this teacher! How many other kids has she done this to and how many would possibly suffer this abuse from her in the future if she is allowed to continue teaching?!
      Please people, help support the fight for justice for little Adam so this does not end up happening to other children… The more we band together the louder our voices become! This is not just for Adam, it is for Adam and ALL other children that have suffered abuse by the people whom they are taught to trust!
      FIGHT FOR JUSTICE!!!

    • PrayersforAdam says:

      Best of Luck to you Ashlie and your family. I cannot even begin to imagine how painful this has been for you! Turn to God, he is good and he will take care of you!

      Disregard the negative statements people make. There will ALWAYS be someone who critisizes the shit out of everything… DON’t worry about them, Don’t take on that stress, they will answer for their actions on judgement day.

      YOU just keep doing what you are doing- Keep your head up and stay strong, You will get your Adam back, and you are a great mother.

      God Bless- MSA Classmate

    • Christine says:

      Listen up you whomever you are, i do not what dream world you are leaving in but i can tell you even in this small island of bermuda adhd and autistic kids are forced to be in public education and are made to try and be as productive as possible. If you do not have a clue as to what an autistic child or special needs child can do then you need to take out and sit in these classes that have them(special needs kids). It is people like you i am sure at one point or another who probably got our government to ignore the situation of special need kids. I am angry that there are oxy moruns like yourself who can not show compassion for a child who will suffer harder. I am so glad this is not a face to face discussion. Negtivity like yours is STUPID in the area of knowledge as to what a special needs child needs.
      Always dedicated to our children

    • Lissa says:

      I agree, there are two sides to every story.

    • charlene gilbert says:

      I can’t believe any one would think that the school department did check every thing out and and must have kept the teacher on because she wasn’t guilty!
      I know from my own experence. When my great nephew was in pre-school and came home with his ear all red and black and blue behind the ear, they told me right away that it did not happen there. And thats not all, many times since then he has come home with bruised forhead from banging his head in their so called “TIME OUT”room.

  6. CC says:

    To: “Speak my mind by family” – No offence but If you are as close to the family as you say to be, I hope that you are not all over the internet “liking” anything to do with this situation and then coming on here to voice your opinions against them.

    How does the Education Board prove it not to be true when – look at this – “The principal sat down and said, “Mr. and Mrs. . . . . . . . an incidence has occurred between (teacher’s name) and Adam”

    The family is asking for awareness and support, NOT pity nor fame. If you knew the story you would know that no matter how severe the abuse was, ABUSE IS ABUSE. ESPECIALLY when it has affected this wonderful little boy so badly. I would hate for your child to be in this position and someone to claim you are ‘looking for fame’ instead of just fighting for what is RIGHT. And for you to say that ‘its a blessing to have a child autistic or not’ and make it sound like she isn’t happy to have an autistic child you CLEARLY dont know her THAT well. She has told me she wouldn’t trade him for the world. The shock of finding out that a child is autistic is inevitable, BUT the shock wears off and love never fades, it grows stronger.

    To Everyone involved: THANK YOU for the support you have shown and helping to spread Adam’s story.

  7. family says:

    The little boys family is my family. If you “knew the truth” you wouldn’t post what you did! He was put in that class because she specialised in autism!!! The family’s blood is boiling over your comment. No scapegoat just want justice.

    • family says:

      and if you read it you would see they didn’t get justice because the teacher is part of a union! They tried every resource so they went to the media to get JUSTICE just how if it was your child you would want justice!

  8. my$ says:

    @speak my mind- if you knew the family as well as you say you do then you will know that this has NOTHING to do with trying to become famous! The family is simply trying to find justice for their son.. I think it is pathetic that you have said this about the family who are relatives of mine who i DO know very well!!!
    NO CHILD SHOULD SUFFER THIS ABUSE, AUTISTIC OR NOT!!!!! Poor Adam has been terrorized by all that has happened to him at the hands of this teacher! How many other kids has she done this to and how many would possibly suffer this abuse from her in the future if she is allowed to continue teaching?!
    Please people, help support the fight for justice for little Adam so this does not end up happening to other children… The more we band together the louder our voices become! This is not just for Adam, it is for Adam and ALL other children that have suffered abuse by the people whom they are taught to trust!
    FIGHT FOR JUSTICE!!!

  9. SAD!! says:

    Thanks CC I thought it was just me that thought ‘speak my mind by family’ had lost their mind. Awareness is information, so if this story helps other that have gone thought the same situation the out come can be nothing but positive.. Abuse is abuse at any level. I wonder if ‘speak my mind by family’ has children?? I wish Adam and his family the best because we hear of so many cases like this. The teacher in Milwaukee that cut off the little girl’s hair received a $175.00 is that really justice for that little girl? We cant keep silent about these things we must speak up and share our stories and there should be consequences for these kind of actions, this week Adam gets held up by his feet, what happens next week?

  10. SSC says:

    You say you know our family well, who are you because honestly if you knew our family well you would be walking the journey with us supporting us in our pledge for justice for not only Adam but for the other voices that are being shared on his page. How insensitive can you be? This is not about fame nor fortune this is about JUSTICE for a child who was abused by a system in Ohio. Obviously you know nothing about the school system and how children with Autism are steam lined in to regular classrooms in an effort to help them grow and learn to survive in today’s society. If you say you care for Adam, surely you have feelings with regard to the manner he was abused. Adam’s parents are devoted to him, they are supportive and abide by every bit of advice they are given. YOU DON’T KNOW OUR FAMILY LIKE YOU SAY YOU DO, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN DEFINITELY NOT INVOLVED IN OUR LIVES, NOT HERE WALKING THIS WALK WITH US, HAD YOU BEEN YOU WOULD KNOW THE FACTS AND NOT WRITE SUCH UTTER RUBBISH. Adam’s parents constantly state, “If God told them He was going to take Adam’s Autism away they would tell him NO because they love him just the way he is, he is their light in a dark place, he is their world and changing him would be INJUSTICE.”

    Why are you scared of what might be said to you perhaps because you have nothing to do with our family, you are not in contact with us to know the truth and if you were you would not be indicating that you know us well nor indicating such nonsense about us.

    From our family to you, “God bless you we hope you are happy with your life, but please know your facts before you go speaking about OUR FAMILY.”

    If you are family, the saying goes, “There is always one apple to spoil the whole bunch” and if you have an axe to grind please don’t use Adam or his journey for justice as a way to do it.

  11. Uncle Ruckus says:

    I feel for them and Adam but this is Bermuda and this happened in Ohio.

    The way it was written seems…off. No disrespect but these are just my views and how I felt while reading it. And what did she mean about him being famous? Where was that said? Interesting.

    • CC says:

      Yes it happened in Ohio but they are bemudian’s living abroad. So Bermuda’s support is appreciated.

      Can you elaborate on how it sounded ‘off’ ? It was his mother telling his story.

      And he is not famous, “speak my mind by family” is trying to say that Adam’s mother is only putting his story out there for fame. which is a load of you know what

      • CC says:

        If I read your comment wrong Sorry – not sure which your referring to when you say it sounded off :S

        • Uncle Ruckus says:

          Well I see where “speak my mind by family” is coming from because in all honesty it does seem that way. I didn’t wan to come across rude and unsympathetic which is why I worded it that way. Trying to get his story on GMA? I mean a Earthquake and Tsunami just hit a country killing hundreds of people. I don’t see why this story has to be on every media outlet.

          • family says:

            This story was taken up before the devastation in Japan. The facebook page has been up for 3 days and the family has fought silently for months. They tried other resources which did not work. It was posted on medias walls to get support from people and to get Adams story for justice not for fame or any other reasons.Supporters have contacted the media.
            He has been changed by this. Mentally scarred and I find it sickening that people continue to be so negative about the family. I have 2 children of my own one of which is the same age as Adam was when he was abused. I would be fighting for justice as well if I was in her shoes.
            Thank you to all who have shown so much support and shared your stories.

            • Uncle Ruckus says:

              @family

              I know that it was taken before the devastation in Japan. I just feel like them trying to get it on a major media outlet such as GMA is a bit much when world devastation is happening. People are dying, they still have Adam is all I’m saying.

              I understand that he has been scarred by that and believe me I feel for his family. I can’t stand abuse towards children, I’m not and I’m sure others aren’t being negative about the story in itself but how it’s being handled by the family. Obviously a few people feel that way.

              • Sacha Collins says:

                If you were really paying attention you would know that Adam’s parents were not the one’s contacting GMA, it was other people on the “Justice for Adam” facebook page who read the story and decided to do it all on their own. So get your facts straight before you go making judgmental comments like that.

          • SSC says:

            If you were to read the stories that have been shared with us on Justice for Adam you would see that the members are calling for media attention, not only to Adam’s story but to the stories of all those who have unfortunately been affected by abuse as we have. Adam’s page is no longer to allow others to hear HIS voice but to also allow others to express themselves enabling their voices to be heard too. Believe me you talk about countries killing hundreds of people, the Earthquake and Tsunami, our hearts and prayers are there with those who are suffering. I live the military life, I watch soldiers leave, I hear stories of those who don’t come back, I see soldiers without limbs, I see pain and suffering it’s every where, but if we can help the children who have no voice, who are unable to express abuse I ask you WHY NOT?

            God bless.

            • Uncle Ruckus says:

              How about you stop assuming what I have and have not done? I’ve read the stories on there. It happens all around the world and there are already MANY established charities and the like that help in these situations. I see that the page didn’t say anything about the Tsunami/Earthquake until I posted it on here. I’m sure the family is reading and saw my comment, judging by the comments and the comment names. I don’t know why you are rambling on because that wasn’t my point.

              Thanks though. I’ll take your well wishes. I hope for the best for not only Adam but other abused children and their families.

              • Sacha Collins says:

                I think we all got your “point”. You made it quite clearly. Just because you follow a negative remark with “hoping the best for Adam” doesn’t make it right. Why would you follow a facebook page if you feel so negatively about those running it? Why don’t you click “unlike” if you aren’t going to be supportive! Or how’s this for fun? How about you make these comments on the actual facebook page and see how many people come to the defense of Adam’s family? You look like an idiot.

                • Uncle Ruckus says:

                  Apparently some didn’t. Who said I followed it? It’s linked in this story, the story which brought it to my attention. I went and read the posts on the page. Who are you? I don’t have to explain anything to you. You are nobody to me.

                  • Sacha says:

                    Who am I? I am someone who loves Adam as my own family. I grew up with his Mom and love her like a sister. I am also a Mother. While neither one of my children has special needs, I shudder to think about how I would feel if someone treated my son the way Adam was treated. I’m also a Bermudian who lives in the States. But none of that really matters because the bottom line is not about you or me… It’s about justice for Adam, and I pray every day that justice is served. I have personally seen the turmoil that this family has gone thru and hope to God that all of this will help ensure that nothing like this happens to anyone else’s child! God bless Adam! Auntie Sacha loves you! Xoxo

          • Sacha Collins says:

            Of course you see where “speak my mind by family” is coming from! You’re both idiots! This story is not on every media outlet, but it should be! Abuse of children, no matter the severity is still abuse and this woman should face legal consequences and definitely shouldn’t be allowed to keep her job. You didn’t want to come off as rude and unsympathetic? Well you failed your mission “Uncle Ruckus”. Why don’t you take your ruckus somewhere else because this family has been thru enough without you adding insult to injury.

          • Lissa says:

            I agree Uncle Ruckus. Particulary because the teacher is unable to defend themself and we are only hearing one side. I am not trying to be unsympathetic either. Um just saying thats all…..

    • my$ says:

      This is a Bermudian family..

      • Uncle Ruckus says:

        So? What are we supposed to do?

        • Sacha Collins says:

          It’s about support! This family certainly doesn’t need your negativity! Have you ever heard the phrase “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” Is it hurting anyone by offering support to this family? They are fellow Bermudians, does that mean nothing to you? Jerk!

  12. Christine says:

    How dare you us words with alleged and they say! I am not only a family member but an victim of abuse in the passed the only defferrence is that i was able to voice my opion and get justie. How dare you claim to know the family and then put a negative page on Bermy news! Austistic kids do not vocalise themselves like a regular child can and it did go to trial and the outcome was a slap on the wrist for the teacher. If you can not support us then you need to retire from the news. How dare you use a four year old and write an article to your advantage.You waqnt to continue lets get it on baby because once i tell my story and how i got help and how know i am trying to help out a cousin, my question to you is that who do you think people will favour. I do not know if your a man or a woman but your article or portraying my family in a negative light is absolutley bad judgement on your part and i am asking for you to apologise publicly or i will take this a step forward.
    Always a former victim of abuse who will always be there to help the victimes how dare you!!

  13. Jennife Conyers Keserel says:

    First of all I would like to say to you “Speak my mind by Family”. It may be your opinion but what you write is negativity and mean and heartless.
    Second of all I don’t care really what you think of the whole situation as I know the family very very well.
    Thirdly NO CHILD should have to go thru any kind of abuse.

    Alot of time it is purely politics at a school that allow this kind of stuff to be swept under the carpet. I am very proud of Ashley and Duarte for coming forward and sticking up for there son because that is what parents do. It is our job to look out for our kids.
    You obviously don’t know them well enough for you to write this kind of thing. Your behavior in my opinion is just as bad as the teacher. You are being abusive to Ashley and Duarte and disrespectfull and also send abuse to Adam. What you say is just not right!!!! you should be so ashamed of yourself.
    This family is not doing this for fame and fortune. they are doing it out of the love for there child and that is it and also giving support to those people out there who have children that have been thru the same kind of abuse from school or worse.
    You need to look into yourself and find KINDNESS and a HEART.

  14. Susan Jones says:

    Love is PATIENT, love is KIND.
    It does not ENVY, it does not BOAST, it is not PROUD.
    It is not RUDE, it is not SELF-SEEKING, it is not easily ANGERED,
    it keeps no record of wrongs.
    Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the TRUTH.
    It always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSEVERES.

    -1st Corinthians 13:4-7

    Thank you for all of your support and love Bermuda. God bless you all.

  15. Wow Ash , you were not kidding I am in awe , can’t believe someome who claims to be family or even friend of the family can say such things . Did you notice (Speaking my mind by family ) basically called you a liar? Not just family but judgemental also . Hmmmmmm I wonder , Ohhhhh look it doesent matter because this so called Family member has to get a grip on reality. So confident , so sure and about what ? Absolutely nothing and that person knows it and hides behind words . Do us a favor IF you are in fact family .Get Real . Take a look at yourself before judging others . I think Jesus said it like this . ” Let He or She who is without sin cast the first stone ” I think that means , People who live in glass houses should not throw stones . Ashlie and Duarte I am behind you 100% make noise because the squeeky wheel is the one that gets the oil . I love you and my Grandchildren . whoot whoot!! ;o)
    P.S. Hey speaking my mind by family give me a call . you have no idea how much i want to hear from you . you know how to find me I am in the same house and have been for over 40 years there is no excuse not to unless you are as you put it ” SCARED “

    • TZ says:

      why be scared if you have a different version having been here in Bermuda by your own words working lets hear it… would love to know how you know more than the parents

  16. Sacha Collins says:

    Dear “Speak my mind by family”,
    Family? You must be “family” by name only, because clearly, anyone who had Adam’s best interests at heart would be on board with what Ashlie and Duarte are doing! Funny how you claim to know all these “facts” all the way from Bermuda? To say that Ashlie would use her son or his disability as a ploy to get “fame”? How dare you! I see exactly how certain you are of your facts being that you won’t even post your real name! You should be ashamed of yourself! Are you a parent? Because any parent would understand the outrage that is felt by Adam’s family! Is the Ohio school board God?! No! Just because they handled it in the way that they did does not mean that the abuse was fabricated! To imply that Ashlie and Duarte aren’t doing the best they can for their son?! You are a SPINELESS JERK! You have no idea what it is to be in their shoes and have NO RIGHT to judge! I know for a fact that Ashlie spends every single waking moment making sure that her children get every thing that they need! Do your research you ignorant fool! More and more emerging research has proven that children with high functioning autism do BETTER when they are integrated into a “normal” school environment! Do you have any idea how hard it is as a parent to intrust the care of your children to other people? But in the REAL world you HAVE to do this! That is why it is so important that these people who care for our kids are trust worthy and do not treat children the way that this woman has treated Adam. If you knew the “facts” you would know that the woman ADMITTED to what she did! At what point do you think they didn’t put Adam’s needs first and focus on what he needs?! JUSTICE IS WHAT HE NEEDS! I am appalled by your comment and cannot even begin to express how hurt I am that anyone would say such awful things about such a loving, amazing Mother!

  17. W.T.F.??? says:

    The Teacher is lucky I’m NOT one of the boy’s parents!

  18. TZ says:

    family issues should not be an issue in this case period..since “Speak my mind by family” KNOWS the truth is not being told lets have it..

    out of curiosity I researched the Ohio child abuse laws after reading the following:

    “I have been fighting this battle since August 2010. Although being told by his teacher she had found a way to discipline Adam, to stop him from throwing the mulch in the air, saying out loud “Fly, fly” . . . hanging him upside down by his feet would stop him. (She sat there and openly admitted to us she had held my son upside down by his feet . . . we didn’t know what to do we were in shock). Thank goodness the principal came in the room after that. In reports we have learned at the time of discipline, Adam was thrashing his body around, squealing and begging for his teacher to stop. She refused even though she must of known how her actions were hurting and scaring him. We noticed scratch marks on his back, neck and underarms. In another report we learnt she had forced his jaw open while forcing him to the ground. Adam had helped himself to another child’s snack, the teacher was furious and took action. We learnt how she would squeeze his little face and leave red marks to make him look at her.” (quoted from Justice for Adam fb page)

    Ohio is one of the few States that still permits corporal punishment in school under a state revision as follows:

    State Statute
    Ohio OH. REV. CODE Sec. 3319.41
    Corporal punishment is banned unless local school boards follow certain procedures and timelines for permitting its use. The law also allows parents to opt out of corporal punishment for their children if their districts permit corporal punishment

    Now how is it that as an adult if you were to physically touch someone against their will much less leave marks on them ..you can be done for abuse…
    Surely then the above is a case for abuse from a teacher who does such to a special needs child??

    One moment.. the phone’s for YOU the reader.. your childs school is calling.. a teacher has just admitted doing the above to your 3 year old child… NOW whats YOUR response gonna be??????????????

  19. TZ says:

    By the way… the family is NOT after money, or FAME… they started the page to let family and friends know the story.. it grew because family and friends were appalled and reposted and reposted etc etc, they wanted to try and get their Adam’s story out and to try and get the teacher away from the possibility she may have done or do this to other children who like Adam are age approx 3yrs old in her class and often not able to verbalise what is happening to them… try having an indepth conversation with a 3 year old..
    After being totally overwhelmed by the pages’ response they are seriously considering advocating for the abuse of special needs children to be addressed,, sadly go to the fb link and read some of the stories from other autistic parents and how many have had similar scenarios.. if this were to go forward that is the only type of FAMOUS little Adam would become as Adam’s voice helping to stop the abuse of special needs children……

  20. TZ says:

    also if Uncle Ruckus bothered to look at the page prior to commenting he would have seen it was not the family that wanted to contact GMA or any other media other than wanting to take it to their LOCAL media even RG and Bernews the links were not posted by the family but by others … the family has asked for no money either.. please refrain from negative comment if you are not willing to at least read the full story first

    • Sacha Collins says:

      No, he didn’t bother to look because he’s an idiot. Obviously. Start spewing negativity about something that has NOTHING to do with him. If he didn’t like the cause, then he shouldn’t have clicked “like” the begin with. Some people are so small minded!

      • Uncle Ruckus says:

        I read it, it doesn’t matter who it came from. And FYI why would someone say the mother was looking for fame? Anonymously on Bernews? What would they get out of that? I was simply asking why and you got your panties all in a bunch. Sorry if people are preoccupied with devastating natural disasters. If you notice the only ones commenting are you and other family. Learn how to read.

        • Sacha Collins says:

          Someone would say that because they don’t like her. They are simply trying to make her look bad, for what reason? I don’t know. You tell me? You seem to know every thing!
          As devastating as those disasters are… That doesn’t mean the rest of the world stops. Other people are still being hurt, or in Adam’s case… Dealing with the aftermath of being hurt by someone.

        • Sacha Collins says:

          By the way… If YOU learn how to read, myself and other family ARE NOT the only one’s commenting. Genius!!

  21. VM says:

    I can believe someone could be so heartless to say things like this! As a early childhood educator, I ALWAYS assure that my kids feel safe and that I build a trusted relationship with them. I feel that it your going into a profession such as a teacher, you need to be in it for the children and treat them like how they should be treated. They are innocent people! I can’t imagine how this family is feeling. This woman needs to get her license taken away! That is clearly not a teacher who has a passion for kids!!! Kids are my passion and when I work, I make sure they are number one and that their needs are met. Keep fighting for what is right! Prayers go out to the family and Adam.

  22. sick n tired!!!!! says:

    As a teacher of a child with Autism, let me say that although teaching any child can be a challenge, and more so with a child with special needs, no child deserves to be mistreated by any one or any means.

    The biggest question here is “why is the teacher still teaching if her license has been suspended for 2 years?” In the United States, each state has a governing department of education who issues licenses, and hence in order to receive your license to teach you must go through them a process which checks your background and history. Without a license, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED to teach point blank.

    Some have asked why we should care . . . maybe if we as acountry had our act together in terms of educating children with special needs, there would have never been a need for these parents to be abroad from the start.

    To the person that stated that children with special needs shouldn’t be in a regular classroom, research and learn the follwoing:
    1. What special education is.
    2. The implications of exclusionary education
    3. The laws that govern the rights of a child with a disability in accordance with the RE-authorization of 2002. A disability alone should not and must not exclude any child from FREE AND APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION!!!!!!

  23. drew says:

    It is so obvious that Bermuda is a different (and MUCH SMALLER) place than the United States.

    The abuse that children who are autistic and the trials that those parents face make the news daily.

    It is a never ending story and people who say stupid things like “Autistic Children are a Blessing” really need to go back and have a heart to heart with Jesus because clearly the Good Lord has ignored you for quite a while.

    In the US and Teacher Unions are Real.

    btw, Speak Your Mind, you wouldn’t last in the US a hot New York Minute.

  24. Speak your mind BY FAMILY says:

    I now wash my hands of this. Its petty and you all being led on. I am not here to defend my self but here to make sure that Adam was not being made a fool of. The family needs to step back and see what they are getting themselves into. IS it worth telling such lies for a few mins of fam.

    • Sacha Collins says:

      Eugene… The word is spelled FAME not FAM. Which further proves your incompetence. Ashlie and Duarte wash their hands of YOU! How any family member could still sleep at night after the awful things you’ve said, I have no idea! The only person who is being made a fool of, is YOU! At your own hand I might add! See if you EVER see that beautiful little boy EVER again! Not that you really care, because you have made NO attempt to see him in the last 2 years anyway!!

      • Lissa says:

        @ Sacha and the rest – I can’t beleive all of you are airing your private family business all over the net like this. People are entitled to their opinion (including speak your mine) and you guys are making a mountain out of a mole hill and should be ashamed. I wish Adam and his family all the best. but as far as Uncle Ruckus and speak your minds and my own comments go, Whoop Dee Doo – It doesnt change the facts of the situation (whatever they are) nor this fellas autism nor the care that is required nor how much you love this family, so take a break. Dang, I am glad you arent regulars on this site. Jeeeeshhhhhh.
        And who cares about spelling errors. LOL

        • Sacha says:

          Those of us that stand up for justice will never be ashamed. Yes there are two sides to every story, but are you really going to sit there and defend someone who abused a child?! That’s like saying oh well… Osama Bin Laden blew up the twin towers but there’s two sides to every story! Really?! This isn’t a he said, she said. A child was abused, the “teacher” admitted what she did and there is legal documentation to prove it. The only person who’s dirty laundry has been aired is that of this “teacher”, and it’s not like she’s been named.

    • Susan Jones says:

      You are entitled to your opinion it’s just very sad to see that you would use Adam to strike back over a family matter. I am pleased to see you are washing your hands of this especially since you have aired your laundry quite nicely. You have not been involved with our family for years nor Adam’s life for several years.

      Enough of this . . . we are moving forward with or without your blessing. This petty arguing does not represent what we stand for we will not comment on any thing further you have to say or any other negativity . . . AND WE ASK OTHERS who are commenting in our defense kindly STOP we know your intentions are good, but really, energy should be focused elsewhere to strengthen our cause.

      We know where we are headed, we know that we are speaking for not only beautiful Adam, but now for many other voices out there.

      Thank you for your support Bermuda, thank you for helping my grandson, Adam, he truly is the light of my life.

      God bless each and every one of you for prayers, support and comments you have made. With God all things are possible.

  25. Sacha Collins says:

    You blocked me? HAHAHAHAHA! Because you know I speak the truth! Justice for Adam is a great cause. It is an effort to have that teacher removed from Adam’s school so that he can begin to get back to normal. So he can go to school every day without seeing that woman! The school board wouldn’t serve justice, so these parents had to take matters into their own hands! Whatever I can do to help… I will do it!! People like you, who are slandering this cause… SHAME ON YOU! You obviously don’t give one crap about your god son!!!!!

  26. Queen Sheba says:

    It is a sad situation when a child has been abused. I feel for this family so much and care to say that I am with you every step of the way. The Laws and people of authority need to stop protecting these sick individuals that seem to think they can hurt our children. I personally would be locked up because the system dose not do enough. Adam is only a child he should not had to endure that type of treatment. The union needs to wake up and smell the coffe too when people have been suspended for incidents like this. This case deserved special attention. I’m not for the abuse of children, women and now man. I have prayed to God to ask that he guide and protect your family and little Adam during this time. Nobody’s child or family should have to endure this type of pain. This is the most painful story I have heard in a longtime. But do not worry the lord will deal with that teacher on his own. Cause he or she messed with an angel of god. May you all stay strong keep the fight for Justice going never give up . Be blessed

  27. georgian says:

    Has the family hired an attorney?

  28. 34 yro ADHD Adult that was an Amereican Victim to this abuse as a child says:

    Hello, I support stopping this type about towards spical needs children 200%. You see I was a victim of such abuse when I was in a soeical school. Foor starters they have 12feet so walls around the schools court yard playground like Ft. Knox we can’t see out or people can’t see in. Because they to keep it disclosed because they are so quick to jump the gun to restrain one us kids for just maybe being a little too hpyer or loud and they offen told us we need not act out be dangoius when we wher just being well loud and having and being well offen or not annoying. When they did restrain us they will slam us down very hard,.. sometimes the sand/tanbark or even pavement. If it was in a class room and others students in their someone with bearly almost hit a desk,.. we had one student onnce retrained and split they forhead open. The staff will yell “EVECTRATE EVERATE DANGER DANGER OUT OF CONTROL DANGEROUS NAUGHTY BAD STUDENT” which made others scared of that student offen and that student looses or not get friends. The staff also will call the student “Naughty bad dangouse NAUGHTY NAUGHTY WHY CAN’T YOU BE LIKE NORMAL CHILDREN” over and over,.. it was very shameful and down grading to us. After holding us down for over 20 to 30 mins they took us to a dark padded like closet like room with no lights or windows and shut the heavey door on us and lock it for about 90 mins with no potty brakes. This room was like a closet and it had vent so they can turn air on for us. This room was located in a back of a large storage room. Because, they where not allowed to have the punishment room as they called it!!!! So, when students go brave told their parents if they where going back home and not an PPC/Acheve own Group Home(I heard they had a piunishisment rooms too) and if parent came to the school to ask about the Punisgment room and they take parents to the storage room show them there was no punishment room, the punishment room was heeding behind what looked like a wall that can open and close,.. like a hiden door like in the White House. This all need to stop this all abuse!!!

  29. 34 yro ADHD Adult that was an Amereican Victim to this abuse as a child says:

    I finally came back to read the comments. I notice and ashamed of some the posters. They seem to say “WHO CARES,.. HE’S SPEICAL NEEDS WHO CARES” It’s sad that these people don’t give a care in the world of a poor defaneless disabled child or person. I feel some of these people that state this crap are no better or fans of Hitler himself used kill disabled children and people. I feel people like this should be have education about the rights of a disabled person and learn to treat disab. people and children with the same respects and rights!