" 'After the meltdown of epic proportions on Monday I took him to see a pediatrician who replaced Prozac with another drug and he's been back to his old self again'."
Boy, 10, taken from school in handcuffs after attack
May 7th, 2010
GEELONG police led away a 10-year-old primary school pupil in handcuffs after he allegedly stabbed a boy in the leg with a compass during a classroom "meltdown" on Monday.
The boy's mum, Nicole, told the Geelong Advertiser she was left distraught by her autistic child's violent outburst at Oberon Primary School but she said more could have been done to help him.
She said her son also threatened teachers and students with a pair of scissors before he was isolated in a room at the Belmont school, where he continued his tantrum by throwing chairs and smashing windows.
"I am so sorry he scared and hurt people, particularly the incident with the compass, and I feel as though more could have been done to stop this," Nicole said.
"We did have preventatives in place so something like this was less likely to happen and they were not followed."
Victoria Police and Education Department officials yesterday defended their response to the child's violent rage.
A police spokesman said the boy was handcuffed and led to an ambulance to be taken to Geelong Hospital for medical assessment. The handcuffs were removed at the hospital.
"Upon waiting for an ambulance, police had to handcuff the child due to him throwing objects at police and teachers," the police spokesman said.
Nicole said her son suffered from autism and Asperger's syndrome and she suspected a change in routine at school triggered her son's outburst.
"The problem is he has a teacher he likes from Monday to Wednesday and one he feels uncomfortable with on Thursday and Friday," she said.
"This Monday the teacher was swapped without my knowledge, despite an agreement I had with the school that they would tell me if that ever happened."
Nicole said her son had been put on behaviour-modifying drugs nine weeks ago following a discussion with the school and a psychologist.
"They suggested he go on Prozac, despite my own reservations, and from that day on I noticed massive changes in him, like being withdrawn, arrogant and he started having seizures," she said.
"After the meltdown of epic proportions on Monday I took him to see a pediatrician who replaced Prozac with another drug and he's been back to his old self again."
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development spokesman Nick Higgins said the school followed procedure.
"All schools must have in place appropriate safety measures to minimise risks to students and staff, and any incident involving student safety is reported to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, as well as the student's family," Mr Higgins said.
"Students with additional needs have management plans in place that involve school staff, parents and the student."
Nicole said she was now looking for another school for her son because she feared he would be expelled.
"Either way it's not constructive for him or the other students to send him back to that school," she said.