A horrific image of an autistic boy tied to a chair and his mouth bound with tape has been making its way around social networks, outraging many of the individuals that have viewed the image. Similar to a case in the United States where an autistic adult was recorded being abused and mistreated by staff, the Russian child in the image has been restrained, rather than beaten. The image was taken at a children’s center in Russia, where an employee was fed up with the way the children were being treated. He disagrees with the forced and barbaric restraints, so he decided to post the images on various social media platforms, sharing the image with the world in hopes of bringing the abuse to an end.
According to Metro U.K., the photo was posted on social media with the caption, “This is how children are punished in the children’s [center] Golden Key.” He continued the caption by saying, “The [center] employees have convinced the parents that it’s okay. The mother of the tied boy was convinced that such measures are necessary for development of her autistic son.”
Unlike the incident that occurred in the United States, the facility did not come to the aid of the autistic clients. Instead, the reinforced the actions and defended the need for such outrageous means of restraint. Oksana Yudina, the director of the children’s center, stated that many of the children suffer from schizophrenia, autism, and many other mental handicaps and disabilities. She claims that the medication that is prescribed is not always enough to calm the children down to a manageable level, thus the need for restraint in a necessary evil.
‘What do we do if a child starts throwing a chair at us? We cannot put a child in straitjacket if he makes some dangerous actions against us. Our task is to teach him how to sit calm. A teacher ties the child to the chair and then counts to ten. Then the teacher unties the child’s feet and counts to five. Then he or she unties the child’s hands. The children’s parents know and approve of our methods.’
The Mirror U.K. has reported that many individuals have expressed their outrage by calling for involved staff to be reprimanded for their deplorable actions. Still, officials with the children’s centre see nothing wrong.
However, Julia Yerofeeva, the Ombudsman of children’s rights in the Saratov region, has deemed the restraint to be unnecessary and inhumane. She has ordered the children’s centres to be investigated, including to ensure all staff is properly qualified to handle children with special needs.
“We’ll find out whether the centre has permits for this work, but in any way to tie kids to the chair and close their mouths it is unacceptable.”