School aide who slapped reassigned autistic teenager | Guam News
The school assistant who slapped an autistic, non-verbal high school student last week has been temporarily assigned to the Guam Department of Education central office with the Division of Special Education until the investigation into the incident is over.
Last Thursday, the 16-year-old autistic student was slapped by his individual assistant after the child allegedly slapped the school assistant.
“Three employees were present when the situation arose and their statements were also taken and submitted to the ongoing investigation,” according to a GDOE statement.
Individual Helper is a new hire and applied at GDOE’s virtual job fair in December.
The aide has undergone training on working with children with special needs, according to GDOE.
“All individual assistants go through a basic training course that includes four segments: assistant duties and responsibilities, autism training, disability awareness and safe crisis management,” according to the GDOE.
The individual assistant has been briefed on the needs of the 16-year-old autistic student, the department said.
“Each individual helper is trained to meet the needs of the student assigned to them. As a practice for the department, a one-on-one assistant will meet with the coordinator (a consultant resource teacher) of the school and review the student’s Individual Education Plan to better understand how to support their student,” according to officials. of the GDOE.
“In the past two years, there have been no complaints of employees abusing students or using inappropriate methods of handling students,” according to GDOE.
School aides receive training on safe crisis management for students with special needs.
The first part of the training is a seminar. The second component is hands-on training where trainers create real-life scenarios and participants learn and practice de-escalation maneuvers.
Due to COVID-19, employees could only be certified on the first component, GDOE acknowledged.
“(Safe crisis management training) is one of four types of training an individual assistant receives when first hired,” GDOE officials said.
The GDOE’s Special Education Division is “reviewing its current practices to better ensure employees are prepared for their responsibilities and duties to our special needs population,” according to the GDOE statement.
Since the incident, the autistic boy’s father has noted a significant change in his son’s enthusiasm for school. GDOE officials said they had planned to meet the child and his father.
A social worker assigned to work with students at George Washington High School scheduled a home visit and assessment of the student.