World to Australia: This is NOT the Best Way to Handle Lennox-Gastaut

Hey, have you had your recommended daily outrage intake? No? Oh goody, because I have a dish rich in awful for you!

Low in cholesterol, high in protein and nightmares. Source:

There’s a story out of Australia (National Motto: Nature Itself Is Trying to Eat Us) of two sets of parents who can now add “fighting against serial child neglect” to the list of challenges raising their special needs children.

According to the Daily Mail, the parents of a 13-year-old boy with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome became worried that he wasn’t eating, drinking, or using the bathroom at his special needs school in Queensland.

So they decided to drop by for a surprise visit… and discovered their son tied to his chair with a seatbelt.

The boy’s parents were naturally, horrified. But that horror turned to outrage when school staff tried to get them to leave and when the principal later denied it happened and refused to investigate further.

A few months later, another school that shares the same campus with the special needs school came under fire for repeatedly locking a nine-year-old autistic boy in a small room with boarded-up windows.

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Pictured above: A perfectly appropriate reaction to this news. Source:

Look, we’ve clearly got a ways to go before people understand all the subtleties of dealing with children who have developmental challenges.

But seriously, it shouldn’t take a Nobel Prize in Chemistry to understand you don’t pull this crap.

You wouldn’t pull it on a child who’s fully cognizant of his or her actions (and is taking perverse delight in being a brat), so you sure as hell shouldn’t pull it on a child whose Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome has robbed him of his ability to clearly communicate what he’s feeling.

No one’s saying it’s easy to teach children with developmental disabilities—the parents of these children understand this better than anyone else. If you have to juggle a classroom full of children with different needs, it’s got to be stressful. And if Australia is anything like America, the teachers who run these classrooms probably aren’t getting anything like the amount of support they need.

But it’s really not unreasonable to expect a minimum threshold of patience and ability to handle special needs children, no matter how challenging their behavior.

If you can’t think of a better way to control a child with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome than “toss them in a closet” or “tie them to a chair,” maybe you should look into a different line of work.

And if you’re the administrator of a school where this is going on, and your first instinct is CYA? Then screw you for putting your school’s reputation (and by extension your own) above the well-being of your students and the concerns of their parents.

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Smooches! Source:

Both children have been taken out of their schools, and Australia’s Education Minister is reviewing how students with disabilities are treated. But the children are still struggling to come to terms with the trauma.

Again: No one’s perfect. But until we’ve found a ways to help reverse the damage caused by conditions like Lennox-Gasteux or bridge the communication gap with autistic children, we’ve got to do a better job understanding their world and being their advocates.

And to all the teachers and administrators who are already leading the charge to be those advocates? Thanks for everything you do, and remember, this rant was not for you!

Read the full story here if you want to get your blood boiling. Have any stories or outrage or inspiration you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Ronald Ledsen

Ronald Ledsen

After emigrating from his native Sweden, Ronald spent a stint in the Merchant Marines while trying to work out what he wanted to do with his life. He discovered a love of writing while helping a friend write anonymous Harry Potter fan-fiction online; he discovered meaning to his writing when he began journaling after an anxiety disorder diagnosis. Ronald is most relaxed when spending quiet time with his wife, two sons, and hyperactive cat.

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