A three member panel of medical experts constituted to interview a 10-year-old boy with autism, studying at a government UP School in Thiruvananthapuram, has confirmed that he was sexually abused by a teacher there. The panel was able to confirm the findings made earlier by speech therapist Dr Priyanka of ICCONS Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram about the child being abused by his Maths teacher, Santhosh. The information has been passed on to the Sreekaryam police.
â€śThe panel included a psychologist from ICCONS, Dr Dhanalakshmy, a psychiatrist from the Peroorkada Mental Hospital, Dr Indu V Nair, and myself,â€ť says Priyanka. The boy was accompanied by his mother. It was in July this year that he told his mother and his speech therapist that a teacher had been sexually assaulting him. The school, however disbelieved and dismissed it when his mother complained. The boy had been seeing specialists at ICCONS for over three years now. And that is where the interview by the panel took place.
â€śDuring the interview, he told the panel the same experiences he had shared with me earlier, where and how the abuse took place, and also wrote the names of his teachers,â€ť Priyanka says.
The police had prepared some questions to be asked of the child. â€śYes, the session has confirmed that abuse has indeed taken place. But the accused is still absconding,â€ť says Sreekaryam SHO.
The interview happened on August 20, says the mother of the child. â€śHe was very disturbed during the questioning, having to recall the experience again. In the middle of the session I had to take him away and then bring him back again. The doctors said a boy like him could not tell lies. He also revealed something we had not known before. When one of the doctors asked if he had spoken about the incident to anyone at school, he said he told the class teacher who then asked him to not tell anyone about it,â€ť the mother says.
The Child Welfare Commission and the Childs Right Commission are also looking after the case, she adds. â€śMy child was very scared to tell anyone because he was afraid the teacher would harm me too. I am going to go on with this case because this should not happen to any other child. There are so many other kids who come to ICCONS who canâ€™t even speak,â€ť the mother says.
Six months ago, when the child vaguely spoke about someone touching him, the mother had got worried and asked the school for a Transfer Certificate, she says. â€śBut the HM told me not to worry, no harm would come to my child, and they would look after him. I trusted them.â€ť
School HM Johanas, when called for her comments, said, â€śThe investigations are going on now. Let that happen. The police have come to the school twice and taken statements. I donâ€™t have anything more to add.â€ť