- Mother claims her autistic son is restrained at NSW Mid North Coast school
- The mother posted pictures of the chairs and complained on Facebook
- She said the boy, aged six, is locked into a chair with a weighted seat belt
- The chair also has ankle straps and a box to restrain his feet
- He also allegedly is put in a 'weighted vest' during class-time
- The boy suffers non-verbal autism and intellectual impairment, she said
- KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS STORY? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A mother has claimed her autistic son, six, who cannot speak is locked into a chair with a weighted seat belt, ankle straps and a box to restrain his feet at school.
Pictures of the chair have been posted to Facebook by the mother on Thursday alongside claims her son has also been forced to wear a weighted vest during class at Taree's Manning Gardens Public School.
'This is what schooling for my son looks like,' the mother from the NSW Mid North Coast wrote on Facebook.
She also shared an image of a second chair for him to be strapped into during lunchtime, when he is placed in a fenced off area 'that looks very much like a cage'.
A NSW mother has claimed her autistic son who cannot speak is restrained at school (the chair with the foot box is the chair he was allegedly restrained in during class, while the one without is the chair he was allegedly restrained in at lunchtime)
'Otherwise he is tied to play equipment … despite him being able bodied,' the mother wrote on alongside the photos.
She said none of the boy's peers are restrained by the school.
Ms Fekking said she 'had no idea this stuff happened until one day a carer told me she locked him in a chair and left him there.
'I withdrew him that day, and made a complaint to the school and Education Department.'
She said the school has since removed the gate from the 'caged area', but said 'that's the only notable change I could find'.
The mother has complained about the alleged chair restraint in a Facebook post
The mother did not blame the teachers, however, who she said had not been given ample training and support.
'My son is locked up because the staff don't know what else to do with him. I do actually empathise.'
The boy suffers severe non-verbal autism and intellectual impairment, the mother described.
'He cannot speak or easily express his needs and wants. He is typically calm and compliant, and non-aggressive.'
Another woman whose son has previously attended the school told Daily Mail Australia the cage was more like 'a sectioned off area outside the classroom with a fence and gate'.
Last year, a Canberra school principal was sacked for building a steel 'calm down' cage (pictured) to house an autistic 10-year-old boy
The cage was fitted with a self-closing latch and built for $5,195 using the school's funds
'Not really a gate, though it was used to keep a young boy under control through school assemblies.'
She said the chair had been used with multiple children, as well as weighted blankets.
A spokesman for Department of Education told Daily Mail Australia the mother raised her concerns in May and said an investigation is continuing.
'Support for students with special needs has been reviewed at the school, and the Department has met the mother on several occasions to discuss her concerns,' the spokesman said.
'At a meeting held with the mother today, an application for Distance Education was started with a view to finalise this early in Term 4.
'This week, the mother also made enquiries at another local school, and the outcome of this approach has not been finalised.
A photo of a sign pinned inside the classroom showed the boy sleeping inside the locked cage, described as a 'sanctuary'
'The Department is continuing to work with the family to find an appropriate alternative educational setting for the student,' the spokesman said in a statement on Thursday.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the mother for comment.
Last year, a Canberra school principal was sacked for building a steel 'calm down' cage to house an autistic 10-year-old boy.
The cage was fitted with a self-closing latch and built for $5,195 using the school's funds.
A photo of a sign pinned inside the classroom showed the boy sleeping inside the locked cage, described as a 'sanctuary'.
The sign was reportedly put up to normalise and justify why there was a two-metre cage in the classroom, according to ABC.
The Daily Mail Australia has contacted Manning Gardens Public School for comment.