January 13, 2011

Would You Work With Special Needs Children?

Not after reading this ...

  • Police in West Bloomfield arrested a man and accused him of raping his autistic daughter
  • Julian Wendrow served 80 days in jail and faced life in prison; 
  • his wife, Thal Wendrow, faced decades behind bars, accused of allowing assaults to happen. 
  • Their 14-year-old daughter, who cannot speak, and their son, 13, were in foster care. 

A physical exam showed no evidence of abuse.

The evidence against them? A statement the girl, who functions as a 2-year-old, reportedly typed with the help of a teacher's aide. The statement claimed her father had raped her since age 7 as her mother stood by.  The claim came from a method known as facilitated communication, in which the aide helped the girl type on a keyboard.

IMO:   The son was tortured by police
  • A two-hour interrogation Detective Joseph Brusseau conducted with the 13-year-old boy shortly after his parents' arrest, telling him that they had videos of both the boy and his father sexually assaulting the girl. The boy had no adult representative present for the interview.
  • The boy, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism, can be seen on video rocking and crying during the interview and insisting that neither he nor his father had assaulted anyone.
  • Note - putting a child with autism in foster care is extremely difficult for the child.

The parents have sued, however:
Those defendants are due in federal court in Ann Arbor on Thursday 1/13/11. They have asked the judge to dismiss the case on the grounds of governmental immunity.