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Disabled Children Abused Three Times More: Report

Update Date: Dec 05, 2012 09:57 AM EST

A report released Tuesday revealed that children and young adults with disabilities are three times more likely to be abused and neglected by people around them, when compared to their peers without disabilities.

The policy paper suggests that disabled children may be abused by their teachers or caretakers, and that may be in the form of behavior management.

Dr. Sally Robinson of Southern Cross University's Centre for Children and Young People, and the author of the paper cites examples where children were abused or neglected by school staff, reports WA Today.

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In one case, a school principal admitted telling a mother that he had put her son in a storeroom so ''the other kids were not interrupted while they did their school work.''

In yet another case, a martial arts instructor was hired by a school to train the staff in behavior management of disabled children. Also, in another incident, a mother of a boy suffering from severe case of autism was told that she could not send her son to the school without giving him medicines, even though the medicines caused him to suffer seizures.

There were also incidences reported in the paper where apparently children with disabilities were deprived of food and drinks in order to "modify" their behavior.

According to Dr. Robinson, most of the people who work toward caring and for the betterment of disabled children are committed to their work.

''However, the fact remains that we know that kids with disabilities experience abuse and neglect at over three times the rate that children without disability do,'' she said.

Abuse against disabled children is highly under-reported as the victims lack understanding, support and language skills to describe what happened with them.

The report suggests that the government establish an independent statutory authority for the protection of disabled children and to investigate any exploitation, violence and abuse against them.

The report was prepared for advocacy group Children with Disability Australia with the intention of promoting informed debates about protecting the rights of the 492,500 disabled Australians under the age of 24, according to the WA Today report.

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