Autistic residents at Winter Park home abused by workers

Lana Bandoim's picture

Workers at a Winter Park home in Florida have been accused of abusing some of the autistic residents. Michael Meeks, Shenika Abraham and Kenneth Hampton Jr. are currently under arrest, and a video exists of their abuse. Another worker who was employed with them at the Threshold Center for Autism came forward with the evidence.

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Michael Meeks, Shenika Abraham and Kenneth Hampton Jr. could spend five years in jail for abusing autistic people at a residential home. They may also be forced to pay a fine for their actions. The Orlando Sentinel reports that an employee captured these three workers abusing others on video, but it has not been released to the public.

The Threshold Center for Autism, located in Winter Park, offers multiple services to people with autism. It includes a medical clinic, dental clinic and education center. In addition, the center has behavioral services that include ABA and other programs. The group home for people with autism claims it creates a nurturing environment.

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Abuse is a problem in many group homes for people with autism, and it leaves families concerned about their loved ones’ care. Teresa Carrington recently accused a group home in Salem of abusing her autistic adult son because he was covered in bruises. Karen and Michael Hartley were forced to use hidden cameras to capture their son being abused by a worker at a group home. In most cases, the abuse involves beatings, but there are more severe cases that leave questions about the system.

Families must stay alert and visit their loved ones with autism frequently to spot abuse. This is not always easy to accomplish and spotting bruises does not automatically create a case against the group home. Evidence must be collected, lawyers may need to be consulted, and the state may have to be involved.

Read more about autism:
Medicaid coverage of autism services ordered by CMS
Head size in autism questioned by new research

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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