When daycare neglect or abuse is reported, it often does not include whether or not the abused child had any kind of disability. This means there may be no way to find out if the daycare you are considering has a history of abusing children with disabilities.
Parents need to be cautious, however. According to the National Association of Child Abuse and Neglect, abuse rates for children with a disability are double that for those kids without a disability.
Types of Behavioral Disabilities in Children
Children can be argumentative and aggressive or act angry or defiant around adults. Sometimes, this is deemed to be normal behavior. But specialists might diagnose a behavior disorder when disruptive behaviors are uncommon for children of the same age, persist over a period of time, or are severe.
Some of these behavioral disorders include:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Anxiety and mood disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Learning disorders
- Conduct disorders
- Disorders of self-regulation of sleep and feeding
It’s rare that a child under age five will receive a diagnosis of a serious behavioral disorder, but young children might start to display symptoms of a disorder that could be diagnosed when they are older.
Types of Abuse and the Signs Parents Might Observe
Behavioral disorders can be frustrating for daycare workers to deal with, and in some cases, that frustration leads to abuse or neglect.
It can be more difficult to see the signs of abuse in children with special needs or behavioral disabilities, but parents should be aware of the possible evidence that points to physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological maltreatment, or neglect. Some signs to watch for include:
- There are sudden changes in your child’s behavior, such as becoming suddenly withdrawn or exhibiting aggressive or regressive behavior.
- Your child’s sleep patterns change or they begin having recurrent nightmares.
- Your child is hungry, thirsty, or has a dirty diaper at the end of the day.
- Your child complains about painful genitals or shows an unusual interest in sexual behaviors.
- Your child exhibits physical signs of abuse or neglect, including cuts, bruises, broken bones, or burns.
Know Your Rights
The Americans With Disabilities Acts requires that you have a right to ask any daycare center to meet the unique needs of your child. These include:
- The daycare must make reasonable modifications that can keep your child safe, such as removing obstacles or moving learning materials within your child’s reach.
- The daycare must provide tools and services that can help your child communicate more easily, such as an interpreter or a provider who knows sign language.
- The daycare must conduct an evaluation of your child with special needs rather than rejecting the child because of a condition or diagnosis. The daycare center is obligated to determine whether they can accommodate your child’s needs.
Daycares can only refuse service to a child with a disability or special needs if enrolling the child would cause the center to change its entire program or if the child’s presence is a direct threat to others. If your child is enrolled in the daycare, then the daycare has a legal duty to keep your child safe from abuse and negligence.
Why You Need a Texas Daycare Injury Lawyer
If you believe your child is being abused or neglected at daycare, the daycare may try to put the blame on your child’s behavior disorder. The Button Law Firm can conduct an investigation to help uncover abuse or neglect, and help you and your child get justice. A lawsuit can also help to ensure other children do not experience the same type of treatment. Schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation today to learn more.