Autism center in York County facing child abuse allegations

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A child abuse investigation is underway at the New Horizons Center for Autism in York County.

Child Protective Services is looking into a report of a non-verbal child at the center who had old, faded bruising.

A family member tells NewsChannel 3 that his 12-year-old nephew had a badly bruised eye. He still wants answers about what happened.

Initially, CPS just wanted to make sure staff members knew they were supposed to report unexplained bruising, according to the law, so they sent an investigator.

After talking with staff members, investigators with CPS and the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office believe four children have been physically abused and they are investigating three employees.

No one has been charged.

John, the 12-year-old student, came home from school on April 1st with a bruise on his right eye. His uncle, Carlton Hofler, tells NewsChannel 3 that he nor his wife were notified. Hofler says he had to call the school and he was told that staff put ice on the boy's eye but no one had any other information.

Hofler says although John's teacher documents what happens daily,  there was nothing about the day in question.

"They come up with about three or four scenarios," says Hofler. "It's like they don't even care."

Little John's eye has healed within the last seven weeks. Hofler says he was not surprised to hear that police believe that other children may have been abused at the center.

"If I thought it was a grown up, I probably would have beat him up myself," says Hofler.

New Horizons Center for Autism is a regional school for children with autism on the Peninsula. It is located in a wing of York Middle School, according to the New Horizon's website.


    • Angela

      My son attends as well and I’ve been having trouble getting him to get on the bus EVERY morning lately. Our children don’t deserve this and I want answers.

  • phil

    My nonverbal child came home covered in bruises one day from school. In the end, because he is non-verbal CPS said the complaint was unfounded. There needs to be a push to put video cameras in the classroom. At the very least in classrooms where there are nonverbal children. Unlike a typical child, they cannot come home and tell us what went on at school.

  • Hm.

    Phil, that’s horrible! Poor kid-when I was a child, I had a teacher who was probably the most sadistic beyotch this side of perdition, who decided I was going to be her personal stooge that year. She had the whole class joining in, tormenting me until I was in tears, and I was afraid of her. I honestly thought at times that she was going to hit me, or allow the other students to do so. I tried to talk to my parents about it, and-they didn’t believe a word I was saying. If I’d only had concrete proof to take to them, like videotape they could check, perhaps something might have been done. As it was, she went on to another job-where she was cited-I’m not sure whether she lost her job or not-for slapping a child across the face.
    . There was a more recent case where a child confined to a wheelchair was being abused at school, but it couldn’t be proven until his parents secretly installed a camera in his wheelchair somehow, and got a recording of the teachers making fun of him, etc. I’m not suggesting you put a wire on your child, but I have long thought that video cameras belong in EVERY classroom, to be available for parental viewing at any time.

  • Aylin Direskeneli

    I don’t understand which school they are talking about because the link they provide is an autism center attached to Kiln Creek Elementary but they are taking about a school attached to York middle. Which is it?

    • Angela

      The center of autism operates out of three locations. Kiln Creek for elementary age children, York Middle for intermediate and Woodside for high school.

  • Jen

    Our community needs to band together and make sure these two go to prison for their actions. These deviant animals who were masquerading as people had no right using these children as their personal voodoo dolls. Disgusting. If the parents of this class organize a meeting to discuss the cruelty and their future plan of action, I will be there. I can offer my writing and typing skills to assist you, and I’m sure others in our community will offer their skills to assist you as well. You are not alone.

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