As we learned recently when a court vacated the grounding of a 12-year-old, Canadians are very protective of children’s rights. In this case, they leapt to the defense of an autistic girl after a psychic declared that the girl was being abused.
“I’m in shock,” said the girl’s mother. “They reported me to Children’s Aid because of a psychic. Can you imagine?” I can imagine it happening here, but in sensible Canada?
The 11-year-old girl is in a special education class that is supervised by a teacher and four educational assistants (EAs). Her mother said that on May 30, when she got home after picking up her daughter from school, she got a call from the girl’s teacher telling her it was “urgent” that she come back to meet with the teacher, principal and vice-principal. They had disturbing news. “We have to tell you something,” said the teacher. “Victoria’s EA went to see a psychic and the psychic asked her if she works with a little girl with the initial V. When the EA said yes, the psychic said, ‘Well, you need to know that this girl is being sexually abused by a man between the ages of 23 and 26.'”
The spirits are often quite specific, but they do have trouble guessing a human’s age. You know how it is.
The officials said that in their opinion, Victoria had also exhibited unusual behavior that was consistent with what the psychic had told them. The mother then pointed out that the behavior they mentioned was also consistent with having autism. “I challenged them and asked if the other children in the class with autism exhibited these behaviours,” she said. (She said it with the extra ‘u’ so that’s how I’m writing it.) “They said, ‘Oh yes, all the time.’ But they [did not report that] because they didn’t have the psychic’s tip.”
To its credit, the government agency involved immediately closed the file after meeting with the mother, and apologized to her, which school officials apparently still have not done. The superintendent did venture to say that “historical and current and future practice from the board’s position is that psychic readings are not regarded as evidence.” So that’s good to know.
The girl’s mother said she is still considering her legal options, but is hopeful that the agency action will end the matter as far as the school is concerned. On the other hand, “[t]hey might want to take out a Ouija board or hold a seance, I’m not sure.”