”Mom, Please Help’: FBI Probing Alleged Abuse of Deaf, Autistic Kids at UHS-owned Facility

Posted on November 5, 2014

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The FBI is investigating the alleged abuse and neglect of vulnerable deaf and autistic children at a residential treatment center in Florida, NBC News has learned.

An exclusive NBC News investigation found that 10 different patients at NDA Behavioral Health System in Mt. Dora, Florida, also known as the National Deaf Academy, have alleged physical abuse to a government-funded advocacy group for the disabled in 2013. Three families, including the family of one of those ten patients, have filed suits alleging abuse.

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The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) launched 99 of its own investigations into alleged abuse or neglect between 2004 and 2014. The central allegation in 35 of the cases was “physical abuse,” while “sexual abuse” or “molestation” were the principal accusations in 15. Other allegations included “asphyxiation,” “bone fracture,” and “bizarre punishment.”

DCF found that five cases of alleged physical abuse and one case of inadequate supervision were “verified,” meaning “a preponderance of the credible evidence results in a determination that the specific harm or threat of harm was the result of abuse, abandonment or neglect.” Fifteen other investigations yielded “some indicator” that the accusations were credible, including six cases of physical abuse and one allegation of sexual abuse.

Full story: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/mom-please-help-fbi-probing-alleged-abuse-deaf-autistic-kids-n193846

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