Autistic NC boy in therapy after bus driver attacked him, mom says

Autistic NC boy in therapy after bus driver attacked him, mom says
Autistic NC boy in therapy after bus driver attacked him, mom says (WNCN)

HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WNCN) – A Hope Mills mom said her autistic son is undergoing therapy after she said he was attacked by his bus driver.

“You never think that that would happen to your child, not in a million years,” the mom said.

The mom didn’t want her face shown but said it has been an emotional roller coaster since her son started coming home bruised. She said her 8-year-old son has come home bruised on three separate occasions.

The mom noticed the marks when her son was brought home by bus driver Elizabeth Derrick after school. She said the last incident happened in early March.

“He said the bus driver did it. ‘She hurt you, she squeezed you, she yelled at you,’” the mom said.

The mom said her son has a hard time communicating and so he often refers to himself as “you.”

According to court documents, Derrick grabbed the 8-year-old by the leg and arm. “They just told me it was caught on video and it was more than just her hurting his leg,” the mom said.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the video at this time. The boy’s mom said he is traumatized and is undergoing therapy since the attack.

Derrick spoke with CBS North Carolina last week and denied the accusations. She was charged with misdemeanor assault on a handicapped person. She said the child would often get out of control, kicking the seat, screaming and attacking other students while on the bus.

“There’s absolutely no way. I did not grab that kid by his leg, whenever he was squirming around in the seat and I explained all this,” Derrick said.

But the boy’s mom said her son has never been bruised like this before. She said like most children with autism, her son thrives on routine. When things are out of order he may become agitated.

“ There had been a couple instances where she would move kids around different seats of the bus which you know he can’t directly just come out and tell you that so instead he would just go into a meltdown,” the mom said.

Mom also said Derrick has never talked to her about her son acting out. Derrick said that’s untrue.

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