Support worker struck off for telling autistic boy: “Shut up and be normal”

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A SUPPORT worker has been struck off after holding an eight-year-old autistic boy against a door and telling him to “shut up and be normal”.

Povilas Stirblys also called the child a “f****** brat” during the incident at a drop in centre for children and adults with autism in Aberdeen.

On the same day, 14 December 2014, Mr Stirblys left another boy, aged eight or nine, alone resulting in the youngster leaving the premises.

Mr Stirblys, who is originally from Vilnius, Lithuania, told a colleague that he was “embarrassed and ashamed” of his behaviour and blamed a lack of training.

He was removed from the social care register last month following an investigation by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

Their findings of fact stated that whilst employed by Grampian Autistic Society: “On or around 14 December 2014 during the course of your employment with the employer you were supporting child AA.

 

 

 

“Child AA was approximately eight years of age at that time. Child AA is autistic.

Referring to systems which allow children with autism to communicate using photographs, the facts read: “Child AA could not communicate properly. Child AA communicated through the use of a PECS system and Makaton.

“On or around 14 December 2014, during the course of your employment with the employer and while supporting child AA you did state to AA “do you think that hurts me” or words to that effect, “shut up and be normal” or words to that effect, “stop it, shut up, just stop it” or words to that effect, “you fucking brat”, or words to that effect.

“You did pick up AA, and hold him against a door and hold AA’s legs down when he presented challenging behaviour.

In relation to another young boy with autism, they added: “On or around 14 December 2014, during the course of your employment with your employer, you were responsible for child BB.

“Child BB was aged between 8 and 9 years. Child BB is autistic. 10. On or around 14 December 2014, during the course of your employment with the employer, you did leave child BB unattended.

“Your actions at 10 above resulted in child BB leaving the premises.”

According to one witness, Mr Stirblys felt “embarrassed and ashamed” at your conduct on the day in question.

They added that he had never raised any question about the sufficiency of training including distraction techniques and had completed Level 1 of Autism Training.

She concluded that, in her opinion, Mr Stirblys’ behaviour was due to a “loss of control”.

The only factors in favour of Mr Stirblys was that he had apologised to the panel for his behaviour and had no previous adverse work history.

Following their decision, the panel concluded: “Ultimately, the Panel concluded that this was a case where a Removal Order was the appropriate form of disposal.

“Your actions were reckless and negligent and, in relation to Service User AA, deliberate.

“This was a matter of great concern to the Panel. Your actions put at risk vulnerable service users who had particular need for active support by reason of their autism.

“You had received training and had tried to minimise the seriousness of your actions.

“Service user BB had been put at risk. Service user AA was left distressed and was subject to inappropriate restraint.

“There was a loss of self-control and, overall, an attitudinal problem that manifested itself in your conduct.

“Overall there was a significant abuse of the trust which was placed in you and this was worrying to the panel.”

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