A New Jersey daycare worker is accused of slapping an autistic 2-year-old so hard that the boy’s blood vessels ruptured and a large bruise was left on the side of his face, CBS Philly reports.
Police this week arrested the daycare worker, identified as 36-year-old Jamie Price, in connection with the incident that allegedly happened in April at Children Academy in Galloway Township.
“You see an adult-sized handprint. You see it come from an angle from behind like that,” the boy’s mother, Jehan Attiyeh, told the television station, describing a photograph of the child’s injuries.
Attiyeh said she distinctly remembers the call she got from the daycare that April day informing her that her autistic, non-verbal son Blessen awoke from a nap with a bruise.
The mother demanded an explanation from school staff and then brought the boy to a local hospital.
“His ear blood vessels [were] ruptured. His eye was swollen. His nose had bruising on it,” Attiyeh told the television station. “You can just tell it was an adult smack.”
Police later launched an investigation into the allegations and on Monday took Price into custody after she surrendered voluntarily, Patch reports. She faces two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault.
Children Academy removed Price from the facility, according to New Jersey 101.5. Although the boy has recovered physically, his mother says he has been left with emotional scars.
“Blessen won’t go to sleep if I am not holding him,” Attiyeh told CBS Philly. “He wakes up in the middle of the night, he’s crying, like nightmares and night terrors.”
Attiyeh said she felt responsible for what happened to her son, even though it was not her fault.
“You feel like you failed your child. You feel like your child went through something, and you weren’t there to protect them.”
Attiyeh is now advising other parents to pay close attention to their kids and to trust their instincts if they sense something is wrong.
“Your children will tell you when they are being mistreated and go with your gut,” Attiyeh said.
The mother and her wife are now taking time off of work to care for their children at home.
“I don’t feel content with sending my kids anywhere right now,” Attiyeh told BreakingAC.
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[Featured image: Family Handout]